Sustainable Jewelry: Chemicals I Avoid to Keep Myself and the Planet Healthy
To continue to share with you all the ways in which I aim to make Talāyee as sustainable as possible as a Fine Jewelry Business, today I want to share with you all the chemicals I try to avoid.
My studio is constantly evolving to support sustainable, earth friendly practices. Avoiding toxic chemicals is an important part of the sustainability goals I've set. Below are some of the steps I've taken:
- Flux is a substance that helps protect a piece from heat damage and helps solder flow. I use fluoride and chloride free flux. This ensures that as I'm cleaning and disposing of solutions in my studio, I'm keeping harmful chemicals out of our water systems.
- Solder is a metal compound that joins to pieces of metal together when high temperature flame is applied. I use cadmium free solder. Cadmium can be found in tiny amounts naturally in our soil, food, water, and air. But larger amounts can be harmful. Using cadmium free solder ensures that I'm not supporting processes that result in an excess of cadmium found in our food and water supplies.
- Pickle is a liquid solution that helps clean the metal of your jewelry piece once I'm finished with the soldering process. I use a citric acid based pickle. You may be familiar with citric acid as it is naturally found in citrus fruits, like lemons. Using a citric acid based pickle ensures that when I'm disposing of the solution it will be biodegradable.
- In the final steps of preparing your piece, it goes through various cleaning steps. I use biodegradable soaps, so again, harmful chemicals are not being introduced into our water systems.
The above steps ensure that I'm keeping myself and our planet safe through the jewelry making process. The added benefit of my made to order business model also ensures that a very limited amount of these safer solutions even enter our shared water and food systems in the first place. It's important to me that when you're enjoying your Talāyee jewelry, you're also confident in the thought and care that's put into it from a societal perspective!