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doing good & doing business


don't have to be mutually exclusive

SERIOUSLY  ETHICAL

I'm obsessed with jewelry, and serious about making it in more responsible ways. 


My dream is to create 100% ethical jewelry. 


This means free of mercury, without endangering our forests and wildlife, all while supporting artisanal miners and makers. 


Not just our jewelry. But all jewelry, worldwide. 


This dream unfolds as a journey to transform our supply chains for gold, gemstones and diamonds. Together, we get to know all the wonderful people involved in making your dream jewelry. 


It’s my end–to-end promise that the jewelry you so dearly love, is also a way for you to show your love for everything around you. 


Take my word that at Gardens of the Sun, you can shop guilt-free.


Rather have an independent third party tell you? Gardens of the Sun has been B Corp certified since January 2023. 

Meri Geraldine

Founder of Gardens of the Sun

B Corp Certified
3rd party certified responsible business
 

IMPACT by the year


2022

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2021

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2020

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VALUES

Connection | Goodwill | Transparency | Self Love | Impact

SOURCING PRINCIPLES

The ethical jewelry brand Gardens of the Sun is an extension of our founder Meri’s mission to help indigenous women have more chances in life. We do this by giving them higher prices, offer education about less damaging ways to mine precious metals and gemstones, and funding the reforestation of ex-mining sites. 

Our recipe for ethical jewelry is based on 4 sourcing principles. We believe all jewelry businesses should apply these four principles: 

We could have chosen the easy way. We could have just said “our jewelry is 100% ethical, pinkie promise”. 


We could have bought Fairmined eco-gold, and stones from areas where mercury pollution, corruption and human rights abuses aren't rampant. 


But we didn’t. Why? 


Because absolutely nothing would have changed for the millions of artisanal miners in countries like Indonesia. 


Looking the other way isn’t our thing. We’re deliberately staying in Indonesia, working where mercury pollution is the worst, and where diamonds and sapphires are mined solely by artisanal miners.


That's where the miners need us most.

MATERIALS

Ethical Gold | Recycled Silver | Artisanal Diamonds | Indigenous Sapphires

We believe that a good start will result in goodness, all the way through. And we start with the materials. 

ETHICAL GOLD

Most gold on the market is mined by artisanal miners. Often, this metal is embedded in solid rocks, a hide-and-seek away. Mercury is the cheapest and easiest way to separate the gold from the hard rock. It's also the number one problem in artisanal gold mining. 


When mercury is released into our environment, it keeps circulating between the soil, plants, animals and people. Even in small amounts, exposure to mercury causes still-births and birth defects. 


This doesn't have to be. It's possible to mine gold in a way that doesn't kill the planet and directly benefits indigenous people. This isn't fiction or fantasy. It's how we can change the lives of entire communities dependent on gold mining for their livelihoods. 


Gardens of the Sun raises the bar and shows the world that jewelry can be made differently. We’ve connected with a group of indigenous women and asked them to replace toxic mercury and cyanide with cleaner techniques. In exchange, we gave them access to finance and premiums that others declare us crazy for. 

RECYCLED SILVER

As of September 2020, all our silver jewelry uses recycled silver. Our silver is imported from the precious metal refiner Umicore. This refiner has been listed as Conflict Free Smelter by the Responsible Minerals Initiative, is ISO9001 (for operational processes), ISO14001 (environmental commitment) and ISO45001 (safe and healthy environment for its workers) certified, Chain-of-Custody certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council and complies with the LBMA Responsible Ag Guidance. 


We're well aware that using recycled silver doesn't actually change anything in the silver supply chain. The Indonesian legal system makes it extremely complex to purchase silver extracted by artisanal miners without mercury and cyanide. At the moment, the absolute best we can do is to use recycled silver. Until we find a way to overcome the obstacles and support artisanal miners to mine silver in an environmentally responsible way. 


If you can help, please do get in touch.

INDIGENOUS SAPPHIRES

We’re at the very start of a partnership with an indigenous community that has found sapphires along their rivers and creeks. We’re invested in turning this partnership into a long-term livelihood for 42 miners in two villages. 


These sapphires are now available in our Borneo Gems collection!  

ARTISANAL DIAMONDS

The diamond trade is ruled by a select, untouchable few – mostly men. 


Artisanal miners are struggling. The Kimberley Process – meant to stop the trade of blood diamonds – effectively outplays the small people. This is because the certificates are only issued for large, industrial mines. Artisanal miners can't easily obtain a certificate and hence, they can't sell their diamonds. Through this murky process, the Kimberley Process Certificate makes these rich men richer, and the poor poorer. We won't accept that.


