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The Green Life: Eco Fashion Week -- Ethical Jewelry

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September 04, 2008

Eco Fashion Week -- Ethical Jewelry

Beads With hundreds of new designs hitting runways in New York City this week, you can give your style a fashionably green flair with these tips--no catwalk required.

Tip #3: Give unwanted jewelry a makeover

Determined to declutter? Mad about mining? Then the nonprofit Ethical Metalsmiths has a project for you: A Radical Jewelry Makeover, in which artists recycle donated jewelry into new designs--eliminating the pollution-heavy step of mining for new metals. The group has asked San Francisco Bay Area residents to "mine" their homes for unwanted gold, silver, and other jewelry and drop off or mail the pieces to collection sites before September 11. Students learning the art of designing jewelry with alternative materials will then handcraft new pieces for a fall gallery exhibit, where donors can use discount coupons to buy the madeover metals. Those who buy the jewelry will help support Ethical Metalsmiths' mining reform efforts.

If you're not in San Francisco, take heart: Ethical Metalsmiths has organized similar projects in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Richmond, Virginia (you can check out the designs here), and your town could be next. In the meantime, consider connecting with local art schools, cooperatives, or metalsmiths that can update your outmoded jewelry or organizing your own swap fest with friends. Bead strands can be cut apart and given to kids or crafty types for reincarnation.

Share your tips and stories: What do you do with unwanted jewelry? Where have you found your favorite pieces?

::via ecofabulous

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