ute decker - sculptural jewellery / jewelry

first steps to green your jewellery

An increasing number of jewellers are changing to more sustainable ways of making jewellery. Below are 10 simple steps you can undertake to join this trend towards a healthier and more environmental friendly way of creating jewellery.

Further information including worldwide suppliers can be found on the resource page of http://www.utedecker.com.


1. metals and stones

CRED Sources offers fair trade/ethical precious metals, traceable diamonds, and fair trade gems. Jewellery by ute decker is made with recycled silver from Cred.
http://www.credsources.com, christian@credjewellery.com

The only suppliers of findings & chain in recycled silver & gold I could discover are A&E Metal Merchants in Australia – double check, though for each item.

gemstone suppliers uk


- offering Columbia Gemhouse stones in the UK -



gemstone suppliers international

Fair Trade Gems – www.fairtradegems.com
Main Home Page – www.columbiagemhouse.com
Open Source Minerals – www.opensourceminerals.com


Additional information and suppliers >

2. studio chemicals

Reduce chemical use in the studio and select less-toxic alternatives for those that can't be avoided.

Use citric acid or vinegar and salt solution as pickle. (see separate fact sheet on  how to mix and use > ). In summary: citric acid (ca) is widely available: supermarket, pharmacy, online. Mix 1 part citric acid  powder with 5 – 10 parts of water. Always add the acid to the water, not the water to the acid. About one cup of vinegar to one teaspoon of salt or slightly more. Use ca & vinegar and salt warm.

go to pickle fact sheet >


3. packaging

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Tiny Box Company offers jewellery packaging, including boxes, tissue papers and bags made from recycled paper.


4. printing

Tips on eco-friendly print design and a list of printers around the UK
www.solopress.com - online ordering facility & quick turnaround (go for eco-options)

http://www.greenhousegraphics.co.uk - for sustainable large format display systems such as printed banner stands and pop up stands.


5. energy

UK 100% renewable electricity suppliers:




6. inform your clients

Talk to clients about why you are striving to work with ethical alternatives. Tell them about the issues.


7. lobby suppliers

Each time you buy anything from a suppliers, do ask whether they have a more ethical alternative, if not, when they are thinking of offering such alternatives. Ask again and again. Let them know what you need. The more of us that ask, the more suppliers become aware of the business case for supplying ethical materials.


8. take part in raising awareness

Sign the no-dirty gold pledge.  http://www.nodirtygold.org.

Forward this information to other jewellers.


9. further reading

See long list of further reading suggestions on ethical jewellery. Fair Trade Jewelry, Marc Choyt’s website is full of information, comments on current developments and lists trade suppliers and resources. In addition he offers a ‘must read’ list for anybody interested in ‘fair trade’ jewellery.


10. stay informed, contribute

You can help expand this list. Send your tips or supplier details to eco@utedecker.com for inclusion in the forthcoming one-stop responsible jewellery website. Until the new website is live, you can sign up to the newsletter below to receive occasional tips, information and updates on suppliers, plans for ethical jewellery exhibitions and awards, the new website and meetings of ethical jewellers.


1. metals and stones >

2. studio chemicals >

3. packaging >

4. printing >

5. energy >

6. inform your clients >

7. lobby suppliers >

8. take part in raising awareness >

9. further reading >

10. stay informed, contribute >



go to pickle fact sheet >


back to
resource page >

ethical jeweller newsletter

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© ute decker, photography elke bock & ulrike trültzsch