Responsible. Recycled. Eco-Friendly Designer Jewelry.
When Minneapolis based jewelry designer, T Lee, began incorporating found objects into her fine gold jewelry line in 1995, searching for sources was simply a matter of walking the city streets and alleys. The ‘Foundies’ line had many collectors from its birth-people that identified with the detritus of city living and the ethical origins of the materials. T Lee added opal scraps cutoffs that were a gift from a gem dealer and gold scrap purchased from her custom clients and the ‘Foundie’ line was born. Dubbed ‘Eco-Chic’ by a regional publication and portrayed by Jason Davis on a local travel show in 1995, she is no new comer to using recycled materials to create beauty.
We actively seek out gem sources that support fair trade pricing, ecologically advanced colored gemstone mining techniques, gem separation, energy consumption, green-house gas emission, land reclamation and rare species protection policies. we work with like-minded gem faceters who monitor mining conditions and personally oversee their own cutting operations.
As for our practices in our Minneapolis manufacturing studio, we are fully committed to the highest standards there also. All clean manufacturing scrap from our custom shop is re used. Floor sweeps, sink sludge and mixed scrap are all reclaimed. All casting investments and cleaning fluids are disposed of properly. Office and kitchen waste is minimized through recycling and composting with very little ending up in the dumpster. We remain committed to promoting sustainable business practices, believing that it is particularly important in an industry whose product is inextricably connected to the earth. “I believe that people are basing more and more of their buying decisions on how ethically responsible a business is run. People want a better world and are using their dollars to show that. They want to support a product that does good AND feels good to buy and wear. The significant meaning of wedding jewelry can only get deeper with the addition of eco friendly practices.” *This process, created to eliminate the flow of “conflict or blood diamonds”, requires participating countries to tightly control the import and export of rough diamonds and to establish control systems over their private sectors that trade in rough diamonds. Additionally, many of our certified diamonds come from the Canadian Arctic and are subject to strict standards set out by the Government of the Northwest Territories that protect the Arctic environment and the mine workers as well. Because colored stones come from all corners of the globe, we work with a select list of sources that uphold fair trade standards and offer an equitable return to the local communities. Whether from privately owned mines or from village co-ops, we have a network of sources the world over than offer the most beautiful and humanely produced gemstones on the planet.
All pieces are hand-fabricated by our expert craftspeople and are constructed using reclaimed and re-refined gold, platinum and palladium.