“Sustainable style should always extend to your jewellery choices”, explains Camilla Cottle, the designer behind the luxury handmade jewellery brand, The Silver Stable. In this article, Cottle shares her favourite slow fashion jewellery hacks for sustainable style.
Buy quality, and it will stand the test of time and wear. Buy quality, and it will stand the test of time and wear. For example, choosing sterling silver or solid gold over a piece of jewellery that is ‘silver or gold plated’ will make a difference to how your jewellery looks with wear. Silver and gold plated means that the piece itself is made from another metal with a thin layer of silver or gold plate on top. Over time, the outer precious metal plating will wear thin, and you may find your silver jewellery takes on a different colour as the body of the underlying metal starts to show through.
Choosing a piece of handmade jewellery will always be crafted with precision over a mass-produced machine crafted piece of jewellery. A handcrafted piece of jewellery will also be individual, and choose your jewellery designer wisely, and you could have a nest egg in years to come!
Look after it
It sounds obvious but looking after your jewellery will make the difference. How many of us rarely clean our jewellery, dose ourselves in perfume, creams and oils and then discard in a dish or bathroom cabinet?! Wiping your jewellery over with a soft jewellery cloth and storing it in a velvet pouch or jewellery box will keep it detangled and stored away from air and water exposure which over time can degrade the metal. You will also have it somewhere you can easily find it again!
One of my favourite silver cleaning hacks that is eco-friendly and works is this one:
Cut some tin foil into a large square, enough to line the inside a bowl with the foil, shiny side up, and fill the bowl three-quarters of the way with water. Add a teaspoon of baking powder, a teaspoon of salt and a splash of white vinegar. Pop your silver jewellery in for five minutes, remove, gently dry by padding dry with an old towel or face flannel and polish with a jewellery cloth. Watch that shine return! Don’t try this cleaning hack on jewellery that has precious stones or other metals other than silver.
Mix it up
Keeping your look fresh and up to date is easy. I only have 12 jewellery pieces that I continually rotate and combine depending on my mood or the occasion in my jewellery collection. I’m a massive fan of layering jewellery, and I have designed my collection so that each piece works independently or as part of a bigger jewellery story. The key to layering jewellery is to get the balance right. Think of building your jewellery look with pieces that merge from thin, delicate pieces into larger pieces then onto statement pieces. In addition, you need what I call ‘transitional’ pieces to ensure that the more delicate jewellery pieces don’t get lost against the bolder items.
Images: The Silver Stable