During my #GoneGreen2016 series I delved into the stories of every day items I use and wear, or habits I have to discover the details of their creation in a bid to try and understand what a cradle-to-cradle story truly looks like, from seed, and production, to use, and what happens to each item when we decide to discard of it. Though there were sustainable and ethical solutions for just about every story I researched, jewellery was one of the subjects which remained a bit grey rather than green. 

The issue with most jewellery, is that it is made with mined minerals, and whether it is silver and gold, stones, diamonds or otherwise, they are found in the earth and the extraction of these minerals and stones comes at a price to the planet and her inhabitants. When us humanoids mine, we strip the surface soil using chemicals which cause soil erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity and contamination of the soil and both the ground and the surface water. 

It's a real problem, but we have adorned ourselves in jewellery since the dawn of our very existence, and it has become - much like many of the less than sustainable things we do - a habit and also a part of our heritage to wear it, and lots of it.

Bamboo in its wood form is one of the most sustainable materials out there. It is the fastest growing plant in the world (over 24 inches in 24hrs!) which enables frequent and sustainable harvesting without causing damage to the ecosystem of bamboo forests. It grows abundantly, without pesticides and is watered naturally by mountain rain. It produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees, combating global warming with each bamboo shoot planted. To top it off, because it comes from the earth, it can return to the earth and adds benefits rather than harms when it does.

Anna Anagno, the designer and creator of ONE HAPPY LEAF handmakes all of her jewellery, with bamboo which certified by the forestry stewardship council. She does so with minimal waste, turning each sketch idea into a digital image before cutting each design out with a laser cutter. Her creations are beautifully detailed, minimalistic and unique. For each order placed, she plants a tree on the buyer's behalf, one which will help to rehabilitate the ecological diversity desecrated by the 46-58 thousand square miles of forest which are lost each year, the equivalent of 48 football fields every minute, which in turn causes 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. 

It is small artisan creators like ONE HAPPY LEAF, who offer sustainable solutions made ethically and sold with aspects of philanthropy that give me hope that we can change the norms, not only for the way businesses are run and created, but also for how we view fashion and what we want the 'heritage' of our jewellery to truly be. 

SHOP ONE HAPPY LEAF HERE: onehappyleaf.com
You can use code LEOTIELOVELY for 15% off any purchases you make from ONE HAPPY LEAF

** If you (like me) are keen to SAVE OUR TREES, you can donate directly to the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) HERE **

Photos: Shane Woodward