ALEXA VON SUESS
The ALEXA VON SUESS collection started with "wabi-sabi," a Japanese philosophy that embraces imperfections + sees beauty in transience. Each piece focuses on that beauty - whether it's the touch of the maker's hand, a rust or patina, or the natural inclusions in stone, which, in their essence are always "imperfect."
Our adornments are handmade in a small studio on the east end of Long Island, New York by GIA accredited goldsmith Alexa Von Suess. We use recycled sterling + gold, unusual earth-mined stones, heirloom + lab grown diamonds, and whatever else captivates us.
All of the metals used in our pieces are recycled from post-consumer materials. When we have scrap material at the end of a production cycle, we sell our bits of scrap back to our dealers to be refined and, ultimately, used again. This creates a closed-loop system which means less mining, less international movement, less environmental impact, and a more sustainable product.
This is a long and nuanced discussion that we can spend hours on (stop into the shop and ask - Alexa may deliver a whole lecture if you're interested) but the short answer is yes, we are exceptionally discerning about the ethical provenance of our stones.
All diamond materials used are certified under the Kimberly Process or are reclaimed or lab-grown. We have developed close relationships with our colored gem dealers who are all certified by the American Gem Trade Association. The AGTA requires strict adherence to an uncompromising code of ethics when working with miners or site holders. We only work with dealers whose chain of custody is short and whose provenance is well documented to not incorporate practices like forced or child labor. We currently avoid newly mined materials like emerald, tanzanite, jade, coral, and lapis lazuli that regularly fund organized crime or cost an increased environmental toll.
We also provide reclaimed & post-consumer stones that have been recut and reused. There’s also the option to buy stones mined and cut within the USA which reduces environmental impact and energy usage.
Finally, there’s always the option of purchasing a cultured or lab-grown version of the stone you’re looking for. These stones are chemically and structurally the same thing as what you’d mine from the earth but are instead made in laboratories. They have the added benefits of being more budget-friendly and environmentally friendly, but also cost many communities in developing countries the opportunity to profit from their natural resources - instead compounding wealth in the hands of a few wealthy corporations.
Overall, we realize that there are a lot of challenges in finding the right ethical option. Don't be afraid to tell us about your concerns and we will find a stone and a solution that fits your life and your ethos.
04 get in touch
shop in person @ Common Ground: 29 Front St. Greenport, NY 11944