Let’s face it: we all want to do our bit for the planet, choosing organic or eco-friendly whenever we can. But when it comes to fashion jewellery, there just isn’t a whole lot out there that’s stylish and ethical.
Stop the clocks! Start the drumroll!
There’s a type of hard nut that’s incredibly similar to ivory in its gorgeous creamy tone and light feel that is becoming one of the most popular new materials used in fashion jewellery.
Not only is it beautiful, but’s it’s also completely environmentally sustainable, helping to create eco-friendly jewellery. In fact, it’s actually helping to save the elephant from extinction as it replaces ivory in people’s affections.
Vegetable ivory (or Tagua as it’s more commonly known in South America) is a seed that comes from a type of palm tree that grows in the Amazon rainforest buy gold in dubai . The seed can be harvested, without causing any damage to the tree or to any local wildlife. It’s then left to harden, and it can then be polished or cut or even dyed to create beautiful pieces of eco-friendly jewellery.
Vegetable ivory jewellery using Tagua discs, chunky beads, blocks or delicate droplets is growing in popularity. The seed can be dyed in any colour under the sun (ideal for fashion jewellery), it’s lightweight (perfect for earrings), and it’s robust and won’t break. What’s more, it won’t change its shape or age with time.
And using vegetable ivory jewellery doesn’t cost the earth. It’s a cheap material, but its harvesting provides work to many thousands of people in South America, helping them to find sustainable uses for the natural riches of the rainforest, which remains threatened by predatory logging and deforestation.
And while demand for vegetable ivory jewellery grows, the pressure on the vulnerable elephant populations of Africa is reduced. The demand for ivory was literally threatening the elephant population with extinction. Just consider that in Kenya between 1973 and 1987, 85% of the country’s elephants were lost to poaching. The situation has improved since the international ban on the ivory trade, but ivory still remains highly desirable.
Don’t rub your eyes if you see fashionistas sporting seed jewellery this season. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Seed-based jewellery is making a huge comeback, after years in the wilderness when seeds were scorned as outmoded ‘hippy’ fashion only worn on communes by the lentil-eating, sackcloth-wearing fraternity.
Seed jewellery is now becoming increasingly fashionable, as the ‘tribal chic’ vibe continues to grow and fashion designers as established as John Galliano for Dior add tribal accents to clothes and accessories.
It’s about how you use the seeds, what materials you mix them with, and the use of colours in jewellery that are turning all those misconceptions about seed-based jewellery on their head. So read on to discover what the score is with seed jewellery:
• Seeds are being mixed with metals to give them a more urban, trendy edge. We’re now seeing seed beads used with brass, silver and copper. In particular, sharp, geometric shapes mixed with the organic forms of natural seeds can be real showstoppers.
• Most seeds do tend to come in natural earthy colours. But if browns, greys and blacks aren’t your style, don’t despair! Seeds such as vegetable ivory (also known as Tagua) can be dyed in any colour, while the Tento seed is naturally a beautiful deep red. So seed jewellery can be colourful!
• Seeds can also be mixed with other precious and semi-precious stones to gorgeous effect. Amethyst, rock crystal, tiger eye and onyx are all hot items to blend with seeds this season.
• As accessories designers take up seed jewellery, we’re seeing the very best of contemporary design applied to seed-based necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The end result is some really sharp design, along with some true classics re-interpreted, such as silver charm bracelets with gorgeous seed charms.
• Mixed with other materials, we’re seeing seed necklaces that can go with your LBD (little black dress), a casual outfit or a ballgown. The fact that sustainably-sourced seeds are eco-friendly only helps to make these seed necklaces real conversation-starters.