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Artisan Jewelry and Sustainability

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Artisan Jewelry and Sustainability

Cornelia Lively started as an artisan jewelry company long before the idea of slow fashion was formalized in either concept or scope. Today, with our mission to work, decision by decision, for a more mindfully created, conscious wardrobe, what began as devotion to craftsmanship and protection of artisan work is now a core component of the sustainable journey.

What exactly is the “sustainable journey”? With the fashion industry, particularly “fast fashion”, contributing as much as 10% of the globes’ carbon emissions behind energy and food production, the sustainable journey truly must include thoughts on clothing consumption. Quite simply, what we wear and how we purchase make a difference. 

Just looking at the fact of garment usage, down by 36% in 15 years (, the values of longevity and quality become increasingly important. The more we are able to keep and use clothing, not giving in to a "throw away" mentality, the better we serve the planet. Textile waste in landfills is a staggering world-wide issue.   

This is where we feel artisan jewelry intersects with the sustainability movement, providing one small micro solution, and becoming part of the macro conversation.  Take a favorite monochromatic dress, black t-shirt, go-to tank and jeans, or vintage find and add high-impact, hand-made artisan jewelry for a new take on what you already own.  

large sterling silver cuff bracelet with antique patina and beads

As Elizabeth Cline mentions in her many podcasts and articles on the future of sustainability and fashion, we can’t buy our way to sustainability.  Agreed.  Fantastic styling, especially using what hangs before us in our closets every day, is thus a worthy ideal.  And what does a good stylist need?  Accessories.   

Of course purchasing will not and should not become obsolete, just mindful. Be it for the sake of the story of the piece, the way the piece adds a newness to what is already owned, or the commitment to protecting the small businesses behind artisan work, there's more going on, not just consumption for trend.  After all, it is the nature of our humanity - to create, to adorn, and to acquire - and to that end, be it idealism or not, there just may be a way in which progress is made in a world of mindful closet curation.  

Most of all, we believe there is both practicality and honor in preserving traditional jewelry, made by hand, much of the process passed down from one generation to the next.   In a world on the brink of an AI revolution, the traditional techniques and individual spirit imbued in artisan jewelry becomes all the more precious. 

To a greener style and the patience it takes to get it right,