|SEEDS OF CHANGE|
|Written by Magaly Fuentes - Friday, 20 November 2009|
Since the birth of civilization, jewelry has been a notable part of virtually every culture. You hold a piece of jewelry in your hand and admire the beauty of it. Do you contemplate where it came from? If your precious gems could talk, what would they tell you about their journey? It is something to think about. Historically, the mining associated with some of the most common materials utilized in the fabrication of jewelry, such as gold, silver and diamonds, is unethical and destructive to the earth and the lives of people. In search of a sustainable alternative without sacrificing beauty, talented artistry, innovation and progress have met with knowledge and the desire for a better future and the result is authentic, precious, and beautiful jewelry made of nuts and seeds.
Nuts and seeds such as Açai, Jabon, Jupati, Tento, Jatuba, Paxiuba, Tagua, Coconut, Huayruro, and Pambil are all examples of gorgeous plant-derived materials being used to design and create jewelry. The unique characteristics of each individual nut or seed including texture, color, size, and shape add to the beauty of the pieces. The purchase of jewelry made with these natural materials also encourages the preservation of trees and forest communities.
Look to these jewelry designers and manufacturers for true sustainable beauty that lasts and will help sustain our planet…
The Andean Collection designers develop intricate combinations of pambil and açaí seeds which are hand-drilled then strung into layers; jaboncillo and huayruro are collected from the forest floor by communities in the Amazon region then popped out of their casings and washed before hand drilling. The deep and vivid colors of the natural seeds and nuts they use make it almost too difficult to believe they were not painted in such hues. The founders of The Andean Collection consider the artisans that handcraft the jewelry partial owners of the company and share their stories on their website and any where they are sold, inevitably connecting you to the hands that created each piece.
“Art, Nature, & Living” – this is the tag line of Orion Imaging which is undoubtedly represented in their seemingly never-ending product line of jewelry from all over the world. Items such as necklaces made of natural straw intertwined with tagua nuts or long strands of mixed seeds such as jatoba and paxiuba adorn the pages of their online store. Everything is fair trade and artist names as well as country of origin are provided as an extra personal touch.
Tribal societé features work of designers from Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, El Salvador and Thailand. Materials include combinations of tagua, açaí, shells, glass, and more, and ranging in style from a short bibb necklace of large chunky red tagua beeds with golden accents that is sure to get a double take to a more demure but still sexy four strand necklace of miniature tagua beads in black. If you are searching for a high fashion piece to compliment any outfit, cocktail dress or jeans and tank, tribal societé delivers.
Verde Rocks Jewelry translates into “green” rocks jewelry and the collection is rightfully named as such. At the companies conception they started with an offering of unique bamboo cuffs and bangles made from bamboo harvested and manufactured by them. They soon added other items such as earrings and necklaces made of bamboo and accented with vintage recycled components such as vintage brass or vintage Czech glass. The company has evolved and grown bringing to the table other materials such as vintage crystals, tagua nuts, and banana wood, but has maintained the same values with their spotlight on preserving the earth.
Another notable and sustainable jewelry line, On U, is not comprised of nuts and seeds but concentrates solely on the use of vintage materials such as beads and buttons. Check out their website for some meticulously constructed and truly stunning pieces.
written by vanessa fields, February 27, 2010
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