ETHICS + SUSTAINABILITY

Bar Jewellery was born from a belief that desirability and sustainability can exist in harmony.

We don’t want to produce products that harm the environment or the people in our supply chain. Every decision that we make, however small is informed by these principles.

We have detailed below as much information as possible, to give you a full overview of how we work.

If you have any questions, suggestions or think that we could improve, please email info@barjewellery.com

DESIGN PROCESS

We keep a close connection to every piece that we produce, each product starts life in our East London studio and is designed by sculpting wax or by hand forming the solid metal.

IN THE STUDIO

In our London based studio, we are committed to instilling sustainable and ethical practices. These practices are always under review and continue to evolve.

We carry out all of our prototyping in house and make positive choices to ensure our practises are as safe and environmentally friendly as possible. For example, we use safety pickle to replace the standard toxic pickle and choose to use a biodegradable alternative to ultrasonic cleaning fluid.

We recycle daily, aim to use less water and try our best to be as sustainable as possible around the studio, all of our waste paper is used as filler for wholesale packaging.

Our space is home to lots of plants that help to purify the air in the office. We operate a relaxed, open and friendly studio environment.

WHERE WE PRODUCE

The majority of pieces we produce are locally cast and hand finished in London, UK either by our manufacturer or in our own studio. We keep in close contact with our manufacturer and visit every few weeks to pick up orders personally or discuss new designs. The factory produces using the lost wax casting method, one of the oldest known metal-forming techniques.

Alongside our range of pieces made in the UK, we also work on complex, hand-formed pieces in collaboration with our factory in Denpasar, Bali. The factory is making significant steps to enrich the local community while building on Bali’s rich history of jewellery making and the immaculate craftsmanship in the region.

The founder of our Bali based factory is originally from New Zealand and built the company after seeing the need for better quality, innovation and ethical standards in Bali. Over the 20 years since starting out, the factory has built a strong connection with the local community and prides itself on ethical and sustainable practices.

The pieces are hand-crafted by artisans who benefit from continual training, along with fair wages and safe working conditions. The factory is committed to improving and contributing to their local area and coordinates with the local village head to recruit locally where possible. They place importance on training unskilled, unemployed locals, empowering them with new skills. Workers are trained and educated to understand the importance of working in a healthy and safe environment.

Before partnering with a supplier, we ask that they provide us with an environmental and social assessment. It is essential to us that all of our factories can supply us with proof that the metal they use is fully recycled. We aim to visit all refineries and factories in our supply chain where possible.

If you are interested in where a specific product is produced, you will find this information in the product description.

THE MATERIALS WE USE

Using recycled materials is of enormous importance to us. We are continually improving and developing the materials we use to make sure that they are as sustainable as possible.

For many years, the mining of metal has been a fundamental process in the jewellery supply chain. The process of mining has a substantial negative impact on its surrounding environments, causing erosion and the contamination of water. Harmful chemicals such as mercury and cyanide are found in the water as a by-product of the mining process. We are aware of the devastating impacts the production of jewellery has on the environment, it is because of this that we are committed to using recycled metals, for which there are reliable certifications. Despite the metal we use being recycled, there is no difference in the look, feel or value from regular silver.

Although the jewellery industry is far behind many other sectors in terms of its sustainability practises, changes are now starting to happen. There is a significant effort from many organisations to ensure these changes are embraced by the industry as a whole, prioritising the use of recycled metal or other positive alternatives, to progress to a higher level of sustainability and ethical practise.

MADE IN LONDON

The silver that we use for all of our London based casting is recycled 925 sterling silver. The metal is sourced by our manufacturer, it is primarily local jewellers over-production, broken and unwanted jewellery, coins and artefacts which are melted down and refined in Birmingham.

For many of our larger pieces, we work with brass. The brass industry throughout the world depends on recycling to survive, since making brass from new copper and zinc would be uneconomical. Our brass is also sourced from Birmingham, where it is recycled and refined.

