Kirsten Muenster

Landscape Series ring, malachite and chrysocolla in quartz and recycled sterling silver

Designer Kirsten Muenster fashions her jewelry designs after her own personal values that there should be more sustainability and ethical practices within the jewelry business. She incorporates the use of 100% recycled precious metals and stones with a clear trackable mine-to-market custody chain.

Ethical sourcing requires a transparent supply chain. I work with 100% recycled precious metals and purchase stones from small, family-owned mines and individuals who hand collect, cut and polish the materials themselves. The stones I use have a clear and trackable mine-to-market custody chain. The vintage elements are reclaimed, repurposed or have been passed down through generations: copper-flecked firebrick from an old furnace, recycled metal, my grandmother’s glass buttons. Everything is carefully researched, so there’s an understanding as to where they come from and whose lives they may impact. Each element captures a moment in time; every piece tells a story.

Muenster hearkens her jewelry to “simplicity,” “the patina of time,” and ultimately as “modern heirlooms” which advocates a sustainable model of quality.

She is actually a well-respected authority when it comes to eco-jewelry. Meunster actively voices concerns to suppliers within the jewelry community and opens up dialogues to bring about change within the industry. She is also an advocate of mining reform efforts and efforts towards generating industry demands for responsibly sources metals. Her personal blog communicates her personal philosophy, concerns, research and maintains an extensive list of eco resources. In some cases, you can tell that she really had to go through research in order to find the material sources she employs.

You can access her blog at: http://www.kirstenmuenster.com/blogs/news

What attracted me most about her work and company is the thorough research she has done to make sure she is providing consumers with truly ecological, ethical, and sustainable products. One of the things that intrigued me the most was the rather detailed and brief documentation of the materials she uses, how they are ethically sourced, and/or sustainable.

You can review the materials list here along with Kirsten Muenster’s artist statement: http://www.kirstenmuenster.com/pages/about

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