Waste Materials

Less waste, more colour!

Bouncy Castles!?

Where do bouncy castles go when they come to the end of their life? One of the answers is landfill, the other is Wyatt and Jack. Bouncy castles are made from PVC and vinyl PVC which is pretty tough and brightly coloured stuff, but it is also a plastic that is not widely recycled. In terms of the mantra "reduce, reuse, recycle" that is the order that we should be doing things in. Firstly reduce the amount of new things produced, secondly reuse materials (that's where we come in) and thirdly recycle those materials by breaking them down and reforming them. Recycling processes require more energy and water resources than reusing, though ultimately less than are required to manufacture brand new materials. Back to Wyatt and Jack: they reuse the PVC fabric to make a wide variety of bags, alongside other plastics such as deckchairs and inflatables, over on the Isle of Wight. This process uses up a fantastic amount of plastic, but leaves behind smaller off-cuts. It is these off-cuts that Stellen jewellery is made from. So, in answer to my most frequently asked FAQ "How many earrings can you make from a bouncy castle?!" The answer is: I don't know I haven't ever had a whole one.

Some of the earrings are also now available with a choice of earring fitting or no fitting so that they can be placed on Stellen hoops that you already own. This means you can have multiple earrings with less waste: as you only need one pair of hoops, not several. Find out more here.

Find out more about Wyatt and Jack here.

T-shirt yarn.

What is t-shirt yarn?
T-shirt yarn has many names: jersey yarn, trapilho & zpaghetti to name a few. You can make your own using old t-shirts, but the yarn used here is brand new fabric that has been reclaimed from fashion industry waste. It is made from textile leftovers in the form of long strips of fabric wound into a bobbin. As the long, flat strips are wound tightly the fabric is pulled and the edges roll in towards each other and create a rounded yarn. The yarn has ‘raw’ edges, which can sometimes curl in and out throughout the jewellery. This is the nature of the irregular material.
Composition:

Because t-shirt yarn is made from textile leftovers it can vary in composition and feel. It typically contains around 90% cotton, the rest of the content is made up of “other fibers’ which varies and could include: elastane, polyester, lurex, acrylic, viscose, fleece and other natural and synthetic fibers. 

T-shirt yarn brands:

Find out more from the companies that rescue the fabric:

Hoooked, Retwisst, Bobbiny, TekTek, Welcome Yarn.



What about the other materials?

There is no such thing as perfect, but I'm working towards 'better' with all of the materials that I use.

Sterling Silver:

I made the choice to use 925 sterling silver as 'better' than cheaper silver plated alternatives, as this would help to prolong the second life I am giving to waste materials. However, as a better alternative to sterling silver, I have recently pledged to make recycled silver findings a purchase option on my website by the end of 2021.

Packaging:

The jewellery comes with either a swing tag or backing card and a business card, these are made from 350gsm recycled card stock and are printed in Leicestershire, by Banana Print. Earring sets will arrive on a Postcard, printed by A Local Printer (company name, not someone local!) on 100% recycled 320gsm with Straw inclusions. The earrings are tied on with fine paper twine from Paperphine.

Online orders are posted in cardboard boxes from UK-based Lil Packaging who are committed to making sustainable, recyclable, plastic free packaging with a low carbon footprint (all processes are carried out in-house). The mailing boxes are made from FSC certified cardboard, which is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. I am currently using up my supplies and am in need of a new posting box supplier as Lil have stopped production of boxes in this size. So if you have recommendations, please send them my way!

The tissue paper is recycled and acid free, and comes from Tiny box.

The stickers inside your parcel, used to hold the tissue paper closed, are printed on recycled paper by Ey Up Design. They offer stickers on standard or recycled paper, and their card stock is FSC certified and recyclable.

The white parcel tape with the word Stellen inside a pink circle used to seal most boxes is gummed kraft paper from Sticker Mule. The brown tape is paper "ecoLogo" tape from Tesa.

Wrapped jewellery ready to post

I am always interested in improving the sustainability of any aspects of my making and packaging. If you have any suggestions for me I would love to hear from you, so feel free to get in touch: email@stellen.co.uk