Laura is committed to making jewellery with a difference and she has made it her business to know where all her materials come from. By offering only certified jewellery pieces she aims to empower her customers with the knowledge that they are selecting a genuinely sustainable product.
Here are some of the ways she is making sure Coral Covey Jewellery is ethical and environmentally friendly.
To cast the body of each piece (e.g. the starfish) Laura use 100% reclaimed/recycled sterling silver. Laura employs the help of her local casting firm, Lenrose & Ace David Jewellery in Melbourne to ensure a professional quality. The list of reasons it’s important to use existing metals, and not newly mined ones, are long. The processes involved in retrieving these metals from the ground are dangerous, toxic and often carried out in developing nations where healthcare and fair pay are not enforced, and child labour is common.
The amazing thing about precious metal like silver or gold is that they can be constantly recycled and refined, over and over, forever. Laura purchases the 100% reclaimed/recycled sterling silver from Heraeus Materials Technology GmbH & Co. in Germany (unfortunately distributors in Australia are unable to guarantee that the silver they supply is 100% recycled). This company is committed to making a difference environmentally by salvaging their silver from industry and existing jewellery, refining it to a sterling silver quality, and making it available for re-use. How amazing is that? For further information on Heraeus and how they source their materials please check out their website and see their certificate and code of conduct.
From the conception of Coral Covey, Laura has been committed to power her studio with 100% renewable energy. You will find her studio amongst the rolling hills of St Andrews, with two full banks of solar panels on the roof, both of which supply more than enough energy to power her Studio.
For the storage and power conversion, she employs the help of the Kiwi power provider, Powershop. This company is Australia’s greenest power company (Greenpeace – Green Electricity Guide, 2014, 2015 & 2018) and Australia’s first and only 100% carbon neutral power company, as certified against the requirements of the National Carbon Offset Standard by the Australian Government. For further information on Powershop’s ethos and commitment to renewables, visit their website: Powershop
The Coral Covey packaging is made using recycled paper boxes, 100% cotton ribbon and naturally dyed felt. For details see our packaging section.
Some of the reason I believe strongly about this…
Gold and silver mining is one of the most environmentally and culturally devastating industries worldwide. It has been known to displace communities, contaminate drinking water, poison workers and destroy pure ecosystems.
- To mine the gold for one wedding ring alone can generate up to 20 tons of waste.
- Mine waste can contain as many as three dozen dangerous chemical by-products including cyanide, arsenic, petroleum, lead & mercury. All these chemicals requiring special handling, storage and protection. However many people living and working in developing nations, even children, are mining for gold and silver without any protection.
- The mining industry has some extremely destructive extraction techniques, including ‘heap leaching’. This method drips a cyanide solution through a mountain of ore. The solution strips away the gold and other heavy metals which are collected in a pond. The water is then run through an electro-chemical process to extract gold.
- While some mining by-products are immediately toxic to life on contact, others such as heavy metals, are more insidious in nature and remain in soils for generations. If these soils dry and create dust or the contaminated land is used for agriculture the heavy metals contaminate people through direct inhalation or ingestion of food grown in heavy metal soils. These metals, such as lead and mercury, accumulate in our bodies (and those of the animals we eat) over time leading to severe health problems.
- It is estimated that half of all the gold mined from 1995 to 2015 is likely to have come from native lands, the traditional territories of indigenous people. When mines receive native title approval the anticipated environmental impact is often underestimated or under represented.
References and further reading:
Gold Mining Children – SBS Dateline