One of fashion’s most pressing topics of discussion in 2018 was how to cut back on the industry’s excessive waste while still creating new products. Everlane introduced a collection made entirely of recycled plastic bottles, brands like Burberry and H&M signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to reduce plastic pollution, and now, an up-and-coming earring brand is looking to expand the eco-conscious mission to the jewelry industry.
Christina Tung didn't exactly mean to create her own sustainable jewelry brand. But while stuck inside on a rainy Memorial Day Weekend, the fashion publicist decided to play around and make a few pieces of jewelry for friends. After someone posted the earrings on Instagram, requests started flooding in from buyers and industry insiders and soon after, SVNR (pronounced souvenir) was born. Made entirely of repurposed beads, shells, and natural materials, the rising brand is bringing a new range of unique, handmade earrings to the jewelry scene-without placing a burden on the environment.
"I use exclusively natural materials and upcycled and repurposed beads, mostly from my mom, aunties, and friends who've been donating their collections of shells, beads, etc. If you know me, you know I hate waste, I think that everything can be re-purposed or re-used in some way. Being zero waste right now is a very important part of my process," Tung told BAZAAR.com.
In fact, the designer's dedication to creatively up-cycle all of SVNR's earrings has generated virtually no pollution at all. "In the last 6 months, SVNR hasn't even accumulated enough trash to fill a Ziploc bag. The world doesn't need more stuff, but we can make something cute from already existing stuff and hopefully ease the footprint on the environment," she revealed.
The earrings, which are sold individually or as pairs, range in price from $40 - $150. Along with the recycled component, SVNR's designs are also special in another way: they each pay nod to a mix of cultures across the globe. With styles named after destinations like Lagos, Nairobi, and Havana, each SVNR earring is inspired by a city around the world-from the designer's own personal travels to her bucket list getaways.
"I hope to really evoke a color palette, textures, and somehow capture the light because it feels different in every city at a specific time of year. I take a lot of photos when I travel, so I'll look at them and think about the colors and relationship to the textures and opacity to balance out the feeling of the photo and how I remember it," Tung explained.
With its specially hand-made designs, the brand's range of pieces make for the perfect way to break anyone out of their earring comfort zone-without increasing your carbon footprint.
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