What being a Sustainable Jewellery Brand looks like at CQJ

Sustainable jewellery, eco conscious jewellery, ethical jewellery.

These terms are used a lot to describe jewellery, fashion and other various brands throughout the world, and it seems that they can mean different things to different people… so what does being and eco conscious brand mean to Clare Quinlan Jewellery?

Have a ready below to check out the steps we are taking to create sustainable jewellery that aims to protect people and planet.

Slow fashion ethos

Slow fashion is the antithesis to the fast fashion movement. It is estimated that for every 5 items bought by the average American, 3 items are discarded, and a new item of clothing bought every 5 days! (Forbes, 2021).

Slow fashion is about buying less… about buying quality pieces that will last a lifetime (or longer). There is nothing trend based about a slow ethos. When you invest in slow fashion, you are taking a stand to choose quality over quantity, understanding that less is more and you consider the environmental and social impact the pieces your choose to purchase and wear.

The slow fashion movement is pushing back and focusing on trendless designs and premium, long lasting products. While the slow fashion movement is primarily focused on clothing and garments, I feel that there is a lot of cheap, mass produced costume jewellery that is worn and enjoyed for a season and then either finds its way to bottom of the jewellery box or ends up in landfill.

Clare Quinlan Jewellery has been designed and created by hand and heart in Clare’s Melbourne based studio. Her designs are created to last a lifetime (or longer) and to be worn with every adventure – whether that is to the shops, school pick up or the office, or on your next date night, girls night out or the highly anticipated adventure.

Precious Metals

We use recycled precious metals for our designs, including sterling silver, reusing waste and offcuts for embellishments and smaller designs.

Our precious metals are sourced from certified responsible refiners that are compliant with standards set by organisations such as the London Bullion Market Association LBMA Responsible Gold Guidance and the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. This accreditation certifies that the precious metal used in Clare Quinlan Jewellery is sourced in a way that does not cause, support, or benefit unlawful conflict, or contribute to serious human rights abuses or breaches of international law. Our supplier of precious metals is the only Australian organisation certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) as a jewellery manufacturer and wholesaler

We continue to work with our suppliers and source new suppliers to increase the recycled materials in our designs. Current disruptions in the supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the availability of recycled precious metals.

Clare Quinlan Jewellery remains committed to sourcing recycled materials when possible.

Semi Precious Stones

We source our semi precious gems from a variety of places. Majority come from small, mostly family run lapidary businesses, who cut and sell their gems individually from India.

While it can often be difficult to trace the origin of the gems and track the conditions under which they were mined, we strive to obtain the most environmentally friendly sourced gems possible and continue to source ethically mined and cut gemstones.

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Fresh out of school, Clare went to uni and studied Marine Biology and Zoology. Fascinated from a young age with plants and creatures from the ocean, much inspiration is drawn for CQ designs, such as from diatoms, ctenophores and coral at the micro level.

Our planet needs healthy oceans to survive and healthy oceans need healthy reefs. Our oceans provide 50% of the world’s oxygen, their coral reefs support 25% of all marine life and coastal blue carbon ecosystems store carbon dioxide 30-50 times faster than forests.

Clare Quinlan Jewellery has partnered with The Great Barrier Reef Foundation to grow and plant coral to help rebuild our reef. By purchasing pieces from the Biome Collection and One Of A Kind pieces, 1% from the sale of each piece will go to the foundation.

Beautiful jewellery for you, 1% for the planet.

One Tree Planted

Clare Quinlan Jewellery have partnered with One Tree Planted, a non-profit group dedicated to global reforestation – to plant one tree for every piece sold from the Basic Elements, Desert Wanderings and Everyday Basics collections.

Trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and provide habitat to over 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. Forests provide jobs to over 1.6 billion people, absorb harmful carbon from the atmosphere, and are key ingredients in 25% of all medicines. 

There are six key pillars to why trees are so vital: AIR, WATER, BIODIVERSITY, SOCIAL IMPACT, HEALTH & CLIMATE. One Tree Planted also raise awareness about the importance of trees, offer businesses like ours a simple sustainability solution, and motivate younger generations to do something positive for the environment.

With the new trees made available by your purchase, we will work with One Tree Planted to focus reforestation primarily in Australia, where projects are restoring forests following the destruction of the Black Summer bushfires; are rejuvenating critical habitat for wildlife like koalas and cockatoos; and safeguarding community watersheds through restoration of indigenous tree species.

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I believe that a life well lived is a life filled with experiences, adventures, people, milestones, love, laughter, tears, lessons learnt and their many, many stories.
And I believe that jewellery is a symbol, a talisman of these stories, holding memories and tales from the many adventures of your life.