Environmental sustainability and social responsibility underpins everything we do.
Looking after the planet and its people is one of our core values.
We create premium quality products that don’t cost the earth. We see ourselves as a responsible and ethical business and as such we place great emphasis on managing and improving our environmental performance.
Transparency is important to us, so here’s exactly what we do (and don't do) to look after the environment.
We don’t use gemstones that have been mined from the earth
Gemstone mining requires a huge amount of resources to extract the stones from earth. Vast tracts of land are bulldozed, drilled and blasted. The mining process contaminates water, damages biodiversity, and creates land degradation.
Instead of using mined gemstones, we use tiny glass beads created in Japan from silicon dioxide, sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate. The process still uses furnaces of extreme heats to create the melted glass so it does require a lot of energy.
It’s not a perfect process but we believe it’s a far more environmentally responsible option that lowers our environmental impact and still allows us to create absolutely perfect products.
We don’t use foam in our gift boxes
All wholesale jewellery packaging available to jewellery brands contains a polyurethane foam bed inside the box to lay the jewellery on.
Polyurethane foam is made by mixing various chemicals with a petroleum by-product to create an aerated plastic. However, it’s not recyclable with curb side recycling or with Australia’s previous REDcycle soft plastics recycling program.
We wanted our packaging to be completely recyclable, so we came up with our own solution: a custom designed gift box made of cardboard lined with biodegradable cotton balls.
It’s cute enough to be a feature product in its own right. But if you don’t want to keep your jewellery in it or re-purpose it, you can give it to a charity or compost the cotton balls and recycle the box.
Our production process creates virtually zero waste
Here’s the entire list of waste that we produce when we make our jewellery:
- 10cm ends of our polyethylene thread (premium fishing line wire). Unfortunately these can’t be recycled so they go in the bin.
- Tiny lengths of gold and silver chain. These go in the bin.
- The soft plastic zip-lock bags that our beads come in. Our maker, Aini, re-uses these to send finished pieces back to us in Australia. We used to recycle them with the REDcycle soft plastics program. Since the downfall of REDCycle in 2022, we’re re-using them while we await the announcement of a replacement program.
Our postage packaging is biodegradable and recyclable
We hate plastic packaging. Packaging used for selling and shipping products around the world is a huge and unnecessary source of waste.
Postage satchels go to landfill across Australia every day, and we don’t want to contribute to that. We use use 100% recycled padded paper bags to send your jewellery to you.
No plastic satchels, no foam and no bubble wrap. No plastic packaging, ever.
Our jewellery is made to last
We create jewellery that you can wear for years and years to come. We only use materials that are made to last.
We use gold chains and earring hooks that are gold‑filled with a bonded gold layer that’s up to 10 times stronger than gold plating, but much cheaper than solid gold. See more about that on our FAQs page.
We chose only the most durable colours and finishes of our Japanese glass beads so that our pieces will last for many years.
When we design a new piece we go through the bead manufacturer’s durability guide, and out of hundreds of colours available, we chose the colours that won’t get damaged by skin acidity or fade in sunlight, contain no nickel, and have the strongest durability rating.
Sometimes this means that we can’t use our first choice of colour, but it’s more important to us that our jewellery is long lasting.
We plant a tree for every piece of jewellery we sell.
For every product we sell, we plant one tree. One Tree Planted plants trees in North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe.
One Tree Planted is a not-for profit organisation focused on global reforestation. Since 2014, they’ve planted over 40 million trees in over 47 countries around the world.
Trees clean the air by absorbing harmful pollutants and releasing clean oxygen. Their roots absorb and filter water, helping to reduce the risk of landslides and floods. They provide a habitat for over 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. A single tree can be home to hundreds of species of insect, fungi, moss, mammals, and plants.
Healthy, strong trees act as carbon sinks, absorbing and offsetting harmful carbon and reducing the effects of climate change.
Forests also create social impact by providing jobs to over 1.6 billion people around the world, particularly in communities where people were relying on illegal logging for their income.
Every piece of jewellery that you buy from Sugarberry Shimmy plants a tree!
You can also visit One Tree Planted to donate more and plant more trees to help our planet.
Our Starfish Earrings help to clean up our beaches
Our owner Jules has noticed a huge increase in micro-plastics on beaches along the entire east coast of Australia in recent years. It’s even washing up on national park beaches now, where she never used to see it before.
She always takes a rubbish bag to the beach now and collects the micro-plastics she sees.
Jules designed our Queen of the Sea Starfish Earrings to raise awareness of the ocean clean-up movement and to raise money for superstar local charity, Ocean Crusaders.
Ocean Crusaders are constantly organising beach and waterways clean-ups around Brisbane and they’ve also developed several automatic collection devices to clean our waterways 24/7. Their Automatic River Cleaner (ARC) uses hydro and solar power to collect debris from rivers, lift it out of the water and place it in a skip bin ready for removal, stopping the plastic and rubbish from reaching the ocean at all. In our eyes, they’re real heroes.
$10 from the sale of every pair of Queen of the Sea Starfish Earrings you buy goes to Ocean Crusaders – plus we plant a tree via One Tree Planted.
These earrings are loaded with ocean and Earth love! We hope they’ll encourage you to #take3forthesea next time you’re on the beach too!