The other day I saw on IG a promoted Story of another independent jewellery brand.
Now, it's quite confusing to understand if a brand is truly handmade/made by humans, or if it is just another dropshipping business with just better branding.
Among other things they highlighted, they took pride in offering “zero carbon emissions shipping ”(yes, with the embarrassing icon), as if the delivery was the thing that would make their business sustainable.
I believe these kinds of messages are deeply wrong.
Those are not sustainable businesses just because they use electric vehicles or zero plastic packaging, if their pieces are mass-produced, disposable when the next trend arrives, meaningless.
They are selling fast fashion jewellery (the ones once called costume jewellery) whose designs are based on forecast trends (notice how many base metal plated high carat gold are sold right now for >£150. Where is the value? In the gold? Because the layer of gold is so thin (a few microns) it will flake off in literally no time (but it will blend somehow with the bronze below). Is the high price defining their value? Would that be a piece you will conserve for your daughter/niece/whatever? I would not, honestly.).
These businesses are using marketing strategies, precise copywriting and clever keywords to be perceived as green just because green is trendy right now, but what they are doing is creating a desire, a fake need, inciting people to keep buying and entering in a never-ending cycle of consumerism without thinking of the consequences of this, hiding behind hollow words like “independent brand”, “zero carbon emissions”, “plastic-free”, “handmade”, “local”.
Then I was thinking about what I buy, how I spend my money, the pieces I make and the impact I want to have as a person before as a business.
I also felt the contradiction in my works, although I make just one-off pieces, made to order or in a micro bunch.
I asked myself what is really important to me.
I came to the conclusion that I want to create jewels that stay with people, that are handed over, that have an intrinsic and objective value besides sentimental ones.
True little treasure.
Real heirlooms, rather than “contemporary” ones, whatever it means.
I thought about how to translate this into action more than mere words because I believe everyone could do something. Although small, it is still something.
You will see the results hopefully very soon.