So many of the items that we buy have ethical alternatives: the shoes we wear, the toiletries we use and the bottles we carry. I bought sustainable dental floss in Brooklyn… on the other end of the spectrum, jewelry is the most discretionary item that we can buy. Let’s face it, it’s pure luxury. Yet, cultures across millennia have worn it, mainly because it affords us daily self-expression and reminds us of the people who gifted it. I love the rose gold pattern on my engagement ring and the pink beads my younger sister strung together for me.
Jewelry production is enigmatic. We buy precious metals by hallmark, diamonds by carat. Despite my “eco-orientation” I’ve honestly given little thought to jewelry’s effect on the environment, the people who make it and how they live. I was excited to work with Alkimee, an ethical jewellery brand that enables endless self-expression. Alkimee is one of the few companies in the world that produce and sell jewelry/jewelry-inspired products made with fairmined metals.
Introducing Alkimee & their Custom Jewelry Design Process
Aiyanna Greene, the founder of Alkimee, creates ethical jewelry and jewelry-inspired products made from recycled and fairmined metals. Certified fairmined metals ensure miners that are often exploited and exposed to health risks, are paid fair market rates and a premium that is invested in developing their worker cooperatives and communities.
As an example, a customized option could be coin jewelry with any symbol, letter, or image – another would be a name necklace.
I chose a coin-inspired pineapple necklace. After deciding on specs, Alkimee sent me a 3D model image. I tweaked a few bits and approved the final design. The average lead time is four to eight weeks and after a few, my necklace arrived. I love that my pendant and chain were made from fairmined 14K gold and the clasp from recycled gold.
Alikimee’s attention to detail makes me so happy. When I received my necklace, I also received some paperwork in envelopes that were closed with a wax seal in the shape of a pineapple! In addition to this, my necklace was packaged with recycled paper and cotton and placed in a little pouch, made from recycled sari silk.
As a social venture selling luxuries to fund necessities, Alkimee makes a donation to a nonprofit or social venture of your choice with each item. You can choose from: Alliance for Responsible Mining, Kiva, human-I-T, Rainforest Trust, PATH, WhyHunger, and Opportunity Fund. I chose the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM). Using my referral code ECOLOG, Alkimee is donating to ARM on my behalf. ARM is the creator of the Fairmined certification program. Worldwide, approximately 20 million artisanal and small-scale miners rely on ARM. They help artisans and small-scale miners adopt safe mining practices, formalize into legal worker cooperatives, and reinvest profits into community development initiatives through their Fairmined certification program.
How Ethical is Alkimee
Alkimee was totally transparent about the origin of each element. For my necklace, the gold for the chain and jump rings were from the Iquira mine and the metal for the pendant was from the La Coqueta mine. Alkimee works with LA-based artisans and a Responsible Jewellery Council-certified manufacturer. It also works with the largest fairmined authorized supplier in the US. Alkimee has the “Butterfly Mark” by Positive Luxury (awarded to luxury brands who demonstrate a positive social and environmental impact). It also offsets its shipping carbon emissions through the Rainforest Trust (this is separate from the donation to your chosen nonprofit).
Alkimee’s products are also available to rent. Options include original Alkimee designs, crowdsourced pieces and vintage jewelry that matches Alkimee’s aesthetic. Like Rent the Runway, this extends the life of existing pieces.
Check out Alkimee
To check out Alkimee’s current collections, click here for its jewelry options.
Custom orders start at $150 and their jewelry-inspired apparel and accessories will be launching in the coming months. Alkimee is also coming out with ethically-sourced metal headphones, which I want to check out.
I’d like to say thank you to Alkimee for sponsoring this post and as always, all opinions are my own.