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Environmental sound casting


#1

Hello: A retailer approached me about a wholesale order. They said
to be in their stores however I need to be able to prove an awareness
and respect for the environment, including choice of materials and
production techniques.

This raises an interesting question. Can silver and gold be cast in
a respectful way to nature? Is traditional casting process
respectful to nature? What about standard polishing?

This just sounds like an interesting premise. Would love to hear
from the rest of y’all on this.

DeDe Sullivan
dedemetal jewelry
PR 101 for Jewelers


#2

Hello: A retailer approached me about a wholesale order. They said
to be in their stores however I need to be able to prove an awareness
and respect for the environment, including choice of materials and
production techniques.

This raises an interesting question. Can silver and gold be cast in
a respectful way to nature? Is traditional casting process
respectful to nature? What about standard polishing?

This just sounds like an interesting premise. Would love to hear
from the rest of y’all on this.

DeDe Sullivan
dedemetal jewelry
PR 101 for Jewelers


#3

Hi DeDe,

     They said to be in their stores however I need to be able to
prove an awareness and respect for the environment, including
choice of materials and production techniques. 

If it were me, I’d ask them to see their list of ‘acceptable
materials & processes’. Could be they don’t have any idea what
they’re talking about. It sounds like an open ended question to me
& they could reject your stuff for any reason what so ever.

Dave


#4
If it were me, I'd ask them to see their list of 'acceptable
materials & processes'. Could be they don't have any idea what
they're talking about.  It sounds like an open ended question to me
& they could reject your stuff for any reason what so ever. " 

Thanks for your post Dave…I was wondering how to say what I
wanted to say in a nice way. You did it for me. Personally, while I
support the environment and do what I can to preclude harming it, I
do not believe it is for anyone with whom I do business to tell me
that I have to prove anything to them except my ability to produce an
outstanding product. Doesn’t sound to me much like they want to do
business with ANYONE!

Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple elegance IS
fine jewelry! @coralnut1


#5
 This raises an interesting question. Can silver and gold be cast
in a respectful way to nature?  Is traditional casting process
respectful to nature? What about standard polishing? 

Actually, The answer is yes… There are ways to do almost any job in
an ecological manner. Casting can be done in this way, but many
manufacturers don’t. Many companies use “bombing” , a cyanide based
method to remove firescale after casting… and as a result, some
companies dump their cyanides down the drain or use improper
/incorrect methods to destroy the cyanide before dumping. Silver ,
left over from the bombing …if it gets into the sewage system,
will cause major problems in many sewage plants.

Disposal methods for Casting investments can also be done in a
correct manner a ccording to your state laws… many do not follow
this, or are not aware of the laws.

Many companies do not steam dewax, so the majority of their wax goes
up the chute.

Your lucky DeDe, You can tell your customer that your castings are
done as ecologically as possible. We don’t use any dangerous
chemicals of anykind … recover our wax and reuse it for different
purposes, dispose of our investment according to state disposal laws
we are in the process of finding other uses for used investment and
90 % of the water we use in all other processes are reused through
various methods until the final amount evaporates.

So, Yes,It can be done… Daniel Grandi Racecar Jewelry Co.
Inc. We do casting, finishing , molds, models, enamel, soldering,
assembly for designers ,students, jewelers and people in the trade .
contact: sales@racecarjewelry.com


#6
Personally, while I support the environment and do what I can to
preclude harming it, I do not believe it is for anyone with whom I
do business to tell me that I have to prove anything to them
except my ability to produce an outstanding product 

I am surprised by the comments in this vein. Certainly it may be
that they do not want to do business (which really does not make
sense), however, I personally think it is just part of a national
trend. Everywhere I go I see products and food widely advertised as
organic. Even hair care- think Aveda. I like the idea of jewelry
produced in a way that is environmentally friendly and believe it
would be an excellent selling tool to be able to describe it as
such. Which, is exactly why they will need to know the complete
process so that they can train their sales staff to promote it and
be able to answer the end consumers questions and concerns regarding
the process. I just purchased a new line of organic cleaners for my
home Tues. night and happily paid a bit more to have it. I believe
jewelry produced in an environmentally friendly way is- cutting
edge. It would be too bad for all of us not to consider this concept
by jumping to a negative conclusion.

