I have been making jewelry for a few years, but it has really only been a hobby. Now, I feel ready to try and take it a step further and make some really high quality and unique pieces to sell. Since, I have become more conscious of how my actions impact the earth, I have decided to use eco friendly and fair trade materials. Surprisingly, they are not hard to find. I am planning to start with Tagua Nut beads, which are also called vegetable ivory. This is an eco friendly alternative to ivory, harvested from seeds of palm trees in South American rainforests. Harvesting involves no killing or injury to animals. In fact, the seeds when ripe, fall to the ground and are gathered and dried from 1 to 2 months. How cool is that?? No heavy machinery, no slaughtering of animals and from what I've read, the harvesters are paid fairly for their labor. I do realize that it has to be shipped to America, but unfortunately no Tagua Nuts are found in the USA.
I am also planning to use recycled sterling silver and gold in my pieces. I have found a few suppliers, but am continuing to look. I will update my progress.