Ethical rings, metals, and stones have taken on a new meaning in today’s world. With the spread of awareness of unethical, non-ecological, and non-recycled products in use, couples tying the knot are more conscious about the products being used to celebrate their union. When considering wedding and engagement rings, couples now pay attention to environmental and human rights effects.
For socially forward brides and grooms, ethically-sourced, environment-friendly rings are a must. Thankfully, there are a lot of people and organizations that are as socially forward as these new earth loving couples. Katie from Orla James firmly believes in sourcing and promoting ethical, conflict-free stones, and recycled materials for wedding rings. She only deals in jewelry from companies that are green-certified and trade in fair-trade gold and conflict-free diamonds.
Why use recycled metals?
Gold mining has many times been labeled ‘dirty’ owing to the economic strife, labor abuse, civil wars, and environmental devastation it has caused throughout the years. Gold mining is one of the most environmentally devastating types of mining. Apart from the environmental effects of gold mining, the miners earn meager wages and live in uninhabitable conditions. They get paid below minimum wage and are not adequately compensated for the dangerous work conditions and deaths due to mining accidents and cave-ins.
Using recycled metals helps in curbing the environmental effects of re-mining gold for constant use of wedding and engagement rings, jewelry sets, and designs. They also help in diminishing the impact of dirty gold on the mining community by reducing demand. The more the market for newly minted gold arises, the higher the effect of mining will be on the environment and the lives of miners through inhumane labor and violations of human rights.
What can we do?
We can opt for recycled metal obtained from elders, family members, and heirlooms. By doing this, we can ideally decrease demand for newly mined gold and metals for jewelry, weddings, and gifts. This will slowly diminish the adverse effects of social malpractice in the mining community and reduce the demand for ‘dirty’ gold. Precious metals are a naturally renewable resource that is successfully recycled over generations without losing the value or degrading the quality of the metal.
We can also opt for precious recycled stones without giving added stress to diamonds. Uses of other gems to replace diamonds are a sure-shot way of ensuring the ‘blood diamond’ practice reduces considerably. In his film ‘Blood Diamond’, Leonardo DiCaprio showed the adverse consequences of sourcing rare stones from conflict areas that resulted in tremendous bloodshed and war across Africa.
Brides today can opt for jewelry passed down from parents and grandparents. These brides can also consider recycled materials as against precious metals and gold. Handcrafted ring designs and patterns are slowly becoming the new norm for environmental-friendly couples.
What options do we have for recycled material rings?
There are plenty of options to choose from when considering recycled materials for wedding rings. Let us look at some choices instead of traditional gold.
Wood rings are soon becoming a stylish alternative for eco-friendly couples wishing to tie the knot. Wood rings can be fashioned from different types of wood like rosewood, birch, teak, and so on. Bespoke wood rings are made non-toxic and are covered with a waterproof, transparent finish that protects the wood from harmful chemicals, harsh surfaces, and abrasive substances. Most jewelry manufacturers of wooden rings ensure there is no excess manipulation done to the wood and is only compromised till it can be bent. You can do your part in reducing global waste by opting for a wedding ring that has been made from responsibly-sourced wood.
Alternative materials are a popular choice today. Wedding rings made from strings of guitars, computer circuit boards, sprockets, and silverware are gaining a tremendous advantage over metals like gold, platinum, and palladium. Rings crafted from springs, silver spoons and recycled materials are a great way to celebrate shared interests while protecting the environment. With so many metals and artifacts that might end up decaying the environment further, wedding rings made from these materials are sure to promote less waste.
You can do your part in reducing the demand for new gold and destructive mining practices by recycling jewelry and using recycled materials. The growth in popularity of recycled materials in wedding rings for our loved ones shows commitment and dedication to saving the environment as well as declaring a love that promises to flourish over time.