BC jewellery designers embrace sustainability 

Photo: 2022 Applied Art + Design Award recipient, Louise Perrone

Sustainability in jewellery design looks at the environmental and social impacts of the industry while creating beautiful, enduring pieces. In BC, designers like Bridget Catchpole and Louise Perrone are leading the way in incorporating sustainable practices into their jewellery brands. 

As a 2023 recipient of the Applied Art + Design Award, Bridget Catchpole, based on Hornby Island, embodies the ethos of sustainable jewellery design through her commitment to ethical sourcing and eco-friendly materials. She recognizes the importance of minimizing the environmental footprint of jewellery production and prioritizes using recycled materials in her designs.  

With a distinct artistic vision, Bridget stands out as a pioneer in the use of single-use plastics and marine debris, addressing critical issues such as material exploitation, consumerism, and climate change through her artistry. 

Photo: 2023 Applied Art + Design Award recipient, Bridget Catchpole

Bridget’s contemporary art jewellery is meant to be cherished for years to come, avoiding trends that contribute to a culture of disposable fashion. Bridget’s art is truly transformative, demonstrating her unique ability to elevate everyday objects into captivating one-of-a-kind adornments. She consistently seeks inspiration through collaborations with esteemed international contemporary artists, pushing the boundaries of creativity. 

Bridget’s work implicitly speaks to the human condition, emphasizing the importance of biodiversity and urgently calling for a re-evaluation of our relationship with discarded materials. Her creative vision not only celebrates her artistic passion but also serves as a powerful reminder of the pressing issues facing our world today. 

Similarly, Louise Perrone, a jewellery designer based in Vancouver, embraces sustainability in her brand’s designs. Louise is a recipient of the 2022 Applied Art + Design Award who takes pride in making things with her hands and using unconventional materials in an interesting way.  

Louise’s textile jewellery explores issues of gender, labour, and sustainability by combining goldsmithing traditions with hand-sewing. Using materials derived from domestic and industrial textile and plastic waste, Louise’s work involves altering plastic objects and enveloping them in fabric, inviting a consideration of what jewellery can conceal and reveal about the maker, the wearer, and ourselves. 

“By taking this waste, this rubbish and elevating it through an appreciation for making things with your hands and using skills that have been passed down through generations, it creates a piece of jewellery which is often associated with value,” says Louise. 

Both Bridget and Louise demonstrate that sustainability can be integrated into every aspect of jewellery design, from material sourcing to production and beyond. Their brands serve as shining examples of how designers can create innovative jewellery without compromising on their environmental and social responsibilities.  

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