GUEST POST - Affordable Sustainable and Ethical Jewellery for Gifting to Your Bridesmaids and Mums!
17th July 2019
I believe it is quite possible that I was a magpie in a former life – I LOVE jewellery, so much so that one of my daughter’s first word combinations was “Ooooo – shiny!” As time has gone by, I’ve naturally become more concerned with the ethical and sustainable origins of the ‘shiny’, as are our talented jewellery designer partners, who create magnificent, bespoke heirloom pieces from carefully-sourced materials.
I’ve been looking for sustainable and eco-friendly wedding inspiration worldwide and (unsurprisingly) jewellery was the first facet of the wedding industry I was curious about – were designers across the globe making the same conscious choices? Happily, I have found many bespoke designers that do, but far fewer who offer gift-priced ranges for our bridesmaids, besties and mothers. Luckily, I have discovered a design-led, affordable, ethical fine jeweller called AUrate. Based in New York (but offering free express shipping to the UK). They use local jewelers to hand-craft both statement and classic pieces to order; their essential rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings come in yellow, rose and white gold, too!
Founders, Sophie Kahn and Bouchra Ezzahraoui, believe that you shouldn't have to choose between high quality, fair pricing and doing good (in addition to ethical sourcing, they support the developing literacy of students in New York):
“Beautiful jewellery shouldn't have an ugly side. We rigorously insist on the highest ethical and environmental standards for every ounce of gold and carat of diamond we use. We only use materials that keep our consciences as clear as our diamonds. It's that simple. For an industry that deals in beauty, there are a lot of ugly practices in jewellery – and high-end brands can be some of the main offenders. We're uncompromising about the origins of our gold, diamonds and pearls, adhering stringently to human rights, environmental and social responsibility standards, even establishing new industry benchmarks where we know we can do better.”
What’s more, AUrate uses 100% recycled gold. Gold is an amazing resource, able to be repeatedly recycled without diminishing in quality. They LOVE gold, and share with us more about humanity's complex relationship with gold, and their own interpretation of what it means to them.
We're in a complicated relationship with gold; we have an inextricable relationship with it. Throughout history, gold has always been deeply connected to our humanity — a test of our greed, and also our capability to express beauty in the highest form.
Gold is integrated into architectural structures, most often in places of worship and palaces, all around the world. This valuable resource not only adds a warm beauty to structures, but the resilience of gold has functional purposes as well. The Royal Bank of Canada even implemented gold reflective glass in its windows to reduce cooling and heating costs. Extremely versatile, gold reflects the sun in the summer while it retains heat in the winter. Who knew gold was cost-efficient and so cool (pun intended)!
Gold has even been rumored to enhance beauty, with an Egyptian queen swearing by its benefits. Cleopatra, known for her goddess like beauty and her unblemished complexion, used gold face masks to maintain her beauty.
However, as the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. In the quest for more power and influence, continual greed for gold has led many down the wrong path. King Midas learned the trappings of greed after his wish for everything he touched to turn to gold is granted. After turning his food and his own daughter into gold, he realises the foolishness behind his wish. The moral of the story: gold cannot substitute the truly important things in life.
The complex relationship people have had with gold throughout history have taught us many lessons about the nature of humanity. Gold should be used as a way to enhance the beauty that already exists in our lives, but should never become the main motive that drives our actions.
When we looked up the dictionary definition of ‘golden’, results ranged from the description of a yellow color, to an internal state full of happiness and prosperity. This led us to question what we would call “golden” here at AUrate. For each of our jewellery pieces, we pay meticulous attention to detail to meet our uncompromising standards. We intentionally craft minimalist designs to emphasise the natural beauty of our materials. Committed to only using materials that are in accordance with the highest standards of social, environmental and human rights, we believe our actions make AUrate golden.
Our lovely partner, Svendsen, also creates giftable ranges of rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, all handmade here in the UK.
If you've come across other affordable jewellery brands with great credentials, why not share them with GREEN UNION readers in the comments below, too.
If you are still looking for the engagement ring or wedding band of your eco dreams, why not check out what our other partners have to offer (in alphabetical order); Audrey Claude, CRED, Eco Wood Rings, Glasswing, Ingle & Rhode, Shakti Ellenwood, Slade Fine Jewellery, Svendsen, Ziorva.
On this occasion, a gift was made by the advertiser to assess quality, and as a thank you for the feature. However, I would like to reassure readers that had I not been genuinely pleased with the quality and impressed by their eco-ethical credentials, publication would not have gone ahead. As always, readers are advised to always do their own due diligence before engaging the services of any advertised vendor.
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