In The Studio, Upcycling, Vintage Jewelry

What’s Your Supply Chain?

So robots are now taking over the world, but we still don’t know basic life transactional stuff. Like, what’s the supply chain for your favorite\most used stuff?

“The supply chain is the interconnected journey that raw materials, components, and goods take before their assembly and sale to customers.” McKinsey & Co.

Why is the Supply Chain Important?

That interconnected journey contains many points where decisions and consequences are made. The people working all along the supply chain have the choice to do things nicely for people and the world we live in or be heinous. Mining, factories, pollution… yeah, that’s all overwhelming stuff to consider. And man does it suck when someone we thought was a goody guy turns out to be a jerk.

But for me, I just want to do my best. And all the challenges that come when I have to walk away from a specific supply can be flipped into new creative challenges where I get to push myself not only as a person but also as a creator. For instance, I no longer want to acquire new gemstones as the industry is FULL of child labor. Previously I have bought from dealers who traveled and witnessed work conditions, so I was okay with those gemstones. But now I buy used and am learning to use enamel (which likely has its own toxic footprint).

What Do I Want in My Supply Chain?

  • Minimal damage to the environment
  • Firm avoidance of damage to workers
  • Fair wages and treatment of workers
  • Locally made\sourced to reduce carbon footprint
  • Sustainable materials that can be reused or I am already reusing

Fact: A lot of the materials and products we buy are acquired with dubious and\or heinous practices. 

There is an ancient prayer that goes: ‘O [Higher Power], praise is to You. You have clothed me. I ask You for its goodness and the goodness of what it has been made for, and I seek Your protection from the evil of it and the evil of what it has been made for.’ These challenges have long existed for humankind. 

I absolutely cannot insist that my Ꞩ*¡𐤳 doesn’t stink as so many of the alleyways on supply chains are hidden. But I do educate myself, ask questions, double and quadruple check details, and try my best to reduce my own negative impact on the earth and its beings.

There aren’t too many documentaries on the specific practices related to jewelry-making, but here are twelve great documentaries on sustainable fashion, which is a great starting point for understanding these issues. 

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