Sarah earned a BFA in New media and Metalsmithing from Millersville University. She studied under Christina Miller, who is the co-founder of Ethical Metalsmiths. Sarah founded Sarah Zentz Jewelry. Here is her story.
How did you get interested in ethical and sustainable fashion?
In 2008, I received a BFA in New Media and Metalsmithing from Millersville University in Pennsylvania. I studied Metalsmithing under Christina Miller, Co-Founder of Ethical Metalsmiths, a non profit organization leading jewelers and consumers in becoming informed activists for responsible mining, sustainable economic development and verified, ethical sources of materials used in making jewelry. Therefore, I have chosen to only work with ethically sourced materials. All of my jewelry is made with recycled metals, reclaimed wood, and ethically sourced diamonds.
What seems like the importance of ethical and sustainable fashion designers and companies?
The commitment from jewelers to become activists for responsible mining, sustainable and ethical sources for gold, silver, and diamonds could lead to responsible mining and supply chain transparency. It is of upmost importance for jewelry designers and companies to transform the mining and jewelry industries for the protection of the earth, its peoples, and cultures.
How can ethical and sustainable fashion contribute to the long-term sustainable future for the atmosphere, the biosphere, and the environment?
The mining industry has a devastating impact on ecosystems from poised waters to solid toxic waste. According to No Dirty Gold, “producing gold for one wedding ring alone generates 20 tons of waste.” Most people probably don’t know this but metal mining was the number one toxic polluter in the United States in 2010 releasing arsenic, mercury, and lead into the environment. According to Ethical Metalsmtihs, “Large open-pit mines operated by multi-national corporations consume wilderness areas, destroy ecosystems and violate human rights. Artisanal mining in impoverished nations exploit labor, poison communities and ravage environments.” Ethical jewelers can help reduce the ecological and human footprint of mining by using sustainable materials and recycled metals.
What is Sarah Zentz Jewelry?
Sarah Zentz Jewelry is an ethical jewelry production company. I design contemporary pieces of adornment that are minimal, geometric, and ethically made where the ocean meets the redwood forest in Big Sur, California. My handmade ethical jewelry is inspired by and created for the nature loving adventurer and traveler.
What are some of its feature products?
My newest ethical jewelry line is made from reclaimed redwood and Argentium silver. The redwood species contains the largest and tallest trees in the world. These majestic trees can live thousands of years. Redwood forests once covered large parts of Europe, Asia, and North America, but changing climates spared only three small areas of these majestic trees – the Coast of California is one of these three places. Due to habitat losses from fire, logging, drought, and air pollution they are endangered. In my jewelry production, I only use fallen old growth redwood from California. The redwood is not treated, and remains fully biodegradable. My hope is that my jewelry will be a part of the conservation efforts to preserve the remaining redwood forests by bringing awareness to the threats the largest and tallest trees in the world are facing. Additionally, Argentium Silver is considered an “environmentally responsible” metal. All Argentium is made from 100% recycled silver and fully traceable, ethically sourced, raw silver.
What is the customer base – the demographics?
Although, I consider many of my wood jewelry designs unisex, my main customer base is 25-34-year-old women.
What personal fulfillment comes from this work for you?
Since the first time I saw the Pacific Ocean and magnanimous redwood trees, I was inspired to live and create work in the beautiful place I now call home in Big Sur, California. I love creating pieces of adornment that have a story and connect people to a space. To be able to create jewelry using fully traceable, sustainable, and ethical materials gives me the most incredible fulfillment and purpose. I am so blessed to be a part of the movement of ethical jewelry and ethical fashion.
Any recommended means of contacting, even becoming involved with, you?
The best way to get in touch with me is through my website:
You can also keep up to date with me on the following social media platforms:
Thank you for your time, Sarah Zentz.