by Mary Beth Magee
If you are concerned about the impact that fashion has on the environment, consider handmade jewelry. Handmade jewelry is beautiful, and its creation takes less of a toll on the environment than commercially produced pieces. The artisans who create handmade earrings employ methods and use products that are eco-friendly while creating jewelry that is unique and stylish. Handmade earrings often incorporate products that are entirely earth-friendly, and the life of the jewelry artisan is always directly impacted when you choose earrings that have been made by hand. Rather than choosing cheap jewelry and earrings, use our tips to select eco-friendly handmade fashion jewelry.
The artisans: Handmade fashion jewelry is created by artisans. Many of these jewelry artisans are living their dream, and most make a major contribution to their community by creating and selling handmade earrings. Because artisans make jewelry by hand, commercial factories and equipment is not required, which makes the jewelry production eco-friendly. Consider the implications of cheap jewelry on the environment and choose an eco-friendly option straight from the hands of artistic jewelers.
Recycled components: Many artisans choose to use recycled components in their jewelry, making handmade earrings incredibly eco-friendly. An artisan might use beads made of recycled magazines, bits of broken glass or salvaged wire to create earrings that are unique works of art.
Renewable resources: In addition to recycled components, artisans often use renewable resources to create their jewelry. Bamboo lends itself readily to jewelry design and is a sustainable resource. Flower petals, as well as whole blossoms, can be preserved for the jeweler's art. Seeds and seed pods provide dramatic shapes and textures for handmade earrings. Trees offer blossoms, leaves and seeds in addition to wood. These sources can be harvested on a small scale with minimal environmental impact.
Scale of production: Handmade earrings require a much smaller scale of production than is used by many large corporations, resulting in less pollution and garbage, and a smaller carbon footprint for each pair of earrings. Many artists work with traditional tools and methods, preserving a culture as well as helping the environment. Many handmade earrings are created with old knowledge rather than with modern mass-production techniques. By using hand tools rather than heavy equipment, the artists fashion these earrings simply instead of producing them in assembly line fashion. The individuality of each pair of handmade earrings enhances the value.
Artistic expression and preservation: Artists who create handmade earrings give free reign to artistic impulses. A pair of earrings may represent a flight of fancy, a legend of heritage or a traditional pattern. Such opportunities for self-expression help to preserve and share the legacy of various cultures and groups. Preservation of knowledge and the past is an important part of the future.