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4 Excellent Reasons Handmade Jewellery is Better for the Planet Than Mass-Produced Alternatives!

Updated: Jun 12



Making rope knottiing
4 Reasons Handmade Jewellery is Better for the Planet

In a world where awareness of our environmental impact is paramount, every purchase we make holds weight. At Handmade by Tinni, we believe jewellery isn't just an adornment; it tells a story. A story that extends beyond the wearer, encompassing the materials, the meticulous craftsmanship, and the ethical practices woven into each piece. Today, let's delve into the environmental advantages of handmade jewellery compared to mass-produced alternatives, and how handmade artisan's dedication to eco-conscious practices makes a significant difference.


The Hidden Costs: The Environmental Footprint of Mass-Produced Jewellery


While mass-produced jewellery may appear enticing for its affordability, it often comes with a hidden environmental cost. Let's delve into some of the most significant issues associated with this type of jewellery:


1. Resource Extraction and Waste:


  • Mining's Scars: Extracting precious metals and gemstones frequently leaves a trail of destruction. Deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution are common consequences of large-scale mining operations. These practices not only devastate ecosystems but also disrupt the lives of local communities. For instance, a single gold ring can produce a staggering 20 tonnes of mine waste, a stark reminder of the industry's substantial footprint.


  • A Toxic Legacy: The use of toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury during mining and processing poses a severe threat to the environment. These chemicals can cause lasting damage to ecosystems and pose serious health risks to workers and nearby populations.


Trucks at a mining field - Bird eye view
Example of mining


2. Energy Consumption:


  • Fueled by Fossil Fuels: Mass production relies heavily on energy, often sourced from polluting fossil fuels. The machinery used in factories contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, accelerating climate change.


  • Manufacturing: Mass production requires significant energy, often sourced from fossil fuels. The machinery used in factories contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.


Fossil Fuel
Fossil Fuel

3. Waste and Pollution:


  • Fast Fashion's Fallout: The fashion industry's penchant for overproduction leads to mountains of excess inventory, a significant portion of which ends up in landfills. This problem is further exacerbated by the "fast fashion" model and its focus on disposable accessories. 92 million tonnes of textiles waste is produced every year.


  • Packaging Problems: Non-recyclable packaging materials, particularly plastic, contribute substantially to waste.


Fuchsia Plastic Packaging
Plastic Packaging

  • Global Footprint: Jewellery components often travel vast distances across the globe before reaching their final destination. These complex global supply chains generate significant carbon emissions from transportation, adding to the industry's environmental burden.


4. Transportation


  • Global Supply Chains: Jewellery components are often sourced from various parts of the world, leading to substantial carbon emissions from transportation




The Environmental Benefits of Handmade Jewellery

Handmade jewellery, on the other hand, offers a more sustainable alternative with numerous environmental benefits:


1. Sustainable Materials

 

  • Mindful Material Selection: Handmade artisans have the freedom to choose eco-friendly materials like recycled metals and ethically sourced gemstones. This practice reduces the need for mining and lowers the environmental impact. Recycled gold, for instance, can significantly cut down on water and energy use.

 

  • Natural Fibres: Artisans incorporate eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, linen, and jute. These materials are biodegradable and sourced from sustainable farming practices.


 

Handmade pieces are built to last, using higher quality materials that resist wear and tear. This reduces waste compared to the "fast fashion" mentality of disposable, mass-produced jewellery.



2. Low Energy Consumption



  • Craftsmanship: Handmade jewellery relies on the skill and labour of artisans rather than energy-intensive machinery. This significantly reduces the carbon footprint of each piece.


  • Small-Scale Production: By producing in small batches, we minimize energy use and ensure each piece is crafted with care and precision.


  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Mass production often relies on large factories with high energy consumption. Handmade jewellery, crafted by skilled artisans, typically requires less energy and creates a smaller carbon footprint.

 





3. Waste Reduction

  • Minimal Waste: Handmade jewellery production process is designed to minimize waste. Small designers carefully plan their designs to use materials efficiently and re-purpose any leftover materials.