MADE IN BALI

Our Bali based factory use only 100% recycled silver which is fully traceable. The silver is sourced from the Thai division of an international company, who recover and sell precious metals from various sources such as metal industry scrap, industrial recyclable products, e.g. electronic scrap and car parts. Some of the silver also comes from our factory’s in house scrap recycling processes where no metal goes to waste, any excess silver is collected and melted down to be used again.

The factory also uses brass, which is approximately 65 – 100% recycled, the remaining percentage is sourced from well credited suppliers with good checks and balances.

Our Bali based factory plate some of our pieces in White Rhodium or 18ct gold. White rhodium is used to give brass a bright silver colour and to prevent silver pieces from tarnishing, we use this to give the pieces a bright appearance for longer.

IN HOUSE PLATING

Gold Plating –

18CT Gold plating is used to give the yellow gold colour to our products, the base metal will be either brass or silver (see product description).

Palladium Plating –

Palladium plating gives a bright finish to our silver pieces which prevent them from tarnishing and keeps them looking fresh for longer, for our larger statement pieces we use brass as a base metal with palladium plating to create the silver colour.

The gold and palladium solutions we use are sourced from a company who have the following certifications:

LBMA Good Delivery List for Gold and Silver
LPPM Good Delivery List for Palladium and Platinum
LBMA Responsible Gold

(These certifications confirm that any metals used for casting or plating, do not come from Conflict-Affected and High-risk areas funded by the economic interest for precious metal controls)

Compliant with the Dodd-Frank Act.

(Certifying that any metals used are conflict-free)

CISQ certified (A member of IQNET)

(Guaranteeing uniform behaviour and common guidelines between the various bodies in accordance with the applicable international standards and guides)

EMAS Registered

(A body monitoring and promoting continuous improvement of environmental performance)

In our studio processes, we prefer to use natural alternatives to the strong chemicals used in the jewellery production process where possible.

In some cases, we have been unable to source suppliers for verified recycled chains or small component parts. We are continually sourcing and researching sustainable materials and focussed on improving as our resources grow.

We plate our products in batches, plating days are limited to certain days each month. This reduces any negative environmental impact these materials have on our environment.

PACKAGING

As much as possible, our boxes, packaging and all of our printed material are recycled. Where we are not able to source fully recycled material, it is sourced from sustainable forests, where trees are felled and replaced with seedlings that will eventually grow into mature trees.

The glue, paper and cardboard used in the production of our jewellery boxes are all 100% eco-friendly.

We source our packaging as locally as possible and currently work with manufacturers in the UK and Denmark.

All of our ecommerce packaging is recyclable and plastic-free. For international orders, we are required to add a documents enclosed wallet to the parcel, these are either oxo biodegradable or fully biodegradable.

For our wholesale orders, we use shredded waste paper as fill and recycle packaging sent to us by our factories and suppliers where possible.

We work together with our suppliers encouraging them to be more sustainable in their practices, we ask that our factories re-use packaging where possible.

RECYCLING

We recycle as much as we can, including returning or re-using packaging supplied by our manufacturers so that it can be used again and again.

PEOPLE

We operate a friendly, respectful and relaxed office environment and believe in treating our manufacturers, staff and interns well.

As described above (see ‘where we produce’) the artisans who produce our products are always paid a fair wage.

PRICING

We want to make positive, sustainable products accessible, which is why we keep our prices as low as possible, while ensuring that we pay a fair wage.

SHIPPING

We ship all of our orders via DPD, we choose to work with DPD as they are:

paving the way to a more sustainable business, DrivingChangeTM  is DPD group’s sustainability programme– a programme inherent to who we are and how we do business

DrivingChangeTM

DrivingChangeTM focuses on four priorities where we feel we can make the most meaningful difference within parcel delivery and beyond: by reducing and neutralising our carbon footprint; providing smarter and more efficient urban delivery solutions; driving innovation inside and out; and building meaningful connections in the communities we work with.

At the heart of these four priorities stand to be an Employer of Choice. Providing a mindful, respectful and ethical workplace for all employees and partners is inherent to our business and an aim to which we all contribute in our day-to-day practices.

CUSTOMER CARE

We want your pieces to last forever, we offer re plating / polishing services at a small cost to lengthen the life of each item. Please email us for details.

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