As many of you know, we have been upcycling and using vintage components whenever possible for 20 years. We were known as “the Canadians” at Rhode Island vintage jewellery warehouses and component manufacturers when we would make our seasonal trek all those years ago. It was amazing to us that these businesses had been run by the same families for decades and that they were all living under the threat of overseas manufacturing and throwaway consumerism. It was sad to witness one family barrelling up pounds of beautiful vintage chain to send to China as scrap metal because no one here wanted it anymore. Fortunately, metal is endelessly recyclable, but it was about to travel over 8000 km to China to be melted down and then shipped another 8000 km back in its new form. This just didn't make sense.
Reusing has been part of our environmental mandate since the beginning. We have NEVER bought new boxes or packaging for all the shipments that have gone to 150 retailers a year across Canada. Recycling, reusing and thinking outside the box has been our philosophy forever. In the studio, we reuse our jewellery baggies over and over again, we use the leftover half of a long headpin as wire for the next piece, we use 'just-in-time' production to make sure that we are only producing what we have orders for and in the event of overstock, we take everything apart and rebuild as one of a kind pieces for our store. We keep a large stockpile of go-to vintage components to redesign & re-envision every new season and when we feel we've given a component as much life as we can, we donate it to a local charity, Beadworks, that uses jewellery and art as a means to offer youth a supportive space, a creative outlet, a healthy meal, social opportunities and business skills and is often used as a stepping stone for youth to access other supports and services.
It has always been important to us to support the remaining Canadian and US jewellery manufacturers and we still do all of our casting and assembly in Canada. We buy vintage dead stock from a struggling industry because there are many people still out there trying to keep manufacture local & who feel it’s important to give something that’s 40 years old a new life. We have always repaired and replaced our jewellery where we can - we want you to have it for a long time. Please consider this when you decide where to spend your dollars. There are many of us out there working on a bottom line that includes a more sustainable approach to manufacturing. We're not perfect, but we are having the conversations that are necessary and undertake regular audits to make sure we are always learning and sharing best practices. It's a work in progress, but we're committed to finding solutions. As always, thanks for the support all these years!