We want our jewelry to make a difference in the live of the people who make our jewelry possible. So we buy at fair prices, as closely to the source as possible.

IN PRACTICE

Giving Back | Tree Planting | Packaging | Office Culture 

For every purchase filled with love, we send love back to Mother Earth. Our vision of jewelry that not only makes you feel good, but also does its best to be good, isn’t possible without the support of our incredible community of experts and artisans. 

We believe that a business can only grow as much as the people behind grow. So we empower our employees and suppliers to grow and spark change too.

GIVING BACK

Twice a year, our team designs a one of a kind collection of jewelry for a good cause. 100% of the proceeds will go to a charity of our choice. 


Aside from that, we also donate when we feel called upon. 


In 2018 we donated $8,072.58 to causes we believe, and another $3,781.86 in 2019. In 2020, we've made donations to an orphanage, a gentle birthing clinic and bought hundreds of watermelons from local farmers to give to people affected by the economic impact of the pandemic. In 2021, we’ve made donations to 3 schools in North Sulawesi, food for people affected by the pandemic in Bali, coral restoration, prenatal appointments and clean water for families in Bali.


Have any suggestions? Do send us an email.

$22,009.04

DONATED TO GOOD CAUSES

TREE PLANTING

The sparkling sea, the strong roots of mangroves and lush forests paint a vivid picture of Biak Island, Papua. 


For every purchase of a Gardens of the Sun piece we plant five trees in Biak Island. 


Through the Eden Reforestation Project, your purchase employs local communities in reforesting their land. This targets one of the leading causes of deforestation, gives jobs to thousands of local villagers, and creates a connection between the local community and its recovering environment. 


Not only that, your sigh of pleasure at wearing your jewelry is complemented by a sigh of relief from Mother Earth, forging a connection that will last years and decades into the future. 


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TREES PLANTED

Most gold on the market is mined by artisanal miners. Often, this metal is embedded in solid rocks, a hide-and-seek away. Mercury is the cheapest and easiest way to separate the gold from the hard rock. 


Mercury pollution is the number one problem in artisanal gold mining. It's huge. 


When mercury is released into our environment, it keeps circulating between the soil, plants, animals and people. Even in small amounts, exposure to mercury causes still-births and birth defects. 


This doesn't have to be. It's possible to mine gold in a way that doesn't kill the planet and directly benefits indigenous people. This isn't fiction or fantasy. It's how we can change the lives of entire communities dependent on gold mining for their livelihoods. 


Gardens of the Sun raises the bar and shows the world that jewelry can be made differently. We’ve connected with a group of indigenous women and asked them to replace toxic mercury and cyanide with cleaner techniques. In exchange, we gave them access to finance and premiums that others declare us crazy for. 

PACKAGING

Your Gardens of the Sun jewelry comes gift wrapped in beautiful, recycled packaging, lovingly hand-crafted by Banana Paper Bandung. This is a community enterprise in Bandung, West Java, that makes paper from banana stems. 


Banana stems produce fruit only once. After harvesting the fruit, farmers cut the banana stems so new plants can grow. These stems become waste that’s usually composted after harvesting, but their high cellulose content makes it a great source for paper. 


Each ton of banana paper made saves between 15 and 20 trees. It also uses less energy and water than the normal paper industry, so there’s less environmental pollution and less post-consumer waste. 

Our packaging isn’t just more sustainable. Our clients have told us it feels like getting a special gift from a dear friend. 

OFFICE CULTURE

In our little Balinese studio, we employ 27 people. When we moved in, our premises were blessed by a Balinese high priest. 


And we take care of our little paradise together. We fill it with good vibes, the playful wrestling between our rescue puppies, the daily incense and offerings to the unseen spirits. 


Every single one of us receives fair pay, a generous maternity or paternity leave, health insurance, a training budget, fresh fruits, weekly yoga classes, volunteer days to contribute to a cause we care about, and continued pay when we're ill. Ah, and the free jewelry is a nice perk too! 

We always have a choice. 

From the women of Borneo, to a cluster of artists in Yogyakarta, a young man in Bandung with a vision, to a Dutch girl in Bali who loves designing jewelry and then to thoughtful people like you... We all have a choice to make smart decisions and become aware of their impact on the world. 


It only takes one person to make a difference, but a community to change the world. In the end, you decide. 


The more people choose ethical jewelry... 


The more people demand to know exactly where the metal, diamonds and gemstones in their jewelry came from... 


The more people share our story...


The sooner ethical jewelry becomes the new normal. 


We invite our clients and fellow jewelers and designers to join the cause. You’ll be doing a whole lot more than just purchasing jewelry. 

Crazy about jewelry. Serious about doing it ethical.