Sustainable + ethical jewellery

What is sustainable + ethical jewellery?

Sustainable jewellery refers to pieces created with minimal environmental impact, using materials that are responsibly sourced, recycled, or upcycled. This includes:

  • Responsibly sourced materials: Obtaining metals, gemstones and other materials from suppliers who adhere to ethical mining practices and environmental standards.
  • Recycled materials: Utilising metals, gemstones and other materials recycled from old jewellery, electronics, or industrial scraps, reducing the need for new raw materials and minimising environmental impact.
  • Upcycled materials: Repurposing waste materials or unwanted products into new, high-quality items, giving them a new life and reducing waste. Unlike recycling, which breaks down materials to create new products, upcycling retains the original material's quality and transforms it into something of higher value.
  • Eco-friendly processes: Employing refining and manufacturing processes that reduce energy consumption and waste.
  • Minimised carbon footprint: Sourcing locally and using production methods that limit greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Long-lasting design: Creating durable, high-quality pieces designed to last, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Ethical jewellery focuses on the fair and humane treatment of people involved in the jewellery supply chain. This includes:

  • Fair labour practices: Ensuring workers are paid fair wages, work in safe conditions, and have their rights protected.
  • Conflict-free materials: Using diamonds and gemstones certified as conflict-free, meaning they are not used to finance armed conflict.
  • Transparent sourcing: Maintaining transparency about the origins of materials and the conditions under which they are produced.
  • Community support: Engaging in fair trade practices and supporting communities where materials are sourced, ensuring they benefit from the trade.

    Together, sustainable and ethical jewellery aims to balance environmental responsibility with social justice, ensuring that beautiful pieces can be enjoyed without compromising the well-being of people or the earth.

    Jewellery by Toni-Maree soldering my handmade jewellery

    My commitment to sustainable + ethical jewellery

    As a jeweller dedicated to sustainable and ethical practices, I focus on using resources and practices that nurture our earth and its people. This commitment ensures that the jewellery I create is not only beautiful but also respects and cares for both the environment and the communities involved in its creation.

    Twenty ways I am committed to sustainable + ethical jewellery making

    1. Responsible metals: I use responsibly sourced, recycled, or upcycled metals from trusted suppliers. This reduces the environmental impact of mining and ensures that metals are extracted in ways that respect workers' rights and local communities.
    2. Recycling: I reuse and refine scrap metal in my studio. This helps conserve natural resources and reduces waste, minimising the environmental footprint of jewellery production.
    3. Ethical gemstones: I use ethically sourced, lab-grown, or upcycled gemstones. These choices avoid the negative social and environmental impacts associated with traditional gemstone mining, such as unfair labour practices and habitat destruction.
    4. Transparent sourcing: I source from transparent and responsible supply chains whenever possible. This ensures that materials are sourced ethically and sustainably, allowing consumers to make informed choices.
    5. Material provenance: I provide information about the origins of materials where possible. This helps ensure accountability in the sourcing process and build trust with my customers.
    6. Local production: I make jewellery locally and avoid international outsourcing. This reduces carbon emissions from transportation and supports local economies and craftsmanship.
    7. Eco-friendly processes: I use alternatives to harsh chemicals and specialised disposal facilities for chemicals. This helps protect the environment and the health of workers and consumers.
    8. Sustainable tools: I maintain, repair, and buy second-hand tools where possible. Extending the life of tools reduces waste and the demand for new resources, promoting a more sustainable approach to jewellery making.
    9. Repair service: I offer a repair service to support a circular economy. This helps extend the life of jewellery, reducing waste and the need for new products, which conserves resources and energy.
    10. Waste minimisation: I consciously minimise waste and avoid overproduction. This helps reduce the environmental impact of jewellery production and promotes a more efficient use of resources.
    11. Carbon-neutral delivery: I use carbon-neutral delivery services and contribute monthly to Ecologi, an organisation that funds reforestation and carbon reduction projects. This helps offset the carbon emissions from my jewellery production and shipping processes, reducing the overall environmental impact and supporting efforts to combat climate change.
    12. Eco-friendly packaging: I use eco-friendly packaging materials. Using recyclable and biodegradable packaging reduces waste and environmental pollution, promoting a more sustainable lifecycle for products.
    13. Recycled stationery: I use recycled paper and card for printed materials and paperless invoicing. This reduces deforestation and waste, conserving natural resources and reducing carbon emissions.
    14. Green energy: I use solar electricity and water-saving devices in my home and studio. Renewable energy sources and water-saving measures reduce the environmental impact of my operations, promoting sustainability.
    15. Consumer education: I educate consumers on sustainable and ethical practices, empowering informed choices and supporting sustainability efforts. I also write a journal on my website that discusses sustainable and ethical jewellery practices, providing insights and updates on these important topics.
    16. Formal education: I hold a Bachelor of Fine Art specialising in Jewellery, with Distinction, from Griffith University, and have completed a Diploma in Silver Jewellery and the Jewellery Business Academy program at Jewellers Academy. This education provides a strong foundation in design and craftsmanship, enhancing the quality and creativity of my work.
    17. Specialised training: I have participated in several specialised courses on sustainable and ethical jewellery making. Courses I've completed include Foundations for Sustainable Jewelry Practices via Christina T. Miller Consulting, which provides foundational knowledge on sustainable practices in jewellery, and the Emerging Jeweler Program via Ethical Metalsmiths, a program focused on ethical sourcing and sustainability in jewellery making. This education and specialised training ensure that I stay informed about best practices and innovations in sustainability and ethics, enhancing the positive impact of my jewellery.
    18. Professional memberships: I am a member of the Jewellers and Metalsmith Group of Australia, Queensland Chapter, and Ethical Metalsmiths. These memberships connect me with like-minded professionals committed to ethical practices and sustainability in the jewellery industry.
    19. Awards + recognition: I am honoured to have been selected to exhibit in the juried exhibitions So Fresh So Clean 2023 and So Fresh So Clean 2021 for Ethical Metalsmiths. I was also shortlisted in the Design Institute of Australia Graduates of the Year Awards 2023 for Jewellery Design, and I am a finalist in the juried JMGA WA Graduate Metal XVI 2024 awards and exhibition. These recognitions underscore my commitment to excellence and innovation in sustainable and ethical jewellery making.
    20. Continuous improvement: I strive to continuously improve my understanding of sustainable and ethical making, staying updated with the latest best practices and innovations to enhance the positive impact of my jewellery.

      Earth care impact through Ecologi

      Every month, I contribute to Ecologi, an organisation that funds reforestation and carbon reduction projects, to offset carbon emissions from my jewellery production and shipping processes, and to plant trees in Australia and around the world. Additionally, for every order you place, I plant an extra tree. By choosing to order, you’re directly supporting efforts to combat climate change and promote environmental sustainability.

      Living an ecoconscious life

      My commitment to sustainability and ethics is reflected in every part of my life. I find joy in living simply and sustainably, whether it's through secondhand fashion and slow fashion brands or my urban garden, where I grow fruits and veggies organically and compost to enrich the earth. My chickens, which provide fresh organic eggs, are a beloved part of my family. Recycling and reusing are second nature to me, and my home is powered by solar energy with water-saving fixtures to lessen our environmental footprint. These practices are not just part of my lifestyle - they inspire my dedication to creating jewellery that honours our earth and its people.

      Jewellery by Toni-Maree grows vegetables and fruit in her backyard garden




      We offset our carbon footprint via Ecologi
      Ethical Metalsmiths Member
      Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Australia, Queensland