What’s in a Word?

Sustainable. We often see this word used to describe jewelry and other consumer goods, and we ask ourselves just what the word means. Is it simply a trendy industry buzzword? Is it meaningful to our customers?

When we think of sustainability in the jewelry collections we sell, we’re referring to something beyond the common practice of designers using precious recycled metals that have been melted after a previous incarnation. At Max’s, social responsibility is of paramount importance in our business practices. When sourcing new designers, we purposely seek out those whose work is handcrafted either in their studio or in a partner studio, not farmed out to offshore factories for mass production, and those who create their collections in an environmentally-safe and conscientious manner.

Many of our designers are members of industry organizations that advocate for safe and fair business practices. They create their work using ethically-sourced gemstones from suppliers whose stones have received certification by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative formed in 2002 as a means of stemming the flow of conflict diamonds.

Additionally, some belong to other industry organizations that support and promote responsible business practices. Designer Todd Reed is a member of No Dirty Gold which advocates for responsible gold mining practices, and Diamond Development Initiative whose certification scheme protects the most vulnerable group of diamond miners and their communities. Jennifer Dawes of Dawes Designs and one of our newest designers, Todd Pownell of TAP by Todd Pownell, are members of Ethical Metalsmiths, the jeweler advocacy group that fosters social and environmental responsibility by supporting ethical mining operations and safe manufacturing processes in their studios. Knowing how principled these hardworking designers are makes us appreciate their exquisite work even more!

This is what sustainable means to us. What does it mean to you?

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