Angie


#7

It doesn’t seem to me that creating a great product should be any
excuse for messing up the world to do it. Some stores build their
reputation on selling features as much as merchandise. There are
those that sell products from 3rd world cottage industry. There are
those who specialize in ‘environmentally friendly’ products. While
they may not need to know every minute detail of manufacturing, they
do need to know that the products are in line with the company’s
stated policies. They also need to know enough to promote the
benefits of the product, especially if these manufacturing processes
raise the cost compared to similar products elsewhere. I don’t see
much difference in the concept of selling up to ‘environmentally
friendly’ versus the old and dirtier methods and the concept of
selling up to ‘locally handcrafted unique jewelry’ versus imported
sweat shop lower quality mass production. I following the threads on
environmental concerns, I have found a lot that I have never even
thought of. I’ve always concerned myself with the acids, cyanide,
fluxes, etc. I’ve never really thought about things like polish
compounds and the like, at least not beyond sending things to a
refiner. Jim


#8

Angie and All, I have no argument with what you say except we seem to
be mixing our fruit a bit. The original message said, “They said to
be in their stores however I need to be able to prove an awareness and
respect for the environment, including choice of materials and
production techniques.”

If it had said something like, “…they asked me how I did this and
did that (i.e., specific processes) so their sales people could
explain to and assure their clientel the items they sell are created
in as environmentally friendly a way as possible,” I might go along
with it.

Unfortunately, what Dave said is all too true. My awareness and
respect may be your disrespect, my choice of materials and production
techniques may be another’s trash. In the first place, I wonder if
the people requiring proof have even a basic understanding of the
techniques used in making jewelry, cutting stones, etc. For example,
if I told such a person that I pour my stone leavings around my
plants they might gasp in horror…but my plants love it and
thrive on the nutrients in the rock dust!! So, who is correct?

I believe there can be healthy discourse between producer and buyer
but somewhere along the line there has to be a mutual understanding
and trust that each is in agreement with the other’s views. Requiring
proof of this or that does not fit this scenerio.

You mentioned paying a bit more for your organic cleaners. How much
more is a client willing to pay for 'environmentally produced’
jewelry? I mean, when they take the fat out of food they charge
10%-15% more. If I go to the bother of finding and using citric acid
vs Sparex (including the time used due to the slower action) is John
Q Public going to understand that and be willing to fork out
additional dinars? I don’t mean to sound negative…its just that
we have had many many discussions already on Orchid about how the
public is unwilling to pay an extra buck or two for hand crafted
jewelry. Are they going to be willing to learn (or care) about how a
ring or pendant is made? If the environmentally conscious knew more
about the environmental calamity created from extracting the noble
metal used in their jewelry, they would probably not purchase jewelry
in the first place! What say you all?

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1


#9

Hi All, I am a carver that produces small pieces in silver that are
worn as jewelry. I am also an ecologist with all the degrees and
years of field experience to boot. To me this is a very important
discussion. As with some of the previous contributors I would love
to know what this store has in mind. I have also been concerned
with the casting process and the chasing process but above all I am
concerned about the mining process. Mining for precious metals
rips up the land and introduces horrendous toxins in to the earth
and, in one situation I am personally aware of in Ecuador, destroys
both forest and farmland in thr process. There are noxious
materials used at all levels in this business and if there was a way
to diminish the nasty impact I would love to know about it.

In the end it may not be possible for us to produce a perfectly
’clean’ product but maybe we could do better than we are now and
maybe stores like these will help to make us look at our impact on
our world in new ways.

So, Dede Sullivan, do you have any clue as to what standards they
have and how they meet them?

Hopefully yours,
Richard Malenky


#10

I’m new to the Jewelry industry, but I am not new to the business
world. There are some very significant trends Re: “Environmentally
Friendly” trends that are important to be aware of. There is a
defined market category termed “Lifestyles of Health and
Sustainability (LOHAS)”. This is a $32 BILLION year market place,
growing at 10% a year in the US alone. The key concept is creating
products in a “sustainable” way, i.e., ways that do not impact the
environment, people (e.g., anti sweatshop and paying a livable wage),
AND are profitable. Impossible to hit all three? Wrong. Humanity
has barely begun to be innovative about taking a
sustainability-ensured, 3-pronged approach to manufacturing. Those
enterprising souls who figure out how to minimize impact on the
people, the planet, AND creating profitable wares (jewelry in our
case) are going to jump to the head of the pack. Don’t believe me?
Check out www.lohasjournal.com Bev Sue Powers, Evolution Jewels


#11

There is an ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation)
Standard for environmental quality. I can’t remember the exact
title. I think the standard is ISO 14000. Broadly speaking, to
achieve accreditation you have to demonstrate that you have
documented procedures and proof that you implement them so that as
well as complying with all applicable laws you are also working at or
towards best commercial practice for the particular industry that you
are running. Once accredited you can use the ISO logo and
certification number in you company stationery and advertising.
There are regular ongoing checks too, to make sure you don’t slip
into sloppy ways!

