There has been a growing awareness about the importance of slow fashion as more consumers take a sustainable approach to their wardrobes. However clothing is not the only commodity that can be wasteful. Slow fashion should extend to all areas of the industry, including jewellery.

In honour of World Environment Day on Wednesday 5 June, Sydney jeweller Fairina Cheng launched Trinkets, a range of precious metal jewellery about mindful consumption. “Trinkets is a collection that takes inspiration from the treasures we pick up from childhood to adulthood,” Cheng said. “Both the silver and gold used to create Trinkets are reclaimed from leftover precious metals.”

Cheng’s passion for sustainability is shown through her tips on how to buy jewellery that is kinder to the planet. She advises  to buy from small designers since they create less wastage than larger brands. “While this isn’t a guarantee that they value sustainability, it’s a good place to start,” said Cheng.

Another suggestion was to choose pieces made with recycled metals. “Choose brands who reuse their metal scraps,” said Cheng. “Trinkets uses recycled sterling silver and 18 carat gold melted down from off-cuts, so nothing goes to waste.”

Chemicals used during manufacturing were also mentioned. Sulphuric acid can be used for cleaning jewellery and cyanide and mercury for metal refining. “Choose jewellers that substitute harsh chemicals with environmentally friendly options,” said Cheng. “I know it’s hard, but sometimes it’s the act of buying that leads to excessive waste. Before you buy, ask yourself: Do I really want it? As a jeweller, I want to see my pieces go to people who will love them for life. The beauty of high quality jewellery is that it’s built to last, so buy with that philosophy in mind.”

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