All of the silver that is used in my designs and creations is 100% recycled fine (999 or pure) or sterling silver (925). I am working towards a circular supply chain, which means much of my silver is material that I have sourced and recycled myself. From sorting to refining and milling (creating my own silver sheet and wire), this is an industry in it's own right, and one that I will be employing more and more.
I source the remainder of my raw materials from Morris & Watson in Auckland, New Zealand. Morris & Watson have recently members of the Responsible Jewellery Council. Their commitment to sustainability and ethical jewellery industry matches my own, and I am proud to use them as my only supplier of precious metals.
I choose to use 9ct yellow, white and rose gold, sourced from Morris and Watson refinery in Auckland, NZ. Or some of my gold is purchased by me and subsequently refined in my studio. All of the gold purchased from my supplier is alluvial gold from New Zealand, and does not come from any open-cast or underground mining operations.
The 9ct White gold that I work with is a more grey colour than you may be used to. This is because it has not been coated with Rhodium. Rhodium coating is an industry standard for many main-stream jewellery sellers, however it is an additional chemical process that I have chosen to avoid.
I work with a brand of epoxy resin called Entropy Super Sap. This material is a bio-based resin which recycles waste plant material to form the basis of the product. This resin uses up to 40% waste bio-mass and it makes a point of not diverting organic material from the food production industry.
I specifically choose to use recycled metals whenever possible and will go out of my way to ensure I know the source of my materials. I am moving towards recycling my own metals and creating a fully circular materials life-cycle within my business. I will keep you up to date on the progress of this ambition.
~PACKAGING AND PROCESSING
I believe that much of the waste that we produce is absolutely unnecessary, and I have made a conscious decision to NOT contribute unduly to that waste. This is why the packaging of your jewellery is as eco-friendly, sustainable and minimal as possible while still protecting and presenting your treasure appropriately.
I am also trialing a new process of accepting your jewellery packaging back to be reused. If you would like to send back your packaging, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a return shipping label via email. Unfortunately this is only available to my New Zealand customers at this stage.
SUPPLY CHAIN - SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
Over the years I have refined my supply chain significantly so that it aligns with my intention to operate as a social enterprise. This is why I only choose suppliers (and stockists where applicable) who align with this vision of sustainable business and community. This means that I choose to keep as many of my suppliers as close to my studio as possible!
Where this is NOT possible, I take my time and research my suppliers to ensure that they align with my own values of kaitiakitanga - guardianship and conservation. I audit my own supply chain, as well as that of my suppliers and stockists regularly to ensure that the pillars of sustainablility and social enterprise are adhered to.
If you have ANY questions about these pillars, or about sustainability, please reach out. I am 100% happy to have a very passionate discussion with you about this!!!
SONIA THERESE DESIGN 2021