Friday, 19 December 2008

five gold rings...

I have pretty much finished my seasonal shopping, but tomorrow I will be accompanying my Dad around the streets of Brighton, shopping for my Mum - a family tradition started when I was young. We almost always forget where we parked the car, and the day finishes with a bag of chips from Bankers.

Anyway - to the point - we always end up in a jewellers of some description - along with everyone else in Brighton it seems. I don't know how much money is spent on jewellery over Christmas, but I know a lot gets spent, at a massive cost to our pockets and to the environment.

Some ethical gold exists, but most of the 2.5 tonnes mined annually (most of which is open cast), is not. Cyanide is used to draw out the gold which can contaminate the surrounding area, processing uses vast amounts of water, and exploitative labour is not unusual, including the employment of children.

So, what is a girl (or guy) to do?

Well, some ethical jewellers exist, like CRED , April Doubleday and Fifi Bijoux, but to stick to my favourite mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle, we should first reduce our lust for the raw material.

Not going to happen?

Well, you could hunt down an old special piece in an antiques store, or for something a bit different, why don't you reuse and recycle your loved ones own jewellery from Crimbles past, using a jewellery remodelling service such as that of Bloom and Co.

Give them an old piece, a bit of money and magic and hey presto, it is made into a new piece of your choice. A ring to a pendant, an odd earring set into an old ring, the combinations are endless. Keep the shiny stuff used and support a proper craftsman - ask your local jewellers for such a service, or visit a local art college and harness the raw talent of an up and coming designer.

I'm not going to lie - you are too late for remodelling this Christmas, so, peruse the antique shops, or keep it in mind for next year. Or maybe even Valentines day???

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