Handmade Vs Mass Produced Jewellery
Mass-produced jewellery is a staple of the high street, many fast fashion retailers stock a wide variety of costume and semi precious jewellery and let's be honest, most people have some because of the convenience, availability and price point of mass-produced jewellery. But how can you tell the difference between handmade and mass produced jewellery?
This can lead to a jewellery boxes packed with badly made, faded or even broken jewellery. Thankfully, there is a way to avoid this inevitable mess and curate an enviable ethically made jewellery collection. We aim to share our top reasons to support small brands and shop handmade rather than mass produced.
Conscious shopping is becoming part of our everyday habits, handcrafted jewellery is the best way to ensure that your next piece is as ethical and sustainable as possible. Independent jewellers are usually small operations meaning it is easier for them to pay attention to where their materials come from and how they are used. Independent business's also benefit from being able to use relatively more local sources and suppliers, meaning your next piece of jewellery has a lower Carbon Footprint.
Value for Money
The cost of making handmade jewellery almost always exceeds that of mass-produced jewellery which is often made of cheaper, lower quality materials like steel, copper and plastics. Although mass produced items can be made using precious metals like gold and silver, the quality and consistency of the materials vary greatly. Handcrafted jewellery usually features high quality precious materials, like platinum, gold and silver, semi-precious stones and diamonds. These can often be traced back to the mined they can from or are recycled adding to the ethical value of the piece. The quality of the materials a piece is made with as well as the craftsmanship of the makers is what makes handcrafted jewellery truly valuable.
The style and design of mass-produced jewellery is dictated by fickle fashion trends and consumer demand. Unfortunately this leads to an inordinate amount of copycat pieces or uninspired, outdated designs. When you support independent designers, you are supporting passionate and talented craftspeople using centuries old techniques. Like artists, independent makers leave their mark on every piece they create, leading to an incredibly diverse marketplace with unique and innovative designs, something for everyones taste.
As handcrafted jewellery is made on a smaller scale, often individually, there is more time available to care for each piece while it's being made. During the mass production process, it is not guaranteed that every piece will be inspected to the same level or at all. Faulty jewellery items can easily pass through quality control, however even if faults are picked up at this point, the jewellery often becomes waste where as jewellers will melt it down and reuse it.
Jewellers are like magicians, there is nothing more incredible than seeing an idea translated into gold or silver. With mass-produced jewellery it can be impossible for you to customise a piece or have a say in the design. Independent jewellers offer jewellery lovers the ability to create a piece that is meaningful and exclusive to you whether it is an engagement ring, wedding bands, sentimental reworking of an heirloom or simply a design you have never seen available before. Plus you know exactly where it comes from behind the scenes.
Often independant jewellery brands are small teams of passionate people who truly love what they do and each order that comes in is important to them and reassures them their hard work is worth it. It can be very difficult to find any information about the people who make the mass produced high street jewellery, their working conditions can be appalling and is often Greenwashed by big brands.
Independent jewellers will always ensure that handcrafted jewellery keeps evolving and improving, with each new craftsperson bringing fresh ideas and methods to the market. If you choose to shop with Wild Fawn you know your jewellery is ethically sourced and sustainably handmade.