The company’s environmentally responsible practices have remained the same from day one:  Packing materials are reused, and mailers are 90% post-consumer paper and 100% recyclable.  We offset 300% of our carbon output through www.carbonfund.org. Most importantly, all of the jewelry we produce is handmade in NYC.

How do we keep our manufacturing processes in line with our environmental stance?  We try and re-use materials that were mass-produced in the USA in the 20th century.  Up until the second half of the 1900’s, New England fabricated most of the brass jewelry parts in the USA.  When labor and manufacturing moved overseas, the American factories were shuttered, and surplus charms and chain were put into storage nearby.  We regularly scour the East Coast to uncover these forgotten warehouses and buy dead-stock material in bulk, paying special attention to bizarre, specific, and funny pieces that hint at having their own weird stories.  We like the challenge of basing our designs around our discoveries.  We also find that it’s impossible to duplicate the gorgeous patina that brass acquires over decades of rest.  Using pieces that already exist in the world keeps our costs low and our environmental footprint light. It keeps the collection fresh, too: finite supplies mean our jewelry styles sometimes are limited in quantity.  We do produce some of our jewelry from scratch, and when we need expert help (like with electroplating, casting, traditional stone-setting) we employ like-minded NYC companies, most of which are family businesses.  
We worry about blood diamonds, too.  There's no way to tell if any diamond is "conflict-free", no matter how it's labeled.  But buying an antique diamond ring is not only classy as hell, it can also give you some peace of mind.  By wearing a diamond that was mined over a century ago, you're not investing in or encouraging unfair labor and trade practices now or in the future. 

We believe in responsible employment, and invent standards that we would like to see the rest of America adhere to, too.  We’ve found that providing health insurance and reasonable maternity leave can be prohibitively expensive for an employer, but we do it anyway.  Every year, as a team, we decide which charities we want to fund.  This year, 5% of our after-tax profits will help support NYC public school arts education.  We also have a lot of fun doing this job.  Thanks for supporting us—you’ve given us the freedom to sustain ourselves creatively and financially. 



Want to learn how to do what we do?  Intern with us.  You must be NYC-based and available 2 5-hour days per week.  Internships last 3 months and are unpaid, but we’ll buy you lunch and school credit is usually available (check with your internship office first).    
Email ashley@ericaweiner.com for more information.