Queen’s Wood Studio began to move towards becoming an eco-friendly fashion brand in April 2015 four months after it opened in December 2014. There are therefore some items of older stock that do not quite live up to the standards now set. For example, while the more recently bought earring boxes are made from recycled cardboard, the necklace boxes are not. It would be counter-intuitive, however, to throw away the necklace boxes in order to buy new recycled ones! During this transitional phase, therefore, there will be things like the boxes and some small quantities of non-recycled silver and non-ethically certified gemstone beads being used until they are used up. All new materials and working practices from April 2015 are according to the following policies:
Queen’s Wood Studio is committed to social and environmental responsibility.
This is reflected in every step from sourcing materials, to studio processes, to sustainable packaging and shipping materials.
1. All silver and gold is 100% recycled and ethically sourced.*
Recycled silver and gold is currently from Cooksongold† and Bellore Rashbel. For more information please visit: http://www.cooksongold.com/ecosilver and http://www.rashbel.co.uk/silver/silver-bullion/recycled-silver
*I have found no supplier as yet for the recycled silver scrolls used to fasten my stud earrings but I am continuing to look for one.
†Cooksongold have now discontinued Ecogold. I have some remaining stocks – sufficient for now – but I will update this information when I need and find a new supplier.
2. All gemstone beads are second hand – from vintage, antique and charity shops.
While new, ethically mined and cut diamonds, rubies and sapphires are becoming more available, other coloured precious and semi-precious gemstones are much more difficult to find. This is often because they occur in small deposits and so are unlikely to afford the infrastructure and regulation possible with larger mining operations. I follow developments in this area with interest and for the moment celebrate the beauty, unique qualities and stories possible with vintage beads.
3. Stringing materials are as eco friendly and ethically made as possible.
Beading wire is made by Beadalon, in the USA,* using at least 60% recycled stainless steel wire. Read more about their green policies here: http://www.beadalon.com/content/go_green.asp
Beading cord is made from pure hemp by Dazzle-it in Canada. Hemp is an eco-friendly alternative to silk that also performs better as it is fray-resistant, much more durable and does not lose its shape.
*While I favour local-made products when they are available, when they are not I choose products from countries with verifiable minimum standards for good working conditions and industrial processes.
1. All items are handmade from scratch by Hattie.
2. Studio chemicals are non toxic.
Citric acid and washing up liquid are used in place of the usual studio chemicals and are disposed of responsibly.
1. All jewellery boxes and padded envelopes are recycled and recyclable.
Earring boxes are made by the Tiny Box company using recycled cardboard faced with paper from sustainable forests.
Padded envelopes are Jiffy Green range. 100% recycled paper fibre cushioning with kraft paper outer made from sustainable forests.
2. All jewellery pouches are hand sewn by Hattie using reel end, off cut, and vintage fabric.