What if jewellery could be made from ewaste?


By AGENCY
  • Living
  • Tuesday, 25 Jan 2022

Mara & Villosa make jewellery whose gold content comes exclusively from recycling our electronic devices. Photo: AFP

Not only is gold mining one of the main causes of deforestation in the Amazonia, much of it also takes place in unethical conditions.

So what if jewellery could be made from ethical, conflict-free gold that also contributes to the recycling of materials from electronic waste?

When this anthropologist teamed up with a goldsmith, they set out to do just that and that's what they have done.

Mara & Villosa make jewellery whose gold content comes exclusively from recycling our electronic devices. Indeed, our precious waste can be a solution to the ecological and social damage caused by gold mines.

Striking gold

Pascale Veerling lives in Utrecht, Holland and is an anthropologist. While on a study trip in Peru, she became aware of the environmental and social damage caused by precious metal mines.

It would seem that though gold may be considered to be a noble metal, its extraction conditions are less noble. Indeed, she was able to observe the fact that in the illicit gold mines where children work, mercury is released into nature... This experience inspired another journey she had never imagined.

On her return to Utrecht, she founded the Fair Gold Foundation to raise awareness among her fellow citizens about the damage caused by precious metals.

In 2018, she teamed up with Judigje van Emmerik to launch a jewellery brand, Mara & Villosa, whose gold content comes exclusively from recycled electronic devices. The jewellery is handmade by Judigje in her workshop.

The jewellery is certified as being made from recycled gold and it provides another opportunity to raise awareness about the damage caused by unsourced gold as well as the value of our electronic waste and the need to recycle it. – AFP

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