Amanda Coleman Jewellery | Sustainable Jewellery
What is sustainability?
firstly, when talking about sustainability in the jewellery industry it is important to define what sustainability actually means.
The most often quoted definition comes from the UN World Commission on Environment and Development: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
There are three main areas that are looked at to determine the sustainability of a company: economic, social and environmental.
Why is sustainability important?
Over recent years the sustainability of a company and it's products has become an increasingly important factor for many shoppers to inform their choice when making a purchase. Quite rightly, consumers wish to know the full impact that the product they are purchasing has on the environment and the good, or harm it may do in economical and social terms. The aim of this blog post is to give customers context to the sustainability of the jewellery industry in general and in particular our practices here at Amanda Coleman. This will be done by measuring against the three pillars of economic, social and environmental sustainability.
What is economic sustainability?
looking at definitions of economic sustainability there appears to be two areas of reference - one refers to the long term success of a business or economy or and the other for a company or economy to support long term economic growth without it having a negative impact socially or environmentally.
Firstly we are a small business, possibly a micro business so our impact on the whole scheme of things is small compared to that of big global enterprises. However this does not negate the moral obligation we feel to leave this world in hopefully a better way than we entered it and for our business to have a positive impact on our customers, suppliers, community and environment.
The importance of UK manufacturing
For myself as the founder of Amanda Coleman Jewellery, the long term economic sustainability of the company is obviously a must in order to provide an income for my family, the workforce and associated jewellery services that we use within the UK. We must also remember that our jewellery helps to provide an income for our stockists up and down the country and overseas and has a positive impact on the UK economy as a whole, simply by keeping all of our production within our shores, this is a key area of social sustainability.
By keeping manufacturing within the UK we are providing quality and skilled work to our local workforce. Jewellery skills are passed down through the generations, and helps to keep the trade alive. We use a mixture of jewellers who have studied many years to degree level and other workers we have trained up ourselves. Our suppliers of silver are within the UK, jewellery services such as casters and stone setters are within the UK.
Kimberley Process certified diamonds
All the diamonds we use are Kimberley certified. The Kimberley Process is an international certification scheme that regulates trade in rough diamonds. It aims to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds, while helping to protect legitimate trade in rough diamonds
I am reluctant to use the terms 'environmentally friendly' as all types of manufacturing will have an impact on the environment merely by the raw materials and energy used to produce them. However part of the ethos of Amanda Coleman Jewellery is 'buy less but buy quality'. This means the items you buy from us will last a lifetime, there is no part of our jewellery that cannot be repaired, replated or recycled.
All our off cuts of jewellery in the manufacturing process are reused, all of our sweepings from the floor and benches are sent for precious metal reclamation. All of the chemicals we use are disposed of by specialist reclamation firms who extract all the precious metals first, we even have settlement tanks under our sinks that capture the metal that gets caught up in the waste from our polishing machines, plating and rinsing.
UK manufacturing means the jewellery has a lower carbon footprint than imported jewellery.
Made to order means less waste
Our jewellery is made to order so there is less waste of energy in producing items that may not be sold and then further energy spent in recycling unsold items.
We've switched to biodegradable bags for all our wholesale packaging. We reuse all the packaging - boxes, bubble wrap, fillers that our supplies are sent in. Rather than single use jewellery packaging we use high quality jewellery boxes, designed to keep your jewellery in forever. All our postal bags are fully recyclable.
To summarise, we are a small company, we believe in quality over quantity, we believe in retaining and nurturing traditional skills, we are passionate about keeping our jewellery made in the UK and supporting our local economy, we believe in responsibly sourcing our raw materials and recycling as much of our waste materials as possible. We support charitable organisations with a percentage of profits from our sales, we also support charitable organisations and national institutions who use the profits from sales of our jewellery to fund the upkeep of our national monuments such as Stonehenge, Marie Curie, National Trust Scotland and The British Museum. In all, we believe in a circular responsibility when it comes to introducing new products on to our planet, as our planet and the wonders it holds, has been such an endless source of inspiration for our jewellery and we wish to keep it that way.