NELSON MAIL ARTICLE: Unworn silver remade into new jewellery in collaboration between Kiwi brands

This article was originally published by The Nelson Mail & Stuff.co.nz
Reporter: Samantha Gee

Benjamin Black Goldsmiths jeweller Benjamin Clark with some of the recycled silver used to create a new jewellery line for Untouched World.

 

BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF
Benjamin Black Goldsmiths jeweller Benjamin Clark with some of the recycled silver used to create a new jewellery line for Untouched World.

 

A collaboration between two Kiwi brands means unwanted silver is being re-purposed into hand-made jewellery.

Benjamin Black Goldsmiths were approached by Christchurch-based company Untouched World about creating a line of jewellery made solely from recycled materials.

Jeweller Benjamin Clark said the brand were keen to collaborate so the two worked together to create a series of different designs.

Unwanted silver was purchased from customers and when enough had been collected, it was melted down and repurposed into handmade rings, earrings and necklaces bearing the Untouched World logo, in the shape of a Maori kite.

Untouched World was launched in 1995 and creates garments made from natural fibres including wool, possum fur, soyabean and linen.

As well as making jewellery for Untouched World, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths also made custom pieces using a customer's own metal. Creating new pieces from unworn jewellery was now a core part of their business.

"We have a lot of people coming in with heirloom jewellery they will never wear and melting it to reuse it becomes part of the story, it's not just another piece of jewellery."

Co-owner Amy Cunningham said Untouched World had a strong focus on sustainable, New Zealand-made products which aligned with their philosophy.

"I think businesses are looking at what they can do and we are just really aware of that, what we can reuse.

"Consumers are becoming more mindful when they are purchasing something, is this going to last and where is it going to go?"Benjamin Black Goldsmiths jeweller Joel Whitwell melts recycled silver to 900 degrees Celsius to be re-used to create a new jewellery line for Untouched World.
BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF
Benjamin Black Goldsmiths jeweller Joel Whitwell melts recycled silver to 900 degrees Celsius to be re-used to create a new jewellery line for Untouched World.

She said they had always encouraged customers to bring in their old silver.

"Quite often people will have silver sitting there that they just want to get rid of, they don't wear it."

"People are now becoming far more aware that they actually can re-use it, which is a really encouraging trend."

While Untouched World could have chosen to have its jewellery manufactured from new materials elsewhere, it was nice that they had put out a range that was made locally, Cunningham said.

"The fact that they see the value in it and their customers see the value in it is pretty cool."