Let’s face it, we all love a twinkling gemstone to gawp at, dangling off a beautiful gold chain or from our ears; they’re captivating and hypnotic with their mystical light properties. However, with all gemstones being a finite resource which further contributes to climate change and habitat destruction, having a sparkling jewel for our jewellery choice isn’t necessarily everyone’s go-to. With the issue of sustainability becoming much more prominent in our lives and within the industry, alternatives to the usual stone pendant are pushing through to the front row and grabbing people’s attention.
One of these alternatives is that of sea glass – broken up old pieces of glass which have been weathered and transported across the sea floor, until finally being discovered on the shoreline. You may be picturing some dirty piece of clear thick glass right now from an old ketchup bottle, but actually these little precious pieces are quite beautiful. They come in a variety of different colours and shapes, and are all completely unique in design. Many people love these glass pendants due to their symbolism of a journey through the ocean and time to become a beautiful object that people wear on their persons. The great thing about sea glass pendants is that all it takes is for someone to head to the beach and collect the pieces… and that’s it! No mining, low cost, and completely sustainable.
Another alternative is that of tumbled stones. Again, you may be thinking of some grey piece of rock just in your garden, although it is quite the opposite. Rocks come in so many beautiful colours, with intricate layers and textures that when polished look like their own piece of art. An example of this is lace agate which has feathered details in its many layers of minerals, giving a wonderful angelic look. You can even make these tumbled stone pendants in your own home by buying a rock tumbler (I suggest one from National Geographic) – its completely sustainable and you get a wonderful surprise every time you finish the tumbling process of what the piece will look like.
There are so many other inventive pendant alternatives that are spreading throughout the likes of Etsy and Depop, reusing old materials or resources found in the local environment to create something beautiful. These include discontinued gold coins, used coffee pods, washed up shells, and even from shrunken plastic bottles. As the public becomes more accepting of sustainable alternatives to the accepted usual pendant materials, these jewellery choices will become more widely available and made to order.