Gold has been a symbol of beauty and wealth since the age of ancient Egypt. They loved it because it is rare and one of the most precious metals. Since then, we created gold jewellery because it looks gorgeous. However, we all know that the cost of mining gold is huge. Media blame the gold mining because it does not respect human’s rights and implies environmental issues. Thankfully, this raises people’s awareness and inspires lots of jewellery businesses to manufacture Recycled Gold Jewellery. As an ethical and sustainable business enthusiast, Attitude Organic would like to cover this topic.
What is Recycled Gold Jewellery?
Recycled gold jewellery comes from recycled or refined precious metals (duh!). The recycling process includes melting the gold (or other metals such as silver and platinum) and refining it to its purest form. This has minimal environmental consequences and it is cost-effective compared to regular mining.
The gold may come from any sources and places such as post-consumer or gold-bearing products, waste, metal and many other. However, recycled gold is different from secondhand jewellery. While secondhand jewellery remains the same product, the form of the recycled gold changes. We recycle Gold through brick-and-mortar or any other retails that would pay for the unwanted gold. Many people think that purchasing recycled jewellery is more ethical compared to buying the regular one. Why? Keep on reading to find out more!
Recycled gold vs gold
Conventional gold mining always needs to discover new sources (usually in forest area). Thus, most jewellery companies cuts down trees and deforest some areas to obtain gold. It destroys natural habitat of animals and plants. Earthwork claims that they displace 20 tons of rocks and soil to make of 1 gold ring. Therefor gold mining itself has a large scale impact to the environment.
Besides, toxic leaks might occur during the mining process. Mercury and cyanide leaks can affect the stream water quality. This action clearly does not represent any sustainability effort to the environment.
Moreover some small jewellery companies hire children to do the dirty job. It is obvious that gold mining is a dangerous due to the toxic leak and landslide. These practices are clearly against the law.
At Attitude Organic, we have a great commitment to avoid “dirty gold”. Therefore, now we could say that recycled jewellery would be the best alternative. However, is it really the best?
Is Recycled Gold Jewellery Really Ethical?
For now, we can say that recycled jewellery is ethical if we look at it from a manufacturing point of view. It requires professional who understands in converting ‘waste’ to something precious. It takes skills, dedication and deep understanding about redesigning and reprocessing gold.
However, as a conscious buyer, it is important for us to think about the brands’ ethos and sustainability. Many claim to be ‘100% recycled’ or ‘green business’ but we have to be smart.
We have the right to ask or trace the origins of the gold. Is it ‘fairtrade’? What ethical and sustainability certification the businesses have? Who are the workers and what are their working conditions? An ethical recycled jewellery should be able to answer these questions. They should also be transparent about their supply chain.
Gold is a natural renewable resource, so no matter how many times we recycle it, the quality would not degrade. For now, recycled jewellery is a way to limit environment destruction and people abuse.
We prefer supporting businesses that are ethical, sustainable, and transparent. How about you? Would you consider recycled gold jewellery in the future? What questions would you ask to find out the product’s traceability? Share your thought with us! Check our Mam article if you also need an ethical watch! Xx