While the apparel side of the fashion industry has been making strides in recent years on the sustainable front (examples include Gucci’s massive carbon-neutral initiative and an increasing sphere of young labels), progress in the jewellery sector appears to be not as extensive.
Among many other factors, the raw materials used in jewellery, especially fine jewellery – precious metals and gems – are often mined from some of the poorest regions on the planet. And there is no easy solution: the World Bank estimates that at least 100 million people are involved in mining for the industry, which provides a livelihood for them. What you can do as a consumer, is to opt for brands that, at a minimum, work with ethically and sustainably sourced materials.
One such brand doing that here is ByCanary, a new fine jewellery name launching on Sep 8. This newbie, the brainchild of well-known jewellery brand The Canary Diamond Co, will have its designs wholly made using gems that are ethically- and sustainably-sourced from fair trade mines.
Pieces are made-to-order (waiting time is approximately a month, though that will be reduced eventually) to ensure that there are no excess inventory; one problem of the fashion system is the over-production of too much stock which usually ends up in landfills. In other words, good things are worth the wait.
ByCanary works with recycled gold too and obtains the material by buying back jewellery from clients and smelting the metals for its designs in order to reduce the need to mine for raw materials. 3D printed-moulds are also used during the crafting process to reduce raw material wastage.
What’s also interesting about ByCanary’s design is that they also incorporate detachable elements, such as these drop earrings (pictured above) from the Yiulin x ByCanary line – a collaboration with Malaysian footwear designer Ung Yiu Lin. The gold-plated chandelier can be removed for a subtler touch, leaving just the stud to worn alone and vice versa.
And taking the current Covid-19 situation into consideration, ByCanary says they’re fully e-commerce friendly; they offer video consultations to preview the collection and for styling tips.
Above, our picks from the debut.