These days, it seems like everyone is on the hunt for sustainable fashion. In a world of mass-production and two-day shipping, many people are taking a step back from instant gratification and seeking out timeless, well crafted goods instead. While sustainable fashion comes with plenty of pros, some worry that it’s unaffordable or hard to come by.
Fortunately, there are many accessible ways to hop on the sustainable fashion bandwagon. One of the easiest — and most fun — is through jewelry redesign. Redesigned jewelry, sometimes called upcycled jewelry, is any old jewelry that has been refreshed and restyled by a custom jeweler. Jewelry redesign creates a new piece that still contains the best elements of the original. To talk more about this fascinating form of eco-friendly fashion, we caught up with Andy Cline, owner of Edmonds’ own Cline Jewelers.
“There are three big benefits to jewelry redesign,” says Andy Cline. “One is, of course, the element of sustainability. Another is that you get to keep the memories associated with your old jewelry while still creating something you’d actually like to wear. Finally, it’s a cost-effective way to get jewelry that feels brand new to you, even if it’s not technically new.”
Sustainable Jewelry, Sustainable Style
Whether it’s your old accessories or your dinner leftovers, it’s a shame to let anything go to waste. Think about the time, energy and resources it took to create the vintage jewelry sitting in your jewelry box right now. Someone had to mine the diamonds or gemstones and ship them to the jeweler, who then had to meticulously design, shape and polish the piece. Given all of that, why not do our best to extend this jewelry’s lifespan?
“Some people worry that their vintage jewelry is past its prime,” Andy Cline says. “They see some tarnish or scratches and assume there’s no way to fix it.” As it turns out, that’s not true. “Lots of the older fine jewelry we work with is beautifully crafted,” Cline adds. “A little bit of wear and tear doesn’t mean it’s permanently damaged. It just needs some attention, and you would be amazed at what a professional jeweler can do.”
Jewelry With Meaning
Often, we hang on to old family jewelry simply because it’s imbued with sentimental value. Heirloom jewelry passed down through the generations carries precious memories and stories. Those rings and necklaces from bygone eras may not be our personal style, but we feel too attached to give them away. With jewelry redesign, you can take those old pieces out of storage and turn them into new ones you’ll be proud to show off. By redesigning or upcycling these pieces, you can continue to honor your family’s history while incorporating your own modern style and taste. This fusion of the new with the traditional creates jewelry that is both emotionally significant and visually stunning.
If you’re worried about what to design, Cline recommends simply having fun with it. “Creativity knows no bounds when it comes to jewelry redesign,” he says. “It’s a simple and rewarding way to take those design elements you already love and rework them into something better suited to you.” Whether it’s turning an old brooch into a stunning pendant, combining gemstones from different pieces to create a unique bracelet, or modernizing a vintage ring, the possibilities are endless. This personalized approach ensures that your jewelry is not only gorgeous and meaningful, but also reflects your individuality.
More Sparkle, Less Spending
Redesigning old jewelry can be more cost-effective than buying new pieces. If you want to add some new styles to your collection, jewelry redesign can get you quite a bit of beauty for your buck. Precious metals and gemstones are valuable commodities, and the prices of fine jewelry reflect that fact. Instead, put what someone else already bought to good use! By reusing what you already have on hand, you can significantly reduce the overall cost of your custom-designed jewelry.
“A lot of the heirloom jewelry that people get from their parents or grandparents are luxury, investment pieces,” Cline adds. “In fact, back when they were buying it, they probably had the idea that they’d be passing it down through the generations.” Their investment in fine jewelry means that you have inherited a high quality piece made with high quality materials. Precious metals, diamonds and gemstones, when properly maintained, can easily stand the test of time. If it’s been well cared for, and if you trust your redesign to a professional jeweler, those diamonds and gems can sparkle just as brilliantly now as they did when they were first purchased.
Redesign, Restyle and Repurpose With Cline Jewelers
We all love adding new pieces to our jewelry collection, but maybe it’s time to rethink what we mean by “new.” As the world moves towards more sustainable ways of living, we have a chance to embrace timeless quality and artisan craftsmanship in our fashion choices. Jewelry redesign is a great way to do just that.
If this article reminded you of a few pieces waiting at the back of your closet, dust them off and bring them to your local jeweler: Cline Jewelers, right here in Edmonds. Andy and his team would love to turn them into something you’ll be proud to wear again.