Achieving accreditation is a time consuming business, and is
unlikely to be worth the cost for a small business. But, it may well
be worthwhile spending just a little to get a copy of the Standard to
see what is involved. Same comments apply to the ISO Standards for
Quality Control, the ISO 9000 series.

Think global, act local. (E. F. Schumacher)

Kevin (NW England, UK)


#12

AJM magazine did an article on the ISO 14000 standard when it was
introduced, in the April 1998 issue (page 54). The article is called
"The Greening of ISO" and is by Joseph Karabots.

You may also be interested in an In the Shop column published in May
2000 in AJM entitled “Going Green” about establishing an
environmental management system. The article, found on page 66, is by
James McCaughey.

To order copies of past AJM articles, visit
http://www.AJM-Magazine.com and look for them in the Article Index.
Reprints are free for MJSA members and $5 per article for
non-members.

Hope that helps!
Suzanne
Suzanne Wade
Writer/Editor
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255
@Suzanne_Wade1
http://www.rswade.net


#13
     There is an ISO (International Organisation for
Standardisation) Standard for environmental quality.  

OK Folks. Am probably going to get myself into trouble here but the
company I worked for looked into the ISO ratings for manufacture
design [I believe ISO-9002]. I was responsible for working with the
separate departments and actually creating the paperwork that was
going to be followed: Quality Manual, Test Procedures, Inventory
Control, Work Standards, etc. In our case we designed the product
[not jewelry] and had it made overseas.

What we found was basically that yes, the ISO rating carries a lot
of prestige and is recognized all over the world. If you have the
ISO rating a prospective customer feels confident in doing business
with you [sort of like the Good Housekeeping or UL rating but
global].

It takes an incredible amount of hours to set up the guidelines /
paperwork of how the business is run. Procedures such as design
approval, ordering materials, receiving, quality control,
manufacture, storage, and shipping are addressed. You get the idea.
All procedures are documented plus forms are created to prove that
the procedures are followed.

The company must pay to have themselves audited for ISO compliance
and again for periodical checking to prove that they are following
the standards.

And here was the kicker - ISO only says that company procedures will
be stated and followed and that the company has proven that they are
doing this. ISO does not create the standards, only that "standards"
are being followed. To be ludicrous, Company “A” could state that
their goal is to produce the lightest weight jewelry, in the lowest
karat, with the thinnest plating and will follow up on customer
complaints within 6 months. If their documentation proves that that
is what they are doing then technically they qualify for ISO.

It all comes down to customer satisfaction. With or without the ISO
blessing it is everyone’s best interest to conduct business to the
best standards you are capable of.

Orchid Rules! Karla in So. California


#14
 OK Folks. Am probably going to get myself into trouble here but
the company I worked for looked into the ISO ratings for
manufacture design [I believe ISO-9002]. 

Hi Karla. You’ve given a very useful explanation of the ins and
outs of the ISO Quality Assurance approach, and I agree totally. To
emphasis the main point, the Standard is about setting certain
quality levels AS REQUIRED BY THE CUSTOMER. There are two sayings in
the Quality world (well, there are lots, but two will do for this
discussion):

“Quality is … fitness for purpose”

“Say what you do, and do what you say”

The first means that real quality is a matter of fulfilling, but not
exceeding, your customers requirements. Parts of the Standard are
concerned with ensuring that you understand what your customer
wants. If they want 14ct there’s no point in supplying 18ct, to give
a perhaps silly example.

The second is intended to calm down those who are given the task of
writing the Quality Manual.

Very few companies go down the route of accreditation voluntarily.
It’s usually forced upon them by their customers. If you are
involved in making one-of-a-kind jewellery items it will almost
certainly not bring you any benefits. But, to repeat what I said
earlier, it could well be worthwhile to read through the Standard and
maybe pick up on one or two ideas. And the same thoughts apply to
the Environmental Standard too, which is how this topic first came to
be discussed.

Kevin (NW England, UK)