The company says it will also work with suppliers to increase the availability of recycled silver and improve production standards.

“For many years, Pandora has used recycled metals in our designs,” he said. “Now we are ready to take the next step and stop using mined silver and gold altogether. We wish to help develop a more responsible way of crafting affordable luxury like our jewellery and prevent that these fine metals end up in landfills.”

Pandora’s chief executive Alexander Lacik

Traditional jewelry supply chains are widely regarded as hotspots for ethical and environmental issues, due to their reliance on mining in developing nations. Moreover, the advent of mass-production technologies, which has pushed down jewelry prices, inevitably meaning that we produce more necklaces, earrings and rings than ever before.

What Pandora is trying to achieve is to find solutions to disposing smartly.

In a drive to reduce these issues by keeping precious materials in use, Pandora, the world’s largest jewelry brand, commits to source only recycled silver and gold by 2025. It is currently sourcing around 71% of its metals from recycled sources but is keen to close the gap for both resource and climate reasons – recycled metals bear reduced emissions and water footprints than their virgin counterparts. To sum, Pandora is working towards carbon neutrality within five years.

Pandora’s efforts join that of an industry that’s slowly mobilizing to prioritize sustainable sourcing:

  • In 2019, Tiffany & Co committed to 100 percent traceability for each of its newly sourced diamonds; and, along with Apple, partnered to launch Salmon Gold™ — an innovative approach to sourcing gold responsibly while restoring fish habitats.
  • Actress Nikki Reed’s jewelry company, BaYou with Love, made headlines in 2018 when it unveiled its “Circular Collection” of pieces made of recycled gold from the motherboards of end-of-life Dell computers.

Speaking of which, recovering precious metals from used electronics — so-called “urban mining” — not only keeps those metals in use much longer, it’s an incredible cost-saving strategy: According to the United Nations’ 2018 Global E-waste Monitor report, it costs 13 times more to obtain metals such as gold and copper from ore than from urban mining. Plus, a 2017 analysis of wastewater treatment plants in Switzerland found roughly 6,500 pounds of gold, palladium, platinum and silver — waste from the country’s watch-making industry — are literally being flushed down the drain each year. So, abundant “urban” sources already exist for these precious metals, it’s just a matter of establishing sufficient infrastructure for diverting them from landfills and sewers.