My Vision For Next-Level Sustainability
Sophie here, hopping on the soapbox to share some news that’s deeply meaningful and exciting to me!
We're up-leveling our sustainability this year. Frankly, the jewelry industry (like most) is quite damaging to our earth - but it doesn't have to be. The acute reminders of late of just how interconnected we all are to each other and to the earth's resources really have me reflecting. Sustainability has always been at our core at Ore by Sophie Hughes, but now more than ever I want our team to do better.
Stunning jewelry CAN be created without doing any further damage to the world around us. There are so many incredible resources available aboveground and non-toxic processes, and we are constantly pushing ourselves to refine and improve our studio. This Earth Day, I want to celebrate our progress - collectively with you, because your conscious choice to support our small business is what makes our initiatives possible.
Alright, so what are we up to over here?
1. We've formally committed to using gold from recycled sources with the No Dirty Gold pledge. You know our gold has always been recycled - now the content is officially verified by third-party auditors so you don't have to just take our word for it. Additionally, we're proud supporters of Earthworks, a non-profit working to ensure that mining operations respect human rights and the environment.
2. We became an accredited retailer of Sustainability Rated Diamonds. These diamonds are traceable from mine (or lab) to market, with an independently verified chain of custody and sustainability analysis. Our first choice is still reclaimed (a.k.a. up-cycled/heirloom/vintage), but we are very excited to have this option for our clients - particularly regarding lab-grown stones. (Lab-grown diamonds actually use a ton of energy to produce, and it's not always renewable energy. This program ensures it is, along with a host of other sustainability factors like domestic manufacturing.)
3. We're leaning into Montana Sapphires. It's not just a style (they're known for that special teal hue, but it doesn’t necessarily denote origin) - these are actually from Montana. They're responsibly mined and cut domestically, mine to market traceable, rated at the highest Fair Trade Gems level, and are such a good go-to when you just need some color!
4. We became carbon neutral. We're taking responsibility for the climate impact of our business by offsetting our carbon emissions. It's crucial for all of us to reduce our carbon footprint for our shared future. We try to keep a light footprint to start, but we're doing our part to offset!
5. We’re giving back, with a formal commitment: As a 1% for the Planet member, we're committed to giving a minimum of 1% of our sales back to the earth, regardless of our profitability. Some of the amazing non-profit organizations we’re proud to support:
- "POW" Protect our Winters - rooted in the outdoor community, they're fighting climate change through legislation
- Pure Earth - focused on combating global pollution, particularly lead and mercury (prevalent in gold mining)
- Mission Blue - founded by groundbreaking marine biologist Sylvia Earle, they’re on a mission to establish marine protected areas necessary for healthy oceanic ecosystems.
6. And then there's the "little things" that matter every day: We're reducing our use of chemicals in the studio and in the shop in favor of green cleaning supplies and studio practices. We're keeping our production small-batch and local. We minimize waste in all aspects of our business, prioritize recycling, and are looking to further reduce our packaging.
We're incredibly excited about our recent advances and we have some goals for the future: We’d love to get certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council for our sustainable practices; and we'd also love to use 100% recycled gemstones. Sustainability is an evolution so stay tuned!
In the meantime - I’d love to hear from YOU! I hope we can help each other move towards a more sustainable future. Reach out to us and share sustainability practices you have, sustainable brands you love, and what else you’d like to see from us.
Can’t wait to hear your feedback and thoughts! Wishing you a happy Earth Day (every day).
Sophie & Team