The fashion industry has long been criticized for its environmental impact and poor labor practices. But in recent years, many brands have emerged that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices in their production processes. One of these brands is Astor & Orion, a jewelry brand founded in 2018 by Karen Hartman.
From the beginning, Astor & Orion has been committed to creating beautiful and environmentally responsible jewelry. The brand's unique approach to sustainability is based on three core principles: circular design philosophy, 3D sculpting technology, and third-party certified production. By incorporating these principles into every stage of their business, Astor & Orion is redefining what it means to be a sustainable and ethical fashion brand.
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The Importance of Sustainable Jewelry Design
One of the key ways that Astor & Orion promotes sustainability is through their circular design philosophy. This approach views "trash" as a design flaw and seeks to minimize waste and environmental impact at every stage of the production process. By considering the full lifecycle of their products from the design stage, Astor & Orion can create beautiful and environmentally responsible jewelry.
Their innovative 3D jewelry design process is an example of how this approach works in practice. By using 3D sculpting technology originally developed for gaming and special effects, Astor & Orion is able to create highly artistic jewelry designs that are also highly recyclable. Every part of their jewelry is designed to be recycled or composted, ensuring that waste is minimized and resources are conserved.
Ethics and Sustainability in the Manufacturing Stage
In addition to their sustainable design practices, Astor & Orion is also committed to ethical manufacturing practices. Karen Hartman, the brand's founder, has over a decade of experience working with factories in Los Angeles and throughout Asia. She knows that good intentions for protecting the people and the planet are not enough. To truly address environmental protection, worker safety, and work dignity, there needs to be a coherent system in place and a process for continuous monitoring and improvement of relevant metrics.
That's why Astor & Orion has chosen a manufacturing partner that has put over 15 years of effort towards achieving third-party certification in multiple areas. Their partner has a vertically integrated production process that goes from the wax, casting, cutting, polishing, finishing, and packaging stages. This ensures that their production is environmentally responsible, workers are treated fairly, and their rights are protected.
Advocacy and Support for the Sustainable Fashion Community
Astor & Orion is not content to simply create sustainable and ethical jewelry on their own. They are also actively promoting conscious consumerism and supporting the sustainable fashion community. The brand is a member of the Sustainable Fashion Alliance and Fashion Revolution, and supports the Seattle Remake Community. They have publicly endorsed CA SB62 and are currently working to support The Fabric Act.
In addition to their advocacy work, Astor & Orion has exhibited at the O2 Show, the first wholesale tradeshow to solely focus on featuring ethical and sustainable brands during LA Market Week. They have also been featured on the runway and as a speaker on fair trade in fashion panels at the Impact Fashion Show.
The End of Astor & Orion Jewelry's Lifecycle
Even the most environmentally responsible products will eventually reach the end of their lifecycle. That's why Astor & Orion has implemented a take-back program for their jewelry. Because of their careful design process, their jewelry can be recycled by weight with a local metals recycling service in Seattle. They even offer a credit for any returned items towards a new piece of jewelry, incentivizing customers not to let broken or unused jewelry collect dust in their jewelry boxes.
In addition to their take-back program, Astor & Orion prioritizes using compostable materials for their packaging. All jewelry is shipped from the factory to customers using industrially compostable bags, and orders are shipped using 100% cotton pouches, recycled tissue papers, and recycled cardboard mailing boxes with recycled paper labels. The pouches are designed to be reusable and useful for packing jewelry on trips, with a partition inside to prevent the earrings or other jewelry from rubbing against each other.
Astor & Orion is a jewelry brand redefining sustainability and ethical practices in the fashion industry. They create beautiful, environmentally responsible jewelry by incorporating circular design philosophy, 3D sculpting technology, and third-party certified production into every stage of their business.
Their commitment to ethical manufacturing practices, advocacy and support for the sustainable fashion community, and take-back program for their jewelry's end-of-life cycle demonstrate their dedication to sustainability. As consumers continue to prioritize environmental and social responsibility in their purchasing decisions, brands like Astor & Orion will continue to lead the way sustainably.