A small operation can allow for a mindful approach, and I dare to say among all this buzz there is very little we have changed. At AdP we have always had a hand in every aspect of our business. Arielle de Pinto jewelry is made by crocheting fine chain, a slow technique developed and refined over many years. To execute the technique successfully, the chain itself must be of exceptional quality adhering to stringent specifications - nothing can be rushed. We have been working with the same family-run Italian factory for over a decade. The same goes for nearly all our suppliers. Castings, whenever possible we use recycled material while maintaining the purity of the metal. Metal crochet cannot be done by a machine, it must be done by a skilled human. The jewelry has always been made by independently trained women of various ages and backgrounds, and most of them have worked with us for years.
Where I see our strongest aspect of sustainability, however, is in our approach of a specific style and aesthetic, and our dedication to customer education. As crocheting metal is a hybrid technique of textile and traditional jewelry, the result is something unusual and other-worldly. The jewelry behaves unlike anything else because it’s not supposed to be like anything else; chains drip, loops stretch out and metal “threads” appear. Our approach is a challenge to the consumer mentality. One aspect of change that we can culturally question is our fixation on “perfection”; fast fashion brands create affordable, quickly degrading clothing intended to be discarded at the first sign of wear and replaced.
As long as we have been offering jewelry, we have provided repairs to customers. Most often the repairs are aesthetic rather than structural- we offer free tightening within a covered warranty period in order to address and educate around this question of brokenness. Over time, our customers have embraced these qualities, and it has become our defining signature. We have repaired pieces that are over 15 years old; we do whatever it takes, replace necklines, unravel in order to mend. This is not and has never been a profitable action, but it urges us to save every scrap, to use our materials conscientiously and to design intentionally, so that we can efficiently make alteration or repair whenever possible. Your oldest piece is valued the same as your newest.
We had been advised many times against the vulnerability of emphasizing the movement of the jewelry, however it is an inextricable part of the brand, and we have cultivated appreciation of this. As we reach our 15th year in business, we are so excited to see how your favorite pieces have evolved, so we have put together a little contest.
We have reached a point where we are all evaluated and held accountable to matters of sustainability. Ethics of sourcing, material, labor, representation, and all in-house practices are now pertinent to an informed clientele. Taking ecological considerations as a brand is no longer an exception but an expectation. As we experience chaos resulting from our consumptive behavior, we cannot ignore that our habits, actions, and attitudes must be radically re-evaluated. Collective shift in mentality has shown us that with consideration and intention it is absolutely possible to “close the loop”, that there is always room for improvement, that we can slow down, we can resist unhealthy industry standards, and that we can be supported in our efforts to align our creative business with our values.