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What is Sustainable Jewellery

In the past when I looked at my jewellery box, I found myself staring at a grey/green knot of countless chains and earrings that were no longer of use. Once shiny and gold, now these pieces have lost all of their colour after just a few uses. Sadly, any gold-plated jewellery is not going to last long. The process of plating is basically just dipping jewellery in some gold. As it is a very weak bond, the plating wears off after contact with skin/water/perfume. Also, gold plating as a process is far from environmentally friendly. Gold plating uses some harsh chemicals which are often not disposed of properly and so can be harmful to the environment and people. So these trendy hoops from Primark might only cost £3, but you will wear them three times and then it will be thrown out without a possibility to recycle the material. And to add to this non-ethical list, let's just think for a second how much people who’ve made those earrings got paid? Eventually I have decided that for me, as someone who is concerned with people's and planet's welfare, I could no longer justify these purchases. To become part of the sustainable fashion movement, I started searching for an alternative.

If you want jewellery that will not discolour there is of course a solid gold option for those to whom money is no object. But you see... I'm the type of person who hides a flask in her pants on the night out so... moving on.

Then I stumbled across stainless steel. This material is basically an alloy of metals that is durable, hypoallergenic, and 100% recyclable! Stainless steel naturally comes in silver colour so perfect for silver lovers. But I wanted everlasting gold. After a bit of research, I have discovered that stainless steel can be turned gold by a process called PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition). In simple terms, PVD is when evaporated metal (gold in our case) is deposited into stainless steel with high pressure and temperature. PVD has virtually no environmentally dangerous by-products, making it one of the most sustainable materials on the market today. Stainless steel jewellery treated in this way will never discolour. Shower in it, swim in it, leave it on during a workout, wear it every single day, and it will remain the same shiny gold forever. Perfect for the environment and for lazy people like me who can’t be bothered taking jewellery on and off every time I need to wash my hands. And the best part is: it’s really affordable.

So here you are: gold, tarnish-free, environmentally friendly jewellery that will not break the bank. Sustainable Jewellery explained.

Shy Seagull

18 Jan 2022

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