Updated: Apr 23, 2021
A while ago, the company I buy most of my silver from was taken over by another. I must admit, when the switch happened, I just assumed that they’d continue to supply 100% recycled sterling silver, but things have changed.
It turns out that although recycled metals make up a portion of the metal they sell, most metals is newly-mined. As a brand that prides itself on environmental responsibility, this worried me so much. I went on a Google spree, trying to find another recycled-silver wholesaler in Australia, but as far as I could tell, they don’t exist!
This is probably the most ethically sourced metal I can buy in Australia. To continue as a jeweller, I need to be okay with this, but I am still disappointed that the metal I now use isn't 100% recycled.
With fear escalating, I contacted the manufacturer to find out more. Here’s what I learned:
The metal I now buy is certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (an international council that certifies jewellery and watch organisations for strict supply chain integrity and sustainability).
From mining to refining, the whole process is transparently recorded and independently audited.
The company publishes an annual Considerate Precious Metals Report, which goes into its accredited transparent and ethical supply chains, its use of environmentally conscious refining technology, waste reduction, recycling, chemical safety and effluent management strategies.
After spending hours reading the report and doing some other research, I've found this is probably the most ethically sourced metal I can buy in Australia. To continue as a jeweller, I need to be okay with this, but I am still disappointed that the metal I use now isn't 100% recycled.
I try to do the right thing. I consider the environment in my jewellery practice, and I recycle as much of my jewellery scraps as possible. But perhaps I can do better, which is why, moving forward, I am brainstorming and researching things I can do to lessen my business' environmental impact.
Please reach out via email if you need more information or would like me to link you to the current Conscious Precious Metals Report or the Responsible Jewellery Council. I'd also love to be proven wrong, so please get in contact if you know more about where I can source 100% recycled silver. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.