Why have a green mission?
Hello, I am Charlotte Robinson creator of Husk Jewellery. I have a deep love of nature and respect for the materials I have the honour of crafting from. The qualities of these precious materials are in themselves a source of inspiration, from their appearance to the process in which they are worked. The downside to this, like most man made products is the impact which it has on the environment, and the people who can be exploited along the supply chain. Since all jewellery is made by me in my London studio there is at least one link in the supply chain I have complete control of and I intend to keep it this way. After discovering a selection of more ethical suppliers and eco friendly practices it appears my mission has only just begun and I feel it is important to be completely transparent about the steps I am taking and what my future goals are. I welcome any suggestions or advise on this journey towards sustainability and will be regularly updating this page as I continue on my green mission.
All jewellery is made from recycled sterling silver which is sourced from Bellore Rashbel in Hatton Garden, exception of some findings and pre-made chains. When working in gold I can source Fairtrade or recycled gold on request; I mainly gold plate silver, and am currently looking for a plater who uses Fairtrade or recycled gold. I collect and recycle all scrap metal and dust.
I have recently teamed up with Gemstones Brazil who are listed on the Ethical Making resource website for the Incorporation of Goldsmiths. Many of their stones come from their family owned mines in Minas Gerais, Brazil so they can guarantee the health and wellbeing of their staff. Gemstones Brazil also source a variety of gemstones from other mining cooperatives in the region that they have longstanding relationships with. They are transparent about their stone sourcing and about which stones are fully traceable. Information about where their stones are cut is also available upon request. They state that they do what they can to minimise the environmental impact and they follow green initiatives. The 'Solstice Collection' features stones sourced entirely from Gemstones Brazil.
When it comes to bespoke pieces, stones are also sourced from local London based suppliers Ward Gemstones or Judith Crowe. Many of their stones are not traceable however Ward Gemstones ensure they visit all their stone cutting workshops to ensure high standards and Judith Crowe states she practices a FairTrade policy. If sustainability is also important to you we can explore other options such as lab produced or recycled stones, keeping in mind a compromise may need to be made on the design, price and lead time.
Print & Packaging
All packaging is sourced from The Tiny Box Company who create packaging from 40% recycled boxboard and are themselves recyclable. The company also make every effort to reduce their carbon footprint and have won numerous green business awards. I keep packaging to a minimum and ensure everything can either be kept or recycled. This also goes for my printed goods too and I use Moo Cards cotton business cards made from 100% recycled T-Shirt scraps.
Tools and Consumables
Often jewellers need to replace worn out and old tools however I always find a way to re-purpose them. Old saw blades can be recycled and old files can be turned into sanding sticks. Some chemical compounds used the in the jewellery making process to solder, clean and polish metals can be harmful to the environment and to humans. Since everything is made by me in my London studio I make sure to wear protective clothing, goggles, gloves and air filtration masks when needed and dispose of any chemical waste using the correct guidelines. After recently discovering the Ethical Making resource website for The Incorporation of Goldsmiths I have found eco-friendly alternatives to some chemicals which I will use going forward.
Materials to make jewellery are shipped from all over the world, creating a carbon footprint before the making has even begun. In the studio electricity is needed for lights, heating and some tools. As my studio is in my loft I reduce energy consumption by working during the day underneath a slanted loft window, the natural light is perfect so I rarely use lighting. Heating is a big issue in the loft, however I am currently looking into insulating the loft to avoid using electric heaters. A gas torch is used for soldering which emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and as such my studio is filled with air purifying plants in the hope they with take most of this in.
Each week I volunteer at The London Wildlife Trust who are dedicated to protecting London's wildlife and wild spaces - I felt it was important to offset my carbon footprint in an active way by protecting the wild spaces we have and to re-wild where I can. Another way in which I offset my carbon footprint is by donating 5% of my sales to TreeSisters, a global network of women who donate monthly to fund the restoration of our tropical forests.
TreeSisters is a non-profit organisation aiming to radically accelerate tropical reforestation by engaging the unique feminine consciousness, gifts and leadership of women everywhere and focusing it towards global action.TreeSisters are planting over a million trees a year, and they are now calling for women to plant a billion trees a year, by becoming a Treesister and contributing monthly to tropical reforestation. You can read all about the tree-planting projects below: