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Sustainable Jewellery – How We Can Work Together to Make a BIG Difference

28.09.2021

Our mission in 2021 and beyond is to move towards a more sustainable approach, which is why we’re rolling out the use of recycled silver across our entire range. This year we joined forces with 1% For the Planet – where 1% of our annual turnover is actively managed for social and environmental causes.

We might be just one little team designing unique pearl jewellery here at our workshop in Hampshire, but all members of the CB family are passionate about protecting the planet. This includes the content creators we work with such as Chet from the inspiring Instagram channel @chilliesandclothes.

Chet is an advocate for sustainable fashion, and is currently studying for an MBA in sustainable fashion.  She has shared her insight and top tips below on become more eco-conscious when it comes to our buying habits.

Why should we care about Sustainability?

“It is often easy to think that someone else will take care of the problem, that it’s so overwhelming and hard to understand where to start.

“I think whatever the changes you make it eventually all adds up and it all helps move us in the right direction.”

Chet Patel

 

We are living in a world surrounded by the effects of Climate Change.  Global population has increased by 121% since 1970 and the subsequent demand this has placed on natural resources is a challenge for us all.

According to Global Footprint Network, humanity is currently using 1.6 Earths worth of resources.  We are using more resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can handle.  This means that it now takes the Earth one year and eight months to regenerate what we use in a year.

The most quoted definition for sustainability comes from the UN and the Brundtland Report, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The Triple Bottom Line is often quoted as the three pillars of sustainability, People, Planet and Profit.  The idea here is simple – organisations need to ensure that in the drive for profit they don’t forget about the people and planet.

We are seeing an increase in the number of organisations that are making public commitments to sustainability through actions such as Reducing Waste, Investing in Renewable Energy and sharing their Ethical Employment Policies.

The Fashion Industry has been at the heart of many sustainability discussions, with Fast Fashion retailers coming under fire.  According to the Ellen MaCarthur Foundation, every year millions of tonnes of clothes are produced, worn and thrown away.  Every second the equivalent of a rubbish truck load of clothes is burnt, or buried in landfill.  Less than 1% of clothing is turned back into new clothes.

So what can we as consumers do?

It can seem so overwhelming, my belief (not to steal Tesco’s tag line) but “every little does help”.

1: Buy less, buy better

  • Consuming less is the best way to be more sustainable.
  • Buying higher quality, better cut classics will stand the test of time.
  • Invest in wardrobe staples (jeans, jumpers, coats, blazers, shirts).

2: Wear more, waste less – keep clothes in use for longer.

  • Repair or upcycle old clothes and give them new life.
  • Sell your unwanted clothes via sites like Depop and eBay.
  • Rent out your clothes via sites like Hurr and My Wardrobe HQ.

 

3: Care for your clothes

  • Don’t wash after every wear, hang and air items such as jumpers, jeans, blazers
  • Quick and cool washes

4: Recycle

  • Send old unloved clothes to charity shops
  • Pass on to family and friends

5: Look for sustainable fabrics

  • The more we opt for sustainable fabrics the more retailers will produce clothing and ranges made from it.
  • Look out for GOTS label (Global Organic Textile Standard).
  • Fabrics to look for include Organic Cotton, Lyocell Tencel, Linen, these are sourced from plants such as Hemp, Flax and Jute.