Wherever possible, I use recycled metal, not newly-mined. I want my jewellery to contribute as little as possible to the detrimental effect mining has on the environment.
Unfortunately chains and certain findings such as earring backs are just not yet available in recycled metal. However, I do make my own findings where I can, and the main body of each piece - and even the solder used - is recycled.
Many jewellery workshops use tools and equipment containing animal products - such as rawhide hammers, beeswax blocks, and polishing compounds bound with animal fats.
I want to exclude exploitation of animals in my workshop. So in line with vegan principles, I'm pleased to say that as of 2018, I have finished replacing all of my older tools containing animal products for new ones without. I use no animal components (leather, suede, pearl, shell) in the embellishment of my jewellery.
The jewellery boxes I use are made from card here in Scotland. The card can be recycled (or reused). Any tissue paper and postal boxes I use are made from recycled materials, and the bubblewrap is biodegradable.
I outsource only two processes to other small businesses in the UK – part of the casting process for the designs in my main collections, and on occasion, gold plating. I make the original masters for each design by hand, using traditional techniques, and hand-finish every piece of jewellery back in my Dundee workshop.
Business stationery and workshop consumables are purchased from UK based suppliers.
Where possible, workshop waste is recycled, and where possible, I opt for eco-friendly alternatives to the usual harsh jewellery workshop chemicals.