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Eco-friendly Valentine's Day

With Valentines’ Day around the corner, why not make yours an eco-friendly day? Here are some ideas to impress your partner from dawn till dusk!

Breakfast in bed. Nothing like waking up to a cup of freshly brewed organic coffee and a kiss, followed by a full English Breakfast, using free-range bacon and eggs fresh from the farm, some freshly baked sourdough bread and some organic tomatoes.

Valentine’s gift. Surprising your partner with a gift is always a winner on Valentine’s Day, but instead of buying freshly cut flowers, why not buy a potted plant, or plant a tree? Or why not order an ethical gift box to be delivered to your partner at work?

Relax. After work, why not set the scene with some natural candles and treat your loved one to a relaxing massage using some lovely essential oils and natural skincare products?

Eat in. While your partner is still on cloud nine after their massage pour them a glass of organic/vegan sparkling wine whilst you get cooking! Spoil them with only the best organic vegetables, free-range meat or prepare a vegan feast!

Pop the question? Now is the time to pop the Big Question with a beautiful ethically sourced ring or just show your love with a stunning reclaimed silver bracelet.

Snuggle up. Watch a romantic movie together and tuck into some organic or Fairtrade chocolates to finish off a perfect day!

 

To find your local, ethical, planet-friendly businesses, search the Livewell Directory

Arborea ethical Jewellery

When I started crafting I had no job and was looking for a quick fix to make some money. I thought to myself “I’ll just start making and selling jewellery, then I can contribute to running the house”. Now, in hindsight, that was way too optimistic but my journey from then to where I am today has been an exciting ride.

I started off making cheap and cheerful beaded things which looking back were probably better off in the recycling bin but I really enjoyed it as a hobby. For a couple of years, I continued to make these trinkets, doing a bit of hand-stamping too (to the detriment of my wrists!), until one day I decided to brave it and learn how to do some silversmithing. After learning the basics, I was combining silver and resin jewellery with real flowers. Now I really struggled with making the perfect resin items and became really uncomfortable in the knowledge that resin jewellery is, in fact, non-biodegradable plastic, so I decided to continue with silver.

I was lucky enough in 2016 to get a job working in conservation, where I advise on land management and legally protected sites across East Devon. My work gives me a thorough understanding of how we affect our environment and that what we are doing to the environment reflects what we are doing to ourselves. Being so focused on this in my day-to-day work it started to come across in my jewellery, I was only buying recycled silver sheets and wire and my pieces usually had something to do with nature or wildlife – this is when Arborea Jewellery was born. I chose this name as Arborea is Latin for ‘tree’ as I was making a lot of metal clay leaves at the time, and every animal and plant has its own Latin name.

For the last few years, I have been self-taught, honing my skills in saw piercing, soldering, stone-setting and playing around with various techniques, deciding what fitted with my brand and what I was REALLY terrible at (like enamelling!). I joined a Facebook group called Eco-jewellery makers where I found a lady who sells beautiful gems reclaimed from vintage jewellery. I noticed that most jewellers who claimed to use recycled silver weren’t using recycled silver chains so I did lots of research and found a company who makes them and shared this with the group. I also came across a few lovely people who sell responsibly-sourced gems from mines that are conflict-free and fair-trade, allowing the mines to return to nature with as minimal intervention as possible. These important materials are the foundation for all of the items I make and I feel so much more comfortable with this knowledge.

I am always on the hunt for ways to be eco-friendly, with recycled packaging, renewable electricity, re-using chemicals to clean the silver after firing, and even just around the house – I have a HUGE box of recycled toilet roll in my bathroom! So you can see that this isn’t just me trying to fit into a marketing niche but it is my lifestyle, for example, my small garden is taken up by a wildflower meadow, a vegetable patch and bird boxes.

I believe that what we do not know, we do not care about and what we do not care about we do not try to protect. This is why I include snippets of interesting information with my jewellery items, be it leaf or animal, to show that it’s not only what we wear but it’s also what we stand for.

Go to the Arborea Jewellery listing on Livewell Directory for more information.

Arabel Lebrusan Jewellery

I did it! I’m Designer of the Year 2017 and what a nice surprise to finish this year.

“I am so happy to have won last night the Designer of the Year 2017 Award from the National Association of Jewellers. It feels great to be recognised for my design expertise but it is also very special that an ethical jeweller with a social mission like mine (and still making exquisite pieces of jewellery) has totally rocked this!”

It’s Friday night, and I should be out celebrating this achievement, but unfortunately, my little boy has chickenpox and it’s time to stay in. So, why not celebrate it with you instead. You, that customer that is always loyal and has managed to compile a small Arabel Lebrusan collection. You, that journalist that has followed me since the beginning and is thinking, finally she did it, well deserved! You, my dear friend, who has listened to my broken record of why ethics in jewellery matter so much. And you, my fab designer friend, who is probably a bit jealous tonight, but is totally happy that it was me and not an unknown name.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU ALL FOR THE LOVE AND CONSTANT SUPPORT ❤

AND WHAT A FANTASTIC WAY TO END THE YEAR!

But wait, who doesn’t yet have all their Christmas presents? Now you can have a beautiful Christmas present from “The Designer of the Year!

Find out more about Arabel Lebrusan Fairtrade Certified Jewellery