Consumption Is Overrated

Those of us that are passionate about going green can sometimes find ourselves getting over-zealous with our eco purchases in an effort to keep up with the latest fashion trends.  Unfortunately, this tendency goes against everything we are trying to change about our consumer habits.  Constantly buying the latest and greatest is one of the reasons we sort of got into this environmental mess to begin with.   

Repurposed Jewelry BEFORE: Broken necklace made of clear quartz

The EPA, in its conservation philosophy, encourages us to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”   Although this concept might conjure up images of ghastly 80s shoulder pads making a comeback, rest assured, it doesn’t have to be this way.  Last decade’s finest can be re-styled to fit the look of today.  With fashion, and jewelry in particular, this is a much easier feat than one might realize.  You may think that old jewelry wasting away in your dresser drawer could never be revived to its original glory or even look remotely in style.  Yet, to a jewelry designer, that same outdated junk is a secret treasure.  Jewelry designers have the skills, tools and materials to completely revitalize old pieces for a fresh new look.  Depending on how many new materials are needed, this can also be a very affordable way to stay eco-chic without acquiring more, more, more.   

To transform vintage and not-so-vintage accessories into chic new adornments on a budget, check out the Green Diva refashion program.  

AFTER: Four new pieces; one full fashion-forward set and an additional spring necklace

Repurposed JewelryRepurposed JewelryRepurposed Jewelry

If you absolutely cannot bear to think of yourself in your old gems, even as a trendy new piece, then consider donating them for someone else to enjoy. 

Here are two ways to do so: 

  1. Send them in to the travelling Radical Jewelry Makeover, which is celebrating its fourth year.  For 2009, it is being held in North Carolina, where a group of volunteer jewelers and metalsmiths will collect mounds of donated jewelry and recreate them for dazzling new wear.  All restyled jewelry will be sold to the public and proceeds will go back to the Ethical Metalsmiths, a nonprofit group that raises awareness about the devastating effects of mining and stimulates demand for ethically-sourced metals.  Download a donation form here.
  2. Drop them off at your local goodwill to be resold in the accessories department.

About the Author

Katherine DalPra is owner and designer for Green Diva Jewelry, which offers luxury fashion jewelry using 100% recycled precious metals, Fair Trade gems and sustainable elements.  Green Diva creates custom pieces and bridal designs and can refashion old, outdated jewelry into trendy new adornments.

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