Adina’s Jewels: Figaro Choker

overall Rating:

0.5

planets

Alena Manzor
10/16/2020
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Adina’s Jewels had me loving their products as soon as I saw the trendy styles I’d seen all over Instagram and Pinterest without having to break the bank. With all the discounts they offered I could get a quality-made necklace—like this choker— for under fifty bucks and wear it as much as I wanted knowing it would last. But the lasting factor is about as much sustainability points I can give them. They’re better than a lot of fast fashion brands in the sense that all their products are made extra tarnish resistant so consumers won’t be throwing them out as often, but they are still a self-proclaimed fast fashion jewelry company. The durability becomes less relevant when their brand centers around using the appeal of Insta-famous celebs to encourage people to speed up consumption when the environmental issues at hand require consumption to slow down. This is a big issue to tackle, and one consumers must face as well—I just bought this choker recently and Adina’s keeps tempting me with weekly emails enticing me to come back and save 25%. But in order to truly show a value for consumers, Adina’s Jewels needs to step up it’s game in sustainability and be more open with consumers and conscientious of the impact their use of social media influencers to promote fast fashion jewelry has on the environment.

what it's made of:

0

Aside from the two bullet points under product details telling you that the choker’s made out of sterling silver and gold vermeil, the site doesn’t offer much else explanation in terms of what it’s made of or the materials’ environmental impact. The gold vermeil is 2 layers of 14k gold over sterling silver. A quick Google search informed me that gold vermeil lasts longer and is more expensive than gold plated—which is just a thin layer of gold over a base metal like brass— but it won’t last as long as the more expensive gold filled or solid gold jewelry. Adina’s prides itself on making affordable jewelry that lasts, and the use of gold vermeil does make it more sustainable than a lot of fast fashion brands selling gold plated jewelry for cheap prices (Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville), but are thrown out after the quality quickly fades. However, whether the sterling silver was mined or recycled is unclear. A lot of jewelry brands are trying to be more sustainable by using recycled silver—which when used the impact on the environment can be reduced to less than 5%. But if Adina’s was using recycled silver I’d think they’d want to advertise that, so I’m left assuming they didn’t make that eco-conscious choice. Mining in general harms the environment because it causes erosion, and the chemicals used in the process contaminate groundwater, soil, and surface water. Adina’s social media success propelling it to the multi-million dollar company it is today gives it a responsibility to be more invested in committing to sustainability and at least communicating the environmental impact of their jewelry to consumers.

As for packaging, there is no information provided about the specific materials used, but when I’ve personally unwrapped an Adina’s Jewels package from the mail, I’ve thought to myself that it seems like an unnecessary amount of packaging for the one necklace I bought. You first open a box, which seems made of cardboard and appears recyclable but it’s not clear, and inside the box is a pouch which holds a small plastic baggie that finally reveals the piece of jewelry. It does look elegant, but it comes at the cost of waste that could be avoided with a more minimalistic eco-friendly packaging option.

how it's made:

0.5

Again, I had no luck finding much about Adina’s production process methods or the sustainability of their supply chain, let alone whether the environment is even a concern in their production. A “behind the scenes” video on their “About” page briefly says that they have many manufacturing hubs in the diamond district in NYC, and the products are hand packaged in a warehouse in Brooklyn. The “behind the scenes video”— which doesn’t really show much behind the scenes— mainly highlights the company’s focus on making designs that are trendy and up to date which is why they are “constantly launching new items weekly.” The founder, Adina Kamkhatchi, also calls her business, a “fast fashion jewelry company.” The constant pushing of new products as a self proclaimed fast fashion jewelry brand is a major red flag for environmental impact. While great for marketing, this tactic is not great for sustainability, as products like this choker are made and then new products are advertised to consumers a week later, feeding the fast fashion loop of more consumption at a critical time when consumption needs to slow for the sake of the planet.

The site highlights the use of an extra layer of tarnish resistance to avoid discoloration, and free repairs are also notably offered in case of any discoloration or defective pieces within 60 days of delivery. This free repairs offering is a good step in sustainable practices as people will often just toss out their jewelry, especially if it’s not expensive, as soon as it breaks or loses quality—it’d be even better if they extended that free repair offer to longer than just the first 60 days. However that’s as much sustainable value I could gather from their manufacturing choices. Jewelry production often involves the use of chemicals that are bad for the environment, and the lack of information on their production left me wondering whether waste management or clean production is implemented at the manufacturing facilities.

who makes it:

0.5

Adina’s Jewels has an inspiring entrepreneurial origin, founded by Adina Kamkhatchi when she was still a college student crafting the handmade jewelry herself with the vision of people being able to buy beautiful jewelry at a more affordable price. You can tell Adina has a genuine passion for business and her customers, and the brand also engages in causes like Breast Cancer Awareness, currently matching 100% of customer donations to the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation at checkout on their site. However, there is no information on the working conditions or ethical standards in their facilities— transparency overall in their operations and working conditions is a major area of improvement that needs to be addressed. I also emailed customer service asking for information on their sustainable practices and have yet to hear back.

Social media has played a large role in Adina’s Jewels success, using celebrities and influencers on Instagram to hype up their brand and products. On their “About” page, a video at the bottom showcases some of their favorite celebrities wearing Adina’s Jewels and if you visit their Instagram page, you’ll see many posts and stories dedicated to TikTok stars and other celeb shoutouts for wearing their jewelry, with links to each product they’re wearing so you can get the same earrings or necklace Charli D’Amelio or Bella Hadid has. While the use of celebrities and influencers to sell their products makes for an effective marketing strategy, it almost goes against the point of making jewelry that lasts, because while they may be durable, using the allure of famous names to get consumers buying more and more with every new collection that comes out on almost a weekly basis instigates overconsumption, which does not bode well for the environment.  

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