Jewelry goes 'green'

New materials, aluminum and light titanium, gaining momentum

(by Patrizia Vacalebri) (ANSA) - Rome, September 29 - On-trend jewelry is going 'green' with new materials gaining momentum.
    Aluminum is one of the metals increasingly used by designers.
    Though it is hard to imagine an aluminum piece in the window of a jeweler's shop, this highly malleable metal enables to create innovative and complex designs and has great resilience.
    Light titanium is another "alternative" material that is increasingly popular for its light-weight quality, along with copper, which offers great chromatic nuances for refined pieces.
    Chrystal, which has long been a favorite of jewelers for its lightness and transparency, is also gaining traction as the setting for precious stones. Along with platinum, gold and silver, jewelers are using new materials to test boundaries, innovate and satisfy a younger clientele with an eye to sustainability, a must at the last edition of Vicenzaoro, an international jewelry trade fair that took place this week in the northern city of Vicenza, organized by the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG).
    Indeed a key theme at the trade fair on September 23-27 was 'green jewelry'.
    Jewelers are becoming conscious of the social and political responsibility in sourcing materials used by producers worldwide, particularly in relation to new European Union legislation aimed at stopping the financing of armed groups through the trade in conflict minerals, which will become effective in 2021.
    The law, among other things, is aimed at stopping global and EU smelters and refiners from using conflict minerals and metals. And Italian companies willing to promote sustainability will become increasingly competitive on international markets as Corporate Social Responsibility is taking a lead role in the sector through the traceability of materials, ethical trade, the preservation of the environment and the promotion of labor rights.
    Promoters of the 'green jewelry' trend in Vicenza included Caterina Occhio, founder of the "SeeMe" brand of heart-shaped ethical jewelry made by single mothers in the Middle East and North Africa (Tunisia and Turkey in particular).
    Jennifer Ewah was also present as the founder and creative director of "Eden Diodati", a London-based jewelry brand which produces its collections in cooperation with women who survived genocide in Rwanda, and Gaetano Cavalieri, president of CIBJO, the World Jewelry Confederation.