What is recycled silver or Ecosilver?
Ecosilver is an eco-friendly alternative to newly mined silver, made of 100% recycled sterling silver. It is made from old jewellery, medical equipment, electronics and giftware that is melted down and reformed into workable wire, sheet, grain and solder. No purity is lost in the recycling process. Recyled silver is of the same quality as newly mined silver, but dramatically more sustainable.
We sourced our Ecolsilver from UK based company Cooksongold. All their Ecosilver products come with a certificate of authenticity and are certified Sterling silver. We work with this supplier because UK is still subject to EU law (and thus under EU regulations when it comes to environmental policies, waste manegement, working conditions etc,…) and because they include sustainability in their company mission in a very transparent matter.
The Ecosilver is made from melting down and reforming sterling silver scrap in their UK based warehouse in Birminghams jewellery Quarter. The process of creating Eco Silver and Eco Gold is not outsourced to another country or company, thus further helping to reduce Cooksonsgold’s environmental footprint.
Cooksonsgold is part of the Responsible Jewellery Council, the world’s leading standard-setting organisation for the entire jewellery and watch industry, a member of the National Association of Jewellers and holds a certificate of Fairtrade Gold. Fairtrade Certified Gold is the world’s first independent ethical certification system for gold.
Sustainability: Why recycled silver makes a huge difference
When silver is not recycled, it is newly mined.Only +-30% of silver comes from actual silver mines.The remaining 70% comes from projects where silver is a by-product of mining other metals, such as copper, lead and zinc and gold.
Environmental impact of silver mining
Mining causes lots of erosion, releases toxins into the air and contaminates groundwater, soil and surface water by the use of chemicals. Metal mining contributes to climate change as it requires an incredible amount of energy, not to mention the ongoing melting and processing operations which emit greenhouse gases. The landscape is often left with sinkholes and a loss of biodiversity.
Social impact of silver mining
In the countries where minerals are commonly found, companies often exploit the indigenous people by having them work for low wages and in unhealthy and dangerous conditions. Child labour in particular is a big problem in mineral mining. They work both above ground, and underground in mine shafts and tunnels where they risk death or serious injury from landslides, tunnel collapses and explosions. Plus, all the air that they breathe is filled with dust and sometimes toxic gasses.