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SUSTAINABLE JEWELRY: Kirsten Muenster
Kirsten Muenster is a jewelry designer committed to ethical production. Her designs allow the stones’ natural beauty to take center stage, supporting without overwhelming. Similar to good food, when you find something beautiful in nature, a minimal approach is the best way to let it shine. I discovered Kirsten’s jewelry last year and wasn’t sure about the environmental slant, so I inquired. Kirsten responded and I’ll let her following words speak for herself….
“I encourage the use of materials that have the least devastating impact on the environment and it’s people. I don’t use stones like diamonds or tanzanite because they are not well regulated and the sale of these stones has been proven to aid terrorist organizations. I only work with stones whose cultivation does not promote unfair labor practices. I use stones that are mined in the United States by people and dealers I’ve come to know and trust. I do a lot of my own stone cutting from rock mined in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. I also recycle many stones from old or vintage pieces and the fossils in my work are only acquired from privately owned land.
The little gold I do use is mostly for accents on the silver pieces. The gold is all refined using old jewelry from my mother and from clients that want gold in their pieces. Gold mining is a very dirty industry. It is associated with human rights abuses and environmental devastation in third world countries. There is enough “old” gold out there to recycle.
I try to make good choices with my stones, to understand where they come from and whose lives they may impact. I will continue to explore even more conscious and sustainable options for my jewelry materials. I am always open to learning new and better approaches.”
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