An Alternative Mayoral Chain

This is my first post for Trusted Clothes and No I haven’t lost the plot, but I am not going to talk about clothes today.

My name is Elaine and I am one half of Recycledforyou. Simon and I started our business in 2003 designing and making statement jewellery using entirely recycled and reclaimed materials. One day I may tell you the whole story.

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Today however, I am taking a break from writing a presentation; actually I am looking for reasons not to write the presentation.

We have been shortlisted as finalists in the MRW National Recycling Awards,

“Best Recycled Product” category and to say that we are excited and more than a little nervous is a huge understatement.

Back in 2015 we gifted to our local Mayor our version of a Mayoral Chain.

Eastleigh Borough in Hampshire, England was celebrating 40 years in its current format and lots of exciting things had been arranged to commemorate the event.

It was purely accidental and coincidental that we became involved. In December of 2014 Simon the other half was putting the final touches to a new piece of jewellery for me( one of the benefits of being married to a jeweller), I loved it, but when I tried it on and looked in the mirror, the first thing I thought was I look like a mayor, the piece of jewellery was put to the side for reuse at a later date, but I kept on thinking..

Why not make a Mayoral Chain; Simon was born and brought up in Eastleigh a borough who is committed to sustainability and this would be an amazing challenge.

We pitched the idea to a friend of ours who is involved with the arts in our area and a few weeks later I was sitting in the Mayor’s office measuring up for a new chain.

However; neither of us like the easy life, so we decided that not only should the chain be made from recycled material but it must be material from the companies that built the borough, it should also tell the story of the borough…We really had our work cut out..

Six months after the initial idea, we presented the chain to the new Mayor having designed it symbolising a potted history of Eastleigh’s growth using materials donated from two long established companies. I also published an accompanying book which expands on the history of Eastleigh and charts the making of the chain, it also gives credit to those that helped with the project.

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The chain is kept in the Mayors office and is taken out on educational visits allowing children to try it on and ask questions.

The chain in our opinion is not only an achievement in sustainability but also has educational value.

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Which leads me back to the presentation I am supposed to be writing, I had better get on with it, because it is my final opportunity to persuade the judges that we should move from finalists to winners.  Wish us luck.

Ps. I never did get a new piece of jewellery.

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About the Author

We are a Husband and Wife team who design and create statement jewellery. Every piece we make is limited to one and every piece we make uses nothing but recycled and reclaimed materials. Many of our pieces are made from very old items which have become damaged through the years and so have lost their original purpose but not their base beauty. There is always a story to be told in each of our pieces. It is important to us to be part of a like minded global collective to reinforce the concept that imagination in fashion can co-exist with an eco conscience and that sustainability can be achieved without compromising quality. Simon has always loved design; he is a natural artist who works in many mediums, there are several homes that have his art hanging in them. He is a skilled and trained carpenter and we both worked in garden design for a time. On a personal basis I am Jack of all trades; Having worked in the hair and beauty industry, retail jewellery, visual merchandising and much more. I volunteer in various public service roles and as a mature student I graduated in 2008 with a qualifying law degree.

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