CREATING RESPONSIBLE JEWELRY
The fashion and costume jewellery industry is rampant with not only cheaply made products, but also unethically made. Workers are paid very little for their labour, and cheap materials are used to keep costs down. However, at India Silver Gems, we have a sincere ambition to do business differently and have always been an environmentally conscious company, committing to sustainable practices.
Though greener options are expensive, but we believe that some viable options are emerging. We are all looking for ways, big and small, to help be part of the solution to climate change. The younger generation consumers (millennials) are choosing sustainability over iconic brands. Brands are now also looking for sustainability, transparency and ethical manufacturing in the factories they work or partner with. Thus, as a manufacturer, we believe we’re in a unique position to support independent brands in working more sustainably, and deliver real impact across the industry. India Silver gems is very exciting to be part of this journey and are therefore is in the process of fully integrating the required standards for a “green” manufacturing facility in order to create “responsible jewellery”.
Our jewellery by its very nature is a circular product. It can be repaired and recycled into new pieces, and all our metal scrap from our factory is recycled back into the system, thereby creating no waste. Additionally, by utilizing the latest materials and manufacturing know-now, India Silver Gems produces jewellery that is made from 100% pre-loved recycled silver, sustainably sourced, and ethically made. We are very passionate about conscious production, and we aim to become your trusted supplier for sustainable quality jewelry. We want your customers to own pieces that will last them a long time, and avoid fast fashion items made from materials which are harmful to both people and our environment.
We proudly run our own factory which allows us to maintain a high level of quality, and more importantly, produce our handcrafted jewellery on demand (made to order) so no excess product is created. Hence, reducing greenhouse emissions and ensuring the sustainable consumption of resources.
We’re encouraging all our customers to start practicing more responsible consumerism, plating higher micron more instance because when you buy better, you can wear them longer! We aim to produce high-quality jewelry so your customer can wear again and again and last years to come, helping one maximize its wear and supporting conscious consumption. We make quality jewelry that lasts.
OUR STONES & MATERIAL
We want to make sure that all of the materials that we use come from a good place, which is why we are committed to ethical sourcing. We work exclusively with our long-term trusted suppliers who guarantee ethical sources of our materials including chains, findings, and stones.
Cubic Zirconias and Nano Gems (both lab-grown) are used where possible as they are fully traceable and it offers a very similar look to mined gemstones. However, we also do work with natural stones on requests, but are careful try to keep them at a minimum. We work hard with our stone suppliers to understand the country of origin for all of our gemstones, which are all sourced from India.
We work with lab-grown diamonds, also known as conflict-free or cultured diamonds. Lab-created diamonds are 100% diamonds and can only be distinguished from mined diamonds with sophisticated lab equipment. These diamonds are never mined, and processes the same identical chemical composition, hardness, brilliance and fire as mined natural diamonds. The only difference is that the origin is a laboratory and not the earth. Research suggests that the carbon footprint of lab-grown diamonds is around 5 to 10% of mined diamonds. Same as mined diamonds, the lab-grown diamonds are hand-selected and graded per the 4Cs of clarity, color, cut and carat weight. Please note that we only work with DEF colour (colourless) with VS1-2 clarity quality, and in white color only. Lab-grown diamonds can be anywhere from 20 – 40% less expensive than mined diamonds. Sterling Silver is the recommended base to be used, and an appropriate number of stones (not too many) that are not too big is suggested in order to keep the price affordable.
All the opals that we use are also lab-grown. However, we do work with Ethiopian Opals on special requests.
Our metal supplier purchase pre-loved silver in the form of unwanted jewelry and jewellery processing elements globally, but mostly located here in India. The unwanted precious metal is then refined through a process of scrap refining technique to purify the metal, and then transformed into new silver in the form of casting grains. This regenerated silver can then be re-casted and made into new silver jewelry again! Please note that there is no effect on either the quality nor the outlook if recycled silver is to be used. Using recycled silver cuts down CO2 emissions by ⅔ versus mined silver, yet more than 80% of the world’s silver supply is still mined. Currently, we have 10 customers onboard this program already, and are expecting to receive more in the coming months.
We have recently introduced a “Recycling Programme” where we will recycle any unwanted Sterling Silver jewelry from our customers so they can be made into something new (and to give it a second life). Jewelry made by other manufactures is accepted as well, including any faulty items returned from your customers or any unsold pieces. Your old pieces will be recycled (melted down) into new silver that is reused for jewelry. In return, a credit note as an incentive will be given to our customers, which includes the actual silver weight (after it has passed through the refining process) at market’s silver price. The minimum for a recycling batch to be considered is 1 kg of sterling silver jewelry and the shipping charge is at the customer’s expense. To put it into perspective, approximately 770 pairs of a simple pave huggie hoop makes up of 1 kg, and thus approximately US $460 worth of credit can be issued in return at the silver price of $20 per ounce. That gives you back approximately 14% of the buying price value. The current processing time is approximately 4 weeks upon receiving of the metal. A letter certification from the company can be issued to confirm the silver donation and to certify that they are being properly recycled. Unfortunately, recycled Brass or Gold base is not available at the moment.
India Silver Gems believes that jewellery is more than just beautiful, it can also do good for the world. One should wear jewellery loud and proud! We believe in the importance of giving back to the community. As a company, we encourage our employees to volunteer through either program organized internally or externally, and to help select charities to receive the company’s donations. Thus, we are constantly participating in donating money, food, and daily essentials to our local charities.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown impact, we have recently set up a “community pantry” in front of our factory as a way to help people who have lost their income to feed their families during this difficult period. Inside the pantry are essential items such as instant noodles, bottled water, eggs, canned fish and basic medicines that are being restocked daily. The concept is for one to take anything one needs, and leave anything one can share. This project is 100% sponsored by our directors.
If you would like to participate, please drop us a message to [email protected]
At India Silver Gems, we respect and empower women in the workplace every single day in the strive towards gender equality. In fact, our current male to female ratio (factory and office combined) is 1:2.5 as of January 2020. To be more specific, 73 per cent of our workforce is female, while 27 per cent is male. Additionally, every year, our design team comes up with an Empower Women’s Edit, a curated selection from our open-line in celebrating of International Women’s Day (March 8th) as well as the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in order to support brands that support one of the most important days of the year.