WWAKE is doing great in all areas of sustainability, their message, purpose and actions really do align as one. It’s not often you see companies put so much effort into every factor: community, employees, and future. These are valued highly here and knowing each purchase I make goes towards a sustainable community is well worth it. Rings are high quality and don’t have negative reviews to say otherwise, would recommend purchasing from here.
They use recycled gold and silver, these materials are SCS certified, this means the materials meet international labor requirements, they maintain a peaceful coexistence when mining. They source all their gems from “heritage gemstones” or “antique diamonds” (mined 17+ years ago), which puts little to no demand on present day mining. When there is a time where a different gemstone is needed they source from partners who follow rules of fair labor and pricing standards, including they have transparency on their practices/ business. Overall, WWAKE seems to be in the top level of sustainable, using materials that have already been made, making very little need for produce new materials. But not perfectly sustainable due to there being a gap that can sometimes filled with gems which are not pre-used.
Each jewelry piece is made in Greenpoint studio, located in New York, it is stated they use “low-impact studio methods.” They also make everything to order, which allows less waste and prevents mass producing. The people who assemble the jewelry are located in New York. Their stones and metals are “ethically sourced from Malawi, Colombia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, China, Colombia, Peru, and our home here in North America.” I do like the fact of everything being handmade and made to order by employees but even though the gems are ethically sourced which is still being taken into consideration for sustainability the locations for most of stones and metals are outside the US, which takes part in consuming airplane fuel.
WWAKE is an “Asian woman-owned and run by a 92% women-identified team. Our in-house studio staffs 100% women-identified bench jewelers, bringing our unique perspective to every step of the process —how it’s made, designed, and then shared.” Wing Yau is the founder and lead designer of WWAKE. All the jewelry is made by the employees who work there.
They are committed to keeping roles at WWAKE for Black, NBPOC, and immigrants for at a minimum of 50 percent. They are an inclusive business open to “all racial and gender identities” They have partnered with Slow Factory ( public service organization operating as an open education institute, an independent research lab & new media platform, and a granting & empowerment fund) to establish “a professional development track program to succeed in the fashion and fine jewelry industries.” Their mission is to design pieces that connect with the owner, a timeless treasure they keep and have as a statement piece. They work directly with miners they get their materials from to “preserve provenance” and value connecting with their community. They make annual investments towards organizations that uplift marginilized individuals that are local to their area.