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19.03.2022

33

Saskia Shutt

My Dansaert Business Dream is as follows: Sustainability is fundamental to my work. Our planet is under threat from man-made activities. Over-exploitation of natural resources will take generations to resolve. I believe it is important that jewellers are aware of the origins of the materials we use to create our jewels. Transparency is essential.  Currently, there is an increasingly vocal demand for ‘green gold’ that comes from traceable, recycled precious metals, but there is also a demand for ethical gold. For this there are only two organisations working with ethical gold. Responsible precious metals have been available to jewellers for some time: Fairmined precious metals (http://www.fairmined.org/) were established in 2005, Fairtrade Gold (http://www.fairgold.org/) in 2011.  I choose to use these whenever possible in my jewellery.   Gold and silver can be recycled, something I have done since the beginning of my career. The recycling of precious metals is nothing new. It has been practiced for centuries. Scrap material, sourced from the jewellery, giftware, medical and electronics industries, can be transformed in bullion refineries. It can also be transformed in my workshop. Increasingly, much of my business focuses on remodelling customers’ existing jewellery, it’s a practice I have proposed to customer’s for at least 15 years. This has many benefits. Unworn gold jewellery can be taken apart, precious gemstones demounted.  Creating a completely new jewellery piece; the unfashionable can be updated and made wearable. In so doing, the sentimental value of a piece can be preserved, or even enhanced. At the same time, this circular design reduces the impact upon the environment in many ways.