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The Truth about Recycled Silver

I am sorry everyone, but I have lied to you...Well, omitted certain truths I suppose is more accurate.

On the 5th of November I made a post about recycled silver, why I am using it and how amazing it is. On the 23rd of November, just one day after officially opening my store, I found out that my supplier had changed some of its internal structuring and manufacturing and no longer has a separate recycled silver operation.

While they do still recycle silver it is mixed into their usual refining process along with mined silver and they advised me that there is no way to know or guarantee any meaningful percentages of recycled to non-recycled material.

When I found this out I was really shocked that the company had made such an important change

within their business without officially notifying their customers. I was also disappointed by how craftily they had worded their new policies on their website so as to not really tell you whether they had the same recycling practices or not. Though they do have some of the best environmentally responsible policies in the industry it was unclear whether they were making 100% recycled material any longer.

When I started out I didn't guarantee 100% recycled because I used beads that were not recycled and didn’t think it was necessary because I believed the wire was 100% anyway. My original intentions were honest however they became skewed and I ended up doing the exact same thing that the supplier had done to me - omitted the truth and was vague about the important stuff.

Finding this out the day after I opened my store and had just made my first few sales, was really stressful and heartbreaking as I am sure you can imagine. I spent days deliberating and worrying and talking about what I should do in this situation. I felt that I should tell you all straight away what had happened, but others suggested that it wasn't my fault, that I didn't know and that this early on in the business launch it didn’t matter too much anyway and it was better to just change my messaging now and move forward.

And so I did, I changed my messaging, and my previous post about silver, honestly saying that I couldn’t guarantee 100% recycled silver, but that the company I used did recycle. All true, and yet I still didn’t feel truthful.

I was having a shower yesterday (all my best thinking is done there!) and reflecting on this situation yet again, and I suddenly thought - wow, I can really see how a well-meaning business, and for that matter, politician (but let’s not go down that rabbit hole today) could start out doing all the good things with the most heartfelt intentions, and slowly but surely end up having to make concessions as they discover that being successful means compromising.

That if you want to make a profit you may need to omit certain truths that the customer doesn’t need or want to know about. So you continue on, slowly but surely veering further and further off course, not because you want to but because you believe you have to in order to succeed. The other option being to give up because it’s just not possible to continue with the model you envisioned. This is potentially where so many incredibly beautiful, well meaning creatives have their dreams crushed by the world of business.

Because in this world it does seem that black and white, that right and wrong, you either continue blindly onwards or end your dreams. But it doesn’t have to be this way…for me the choice is a matter of truth rather than right or wrong I choose honesty over profit, I will continue onwards but I will not omit truths and if that means I lose business well then that is what must occur.

So here it is, now you know, a % of my silver is mined, in Australia, and some of it is recycled. I can’t tell you how much it is and I imagine if there is a shortage of silver for recycling this means all of the silver is from mined sources. Though the company does have very good practices in place for sustainable mining and refining of silver, mining is mining and I know that is just a no go for some.

I apologise to you all for this failing on my part. I am taking this as a huge learning opportunity and am going to dedicate myself to growing even more in 2021, because I am NOT giving up. I am simply going to be more honest, because I do believe you can be honest in business and still be successful - that's the world I choose to live in anyway. I will not tell you something is if it isn’t and I will be as clear as I can in telling you what it actually is.

For anyone who had their heart set on recycled silver and bought something from me before today (21.12.20), I will humbly accept returns for a full refund (I will pay postage) please DM me via Instagram @elythia.creative.

I will continue to use this supplier until such time as a better option appears and I will also be looking at ways to make my designs more sustainable moving forward.

I don’t think sustainability has to be about giving up beauty and comfort and quality of life. I feel that it is about achieving a way of life in which you can have all those things and we can have them in ways that have the least detrimental impact possible on Mumma Earth.

Sustainable for everyone, humans included.

Thank you so much to everyone for your support so far, I really couldn’t have done this without you. I am going to close my Etsy shop until January to recoup and plan for 2021.

From my heart to yours have a wonderful Christmas and New Years celebration and I look forward to sharing my truth with you even more deeply in 2021!

1 Comment

Beautifully written and explained Marcella. This situation is not your fault. I wish you every success in your business when you re-open in 2021. I love my purchases from you, they so special and so beautiful, I will be keeping them xx

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