  • Eco-Friendly Packaging: Designers generally use recyclable and biodegradable packaging materials to ensure that even our wrapping leaves a minimal environmental footprint.

 

4. Local Sourcing and Production

  • Supporting Local Economies: By sourcing materials locally and producing jewellery close to home, we reduce transportation emissions and support local economies.




Handmade jewelers often source their materials from local suppliers, reducing transportation emissions and supporting nearby businesses. This fosters a more sustainable supply chain.


Our Commitment to Eco-Friendly Practices


My brand was launched in 2020 to address the lack of colourful, fun biodegradable jewellery for fashionistas who love expressing their personality with unusual, statement jewellery but I knew that I wanted to fulfill this demand whilst keeping the environment at the forefront. Below I have listed just some of the ways I am striving to keep Handmade by Tinni as planet friendly as possible.


·       Made to Order - Fundamentally every piece I create is made by hand and therefore with minimal impact on the environment.


·       Organic Cotton - I chose cotton, not only because natural fibres feel like the right choice for my designs, but also because it is sustainable and biodegradable. 








·       Partnership with Ecologi – In June 2024, we completed a 27-month partnership with Ecologi and planted 290 trees in Africa. I am proud that we have achieved 15 certified tonnes CO2 reduction from our efforts only.











·       Zero-Waste Design - One of the most impactful things we can do to reduce our impact is to reduce our waste. My zero-waste collection showcases unique items made from the leftover rope from other designs. By using every scrap of material, it is possible to transform every offcut into a treasure.

 



As a small business, I ensure I’m eco-conscious in every decision I make. My vision was to create statement jewellery and personalised art for the home that brings joy.


Conclusion

Choosing handmade jewellery is not just a fashion statement—it's a commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. By supporting brands like Handmade by Tinni, you contribute to a positive environmental impact, reduce waste, and promote a more sustainable future. Let's wear our values proudly and make conscious choices that benefit both people and the planet.

Thank you for being a part of this journey towards a greener, more ethical world. Together, we can make a difference, one beautiful piece of jewellery at a time.



 

About Handmade by Tinni: Handmade by Tinni is a bold and sustainable jewellery brand dedicated to empowering women through colourful and fun textile jewellery. Each piece is handcrafted with love, using eco-friendly materials and ethical practices. Join us in celebrating individuality and supporting local craftsmanship.


Note: The images used in this blog are for illustrative purposes. Actual images of our handmade jewellery, sustainable practices, and eco-friendly packaging can be found on our website and social media channels.


 

References


  1. Tiseo, Ian. "Environmental Impact of Gold Mining." Statista, 2020.

  2. "Cyanide Use in Gold Mining." Earthworks, 2021.

  3. "Environmental Impact of Mass Production." The World Counts, 2022.

  4. "The Waste Problem of the Fashion Industry." Green America, 2020.

  5. "Carbon Footprint of Global Trade." Our World in Data, 2021.

  6. "Benefits of Recycled Gold." The Ethical Jewellery Blog, 2022.

  7. "Sustainable Textiles and Their Environmental Benefits." Textile Exchange, 2021.

  8. "Energy Consumption in Handicrafts vs. Industrial Production." Journal of Sustainable Design, 2020.

  9. "Small-Scale Production and Sustainability." Eco-Business, 2021.

  10. "Waste Reduction in Craftsmanship." Crafting a Greener World, 2020.

  11. "Eco-Friendly Packaging Solutions." Sustainable Packaging Coalition, 2021.

  12. "Local Sourcing and Economic Impact." Local Economies Project, 2020.

  13. "Ethical Sourcing in the Jewellery Industry." Ethical Fashion Forum, 2021.

  14. "Designing for Longevity." Fashion Revolution, 2021.

  15. "Community Engagement in Sustainable Fashion." Common Objective, 2021.

  16. "Innovations in Sustainable Jewellery Making." The Green Hub, 2022.


 

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This is Paulomi here

I'm the artist behind this quirky little brand and my blogs are a celebration of colourful handmade crafts and everything in between. Let me know your thoughts on this blog and any new small independent brands that I should know about. 

     Let's spread the colour love!     

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