At Sophia Alexander, we know how important it is to be environmentally aware and to do every litle thing we can to help combat the climate crisis.
We want to bring you beautiful jewellery and gifts, but at the same time, we don't those gifts to cost the earth!
So, as a small independent company we're continually making changes whenever we can. Slowly and surely making our business model more sustainable.
We really want Sophia Alexander to have the smallest environmental impact possible.
Here are a few of the things we've done so far . . . . .
1. All of the 9ct and 18ct gold we use in our cast-metal designs is 100% recycled gold. This includes all of the different gold shades - yellow, white and rose.
2. We recycle all of our scrap metal whever we use gold and silver wire, sheet and other components.
3. For over 4 years now, we have proudly offered all of our charms and necklaces in certified, ethical 9ct & 18ct yellow and 9ct & 18ct white Fairtrade gold. As soon as rose gold becomes available again, we'll be making gifts from that too!
Fairtrade gold might cost a little extra, but choosing fairtrade gold ensures that miners around the world are paid a fair price for their work.
It helps to ensure safe working conditions and it enables money to be put towards community projects, clean water projects and providing healthcare. It also helps to put protections in place to prevent child labour.
5. We are committed to obtaining our diamonds and gemstones from ethical and environmentally responsible sources. We only source gemstones and diamonds from companies we trust who are able to tell us where they come from. This helps to ensure workers overseas are paid a fair price for their work and are not exposed to dangerous working conditions.
6. We rhodium plate our 9ct white gold pieces because rhodium plating performs a tangible function - It helps to prevent tarnish on the surface of your 9ct gold - but we don't gold plate anything else!
Why? Because we want the pieces we make to last a lifetime. We don't make fast-fashion or throwaway pieces and the nature of gold plate is that it degrades. Regardless of how lovely, bright and shiny is starts off, it always wears off and needs to be replaced every few years (sometimes more often than that depending on wear and tear).
That shiny surface it starts off with - it doesn't last long.
The industrial process of gold plating also environmentally dubious. It involves the use of some fairly dangerous chemicals, including sulphuric acid and the use and disposal of these chemicals has a significant negative impact on the environment.
7. We only produce bespoke, one-off commissions, so apart from the sample pieces we use to show our customers physical examples of what they can buy, we don't produce huge amounts of stock which may or may not be purchased.
8. We have done our very best to replace every hazardous chemical in our studio with an environmentally friendly alternative or a different production method that does not involve the use of chemicals. We choose plant-based, biodegradable cleaners to wash down the studio and we limit the use of polishing compounds to the final finish of our pieces only.
9. We are gruadually replacing jewellery boxes and bags as we run out of what we currently have in stock. The new jewellery boxes and swing bags we have chosen are made from materials that come from an FSC® forest in Indonesia. This means that no more wood is cut down than the forest can reproduce, meaning better protection for the plants and the animals that live there. In addition to this all forestery workers that work there are properly trained. They are provided with appropriate safety equipment and they are paid a fair wage.
10. We are working with Ecologi - an amazing organisation that plants trees via the Eden Reforestation Projects and helps to fund the world's best climate crisis solutions.
This means that every single time you place an order through our website or in person, we make a direct donation to Ecologi.
This donation is then used to plant trees around the world, removing CO2 from the atmosphere and reducing our carbon footprint.
It's a simple way for us to donate some of the money we earn to reforestation projects around the world.
You can watch our Sophia Alexander Ecologi forest growing here
You can see where our trees are being planted, which climate projects we're supporting and learn more about this amazing project. So far, we have helped to protect lowland peat forest in Indonesia and small-scale onshore wind in India.
11. Carbon Positive Employees - Carbon offsetting with Ecologi allows us to offset the entire carbon footprint of each employee. For a small donation every month, trees are planted on behalf of an individual and invested into carbon reduction projects - making them climate positive.
12. Biodegradable bubble wrap! We want your beautiful gift to arrive in your hands in pristine condition, but we don't want the packaging to still be around in 1000 years time (the time it takes traditional plastic bubble wrap to degrade).
the biodegradable bubble wrap we use, typically degrades in around 180 days.
13. We take part in Fashion Revolution Week - Fashion Revolution Week was set up 7 years ago to campaign for better working conditions and transparency in the UK textile supply chain.⠀ ⠀ It was set up as a result of the collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh called Rana Plaza, which killed and injured thousands of textile workers.⠀ ⠀ The Fashion Revolution campaign aims to make people really think about where their clothing comes from and who makes it. ⠀ ⠀ The same goes for your jewellery! ⠀ Where is it made? Was it made using responsibly and ethically sourced materials? It’s our way of making a very small positive difference.⠀💚
So how can we do better? Because we really will try!
We take environmental issues very seriously, but despite putting recycling practices into place and trying to reduce our waste where we can, we know there's always more we can do - and we'd love to hear your suggestions.