"The Earth is our Mother, care for her."
- Native American Teaching
ZhaawanArt Fisher Star Creations practices closed-loop recycling of its precious metals . In the process of creating the Eco-friendly gold, silver, and platinum that we use in our fine jewelry and wedding rings, scrap metal coming from our own studio is melted and reworked into sheet and wire. This recycling treatment removes any impurities. In order to ensure that the melting involves only recycled precious metal, it is thoroughly segregated to avoid contamination with any other metals throughout its audited recycling process.
More than ever, the large-scale exploitation of natural resources from Aki, our Mother Earth, is creating huge problems for the land, the waters and the air and her children - the plants, the animals, the fish, and mankind. Needless to say that traditional gold mining is one of the many causes of irreversible, devastating ecological damage to the local environment, and, following on from this, of exploitation of many thousands of small-scale miners - including children - in several countries in Africa and Asia as well as on Turtle Island (America). There is so far not one long-term sustainable mine to be found when it comes to water resource issues . To cite just a few examples of the widespread scourges that took place over the last few years: over 900 farmers have been poisoned by a mercury spill in the mountains of Peru, Akyim indigenous people from Ghana are forced from their forest homeland, an Indonesian bay and fishing community has been contaminated by arsenic and mercury, and the Western Shoshone nation in Nevada, because of dewatering of Mount Tenabo, have been deprived of their treaty rights and ancestral land .
This worldwide dirty gold processing often takes place on site, using mercury or for example cyanide to extract the ore. In fact, gold, silver, and platinum mining creates the largest global demand for mercury, and is the single largest source of mercury waste in the world. Gold mining ravages landscapes, pollutes rivers with sulfuric acid, and contributes to the destruction of, for example, the Amazon, which serves as the lungs of our planet. Millions of gold miners, often exploited by dishonest middlemen, earn extreme low wages. The hazardous conditions of working with mercury, cyanide, bleach, and Clorox take a gruesome toll, causing illness, injury, and death. The health risks are highest for no less than between 600,000 and a million children who work as gold miners. Make no mistake, the environmental and social damage left by dirty gold mining lasts many generations.
An exclusive use of Fair and Sustainable precious metal jewelry - that is, made of clean, green, eco-friendly and ethical gold, silver, and platinum processed without the use of poisonous substances, and without exploiting the surrounding communities -, has therefore been for years our deeply-cherished desire. However, the road to Fairtrade & Fairmined gold turned out to be a long and winding one. For a myriad of practical and pragmatic reasons (the price-technical and logistical hurdles we face are significant) we still haven’t reached our goal to use gold and platinum sheet and wire imported through the Fairtrade market . The industry and the wholesale trade, although time and time again noble intentions are formulated (but little substantial is implemented for the smaller jewelers and jewelry makers), are still well behind in dealing with the ugly realities of gold and platinum mining...
For the time being, as part of our responsibility and our commitment to look after Mother Earth and her children, we therefore chose to make use of a certified clean, recycled alternative to Fairtrade & Fairmined gold, called Ethical & Eco-friendly gold . This means that we guarantee that all of our jewelry is made from 100% recycled gold (or silver or platinum) with none of the associated environmental problems and poignant forms of human exploitation that come with dirty mining.