Our Sustainability Practices
How we make Sustainable Jewelry
We have a ZERO-WASTE business model, which means we only keep small amounts of stock on hand to ensure that we do not add to overproduction squandering common in the fashion industry. We start off by using certified, recycled .925 sterling silver as the base of each and every piece to minimize our impact on the environment. All items are handmade and made to order in Brooklyn, and any production waste we do create is recycled using our refinery back into new designs. This kind of process is known as “Slow Fashion” because it advocates for manufacturing in respect to people, the environment, and fairness trade. We believe that this shift from fast fashion towards sustainable and circular thinking is the future of jewelry, hell yeah.
Traceability- There’s always mystery surrounding where and how companies create their pieces, but we believe that you have a right to know what goes into your jewelry from Us. Our brand’s production is done with our team in house, from inception to each finishing touch, every item here in our NYC based private studio is handmade just for you. We believe that honesty is the best foundation for any partnership, and we only work with other partners who share our same vision regarding sustainability, respect for human rights, and fair-trade materials. This is a step by step explanation how each of our pieces is made:
After Scarlett carves a design in wax for Mercury Hour, she works with a small NYC-based production foundry to cast the sample of her design and then mold the final piece (after several rounds of edits/perfecting). The foundry is a small family business from Japur, India, with two generations working together in-house to create castings and expertly crafted molds. Once the mold of the design is completed it’s off to the next step, large quantity product casting.
This is where all of our product foundry casting takes place using SCS Certified Responsible Source 100% Recycled .925 Sterling Silver. This casting grain is not only recycled but is certified conflict-free, manufactured with fair labor practices. Our casting foundry partner also has a commitment to reduce energy impacts over time, an important component of more sustainable fashion. They are experts in quality casting and have been in the business for over 100 years; Scarlett has toured their massive casting production facility personally and all we can say is that we are endlessly grateful to have found such an amazing sustainable partner. After the molds have been wax injected, sprue treed, casted, and sent through de-gate processes, they are ready for the studio.
Our production studio is located here in Bushwick Brooklyn. This is where we receive our castings and begin the next phase of the production process. Once we clean the castings and ensure quality control, we check the orders in our Q. Our small studio team along side Scarlett, our Brand Founder & Chief of Design is responsible for creating every piece that leaves the studio! They begin by either sizing ring shanks or cutting chain length all to your order’s specifications. Then, they solder any components into place, buff, polish and tumble, sometimes finishing with a stone, a logo tag or send it off to our Gold Vermeil artist for the next part of your piece’s journey.
It's taken Scarlett years to find the perfect Gold Vermeil specialist who works in REAL Gold Vermeil here in the United States. This process is the most sought after as it is the highest concentration of gold fill available without being solid gold. Our Vermeil partner has been in the business since 1973 and shares our sustainable vision using the latest non-cyanide base chemistries, safest methods for employees, and solar energy. His recycled 14k Gold Vermeil yellow gold is laid on top of our solid, recycled .925 sterling silver to make the finished piece highly durable and less likely to tarnish. Each vermeil piece should hold its luster for over six years before needing retouching (which is the industry standard for Vermeil).
We can’t say enough amazing things about our stone partner and his 6th generation lapidary family business in Jaipur. The stones Scarlett chooses always tell a story and with this partner we are truly able to collaborate on some beautiful ideas. This partner is a long standing member of the ICA (the Indian Commerce Association) a business organization, dedicated to educating other business owners and enriching supply chains in India. Our affiliation ensures that other businesses also benefit as a community from our lapidary’s Mercury Hour partnership. By working with their expert artists who cut our stones straight from the slab stage, we are able to create designs and shapes unavailable to the general market, leaving room for boundless creativity.
Then when the order is completed, we begin our packaging process. Our boxes come from a partner grounded in sustainability, creating their boxes from 80% recycled materials. The image on our packaging was actually taken by Scarlett herself. This partner is also apart of the Sustainable Forest Initiative planting 2 trees in Ottawa for every 1 tree used for the base of the boxes pulp (the other 20% of our boxes). They also use soy-based ink to limit the amount of chemical runoff created in the printing and recycling process. We’re happy to say you can compost our mailer boxes and bubble mailers.
Any excess .925 sterling silver that we create in the process of cleaning, soldering or sizing your jewelry is swept up here in our studio and stored. Every business quarter, we send this excess to be smelted down by our very same foundry casting team. It is then checked for purity, made into casting grain and used to create more of our designs in a circular process. Any time a piece is sent into us that is beyond repair this is where it ends up, back into the cycle of our production to not be wasted but to live on again.