Gifts with purpose make the ultimate presents. I couldn’t be happier to have the founders of Eco Lustre write a guest post about the value of buying jewelry that is recycled and makes a positive impact. Not only do I love their mission, but I also find their jewelry downright AWESOME! Thank you Natalia and Luda for the contribution to our world that you are making. Your message moves me.
Eco Lustre founders Natalia Tisdale and Luda Samuels are business partners, friends, and sisters. They created Eco Lustre when they couldn’t find a single convenient (as in 24/7) source of jewelry that was eco-friendly AND beautiful AND affordable AND handcrafted in the United States. Eco Lustre is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.
Importance of recycled materials:
Materials used play a huge role in minimizing the impact of jewelry production on the environment. Primary focus is usually on recycled metals, and for several very good reasons:
- Mining of new metals is the most toxic polluter in the US, responsible for 96% of arsenic emissions and 76% of lead emissions.
- Extraction techniques, which may include stripping the surface soil and using chemicals, can cause soil erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity and contamination of soil and both ground and surface water.
- In the developing countries, where regulations are less stringent and can be less likely to be enforced, lead poisoning of epidemic proportions , heavy metal soil contamination, mercury poisoning, and inhumane labor practices are not entirely rare consequences.
- Recycling metals uses much less energy, up to 98% less than using newly mined raw materials.
Beyond metals, recycled materials used in jewelry primarily involve some form of upcycling, which is defined as the “process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value”. Some examples include, glass, parts of no longer functioning items like watches, or obsolete items like records. Importance of this is two-fold: keeping non-biodegradable waste out of landfills is an obvious one.
But beyond that, the broader message of promoting the idea of recycling and repurposing is equally if not more important. It’s a reminder to think before getting rid of something destined for a landfill – the item may very well have a second life or at least a simple recycling potential.
Check out these sustainable styles!
Chevron cuff, gold $76 & silver $72 – by Kris Nations. Recycled gold or silver over recycled brass. California designer Kris Nations runs the company with her sister Kim. The sisters are committed to protecting the environment by working only with those refineries that use recycled metals.
Fork ring $33 – by Silver Spoon. Recycled silver over recycled brass. California designer uses antique spoon patterns to create most of her jewelry. This ring, however, is a fork. Simple and elegant.
Flow ring $56 & Long gold feather necklace $42 – by Tumbleweed Bead. Recycled silver (ring) and recycled gold (necklace) over recycled brass. Designer, located in Washington State, works exclusively with recycled metals.
Memories locket $38 – by NaLu. Exclusive to Eco Lustre and designed by us in NYC, this necklace is part of the line that uses primarily vintage materials. Crystals, beads and locket are circa 1970s.
Vintner’s delight boomerang earrings $39 – by Smart Glass. Made from a red wine bottle in Atlanta, GA.
Peace bracelets $58 – by We Are Here. Recycled yellow & white bronze. Engraved with “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in four languages, this bracelet is inspired by Peace Poles, dedicated as monuments to peace in 180 countries. Two percent of profits from these bracelets are donated by the artist to The Peace Pole Project.
Read more about Eco Lustre’s ongoing commitment to sustainability—including using environmentally-friendly packaging and gift wrapping! I bought the Blade Cuff in gold and have been eying a number of necklaces here!