Things have been feeling pretty dire lately, haven't they? The fires in Australia, terrible snows on the East Coast of Canada and the USA, not to mention the apparently failed climate talks—again. We are in a state of crisis all over the world, and it's impossible—and irresponsible—to pretend this isn't the case.
Life goes on, work goes on, planning our big, beautiful wedding goes on. But our busy schedules don't mean we can't be working towards minimizing our environmental footprint, personally and professionally.
For us, sustainable business practices are key to our ethos. It is what we've built our entire company around, and we are proud of that. One of the many things we do to minimize our environmental footprint is upcycling. Today, we want to share the details with you—because upcycling actually depends on you.
What is upcycling?
The term "upcycling" can be generally equivocated with "recycling," but there are some key differences.
Recycling concerns the breaking down of a material in order to wash, strip, and reform it into another product. This other product might be another of its original type, or it may be something completely different. Recycling, however, often creates waste—sticky labels on plastics, or micro plastics, for example are washed away and discarded during the process.
Upcycling, by contrast, is less industrialized in its nature, which means that materials don't need to be broken down at great financial and energetic cost. It also has a decided slant towards creativity, grassroots, and small batches, with its roots in darning and reusing personal items.
Featuring our Satellite Necklace.
How is it done?
Upcycling is done in a variety of ways depending on the material concerned. Upcycling a pair of jeans, for example, might involve cutting off the legs to make jean shorts. This definitely counts as upcycling.
The upcycling we are thrilled to take part in is a bit more involved, because we upcycle precious metals—specifically, gold.
At 1,064 degrees celsius, gold melts. In the hands of our lead jeweller, Himi, your old, unworn, dated, or damaged jewelry can find brand new life. We can extract the gemstones and melt (even combining several pieces) into something brand new—maintaining any sentimental value while creating a piece that you love.
Featuring our Signet Ring.
Why should I upcycle?
There are tons of reasons to upcycle, but here are our top three: it's easy on your wallet, it's easy on the environment, and it keeps the things you love close.
Purchasing new gold items gets very expensive very quickly. Bringing in your own gold to be melted down and reused will save on the material cost, and especially if you're wanting one of our popular designs, its easy and affordable for us to cast that material and create your brand new piece.
If you've got gold you simply don't want anymore, we will also buy it from you at market rate so that we can upcycle it into new pieces to resell. Yes—your old jewelry can actually make you money.
The next big reason is the environmental factor. Gold mines are as nasty as they sound: machinery tunnelling deep into the earth to extract precious metals at great cost to the Earth and to the people working in those mines. Labour laws are so easily compromised in remote locations such as mines, as are environmental regulations. In upcycling your gold, you eliminate this possibility but still get all the benefits of buying new.
Lastly, we love to upcycle because it keeps the spirit of your sentimental pieces close to your heart. Melting terrible 90s earrings down and reforming them into a gorgeous tennis bracelet or a delicate ring preserves all of the memories and emotional value that you carried with those earrings, but you now get to enjoy those happy memories with a piece you actually loved.
How am I involved?
You're involved because we want to upcycle your gold! You can sell your gold to us at market price, or bring it to us for inclusion in a new piece. In order to upcycle, we need the raw material—so every time you bring something in to us, we're able to keep things close to home by sourcing from within our community rather than through our normal fair trade practices.
Featuring our Elodie Ring.
What else can I upcycle?
Everything. Get creative! Jeans, other metals and jewelry, gemstones, and more. If you're interested in upcycling some gold you have around the house, we'd love to chat with you. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat with Himi.
Any other questions? Let us know below!