Handmade & Local
Olga Gillies jewellery began in 2007 with an idea to create not just something beautiful but also something eco-conscious. From the start, the emphasis was on craft, longevity and sustainability.
Each piece of Olga Gillies jewellery is hand made in my little studio space by myself using traditional wire wrapping, beading and metalsmithing techniques.
Each piece I create is imbued with a sense of artisan spirit and energy impossible to replicate in mass-produced jewellery.
My design philosophy is rooted in being eco-conscious. I seek to create pieces that are unique, of high-quality craftsmanship and possess longevity rather than chasing trends and contributing to a culture of disposable fashion. All my jewellery is designed to function as heirlooms, timeless, collectable pieces that will tell a story and last for many years to come and, I hope, be passed on to the next generation. I design and craft using traditional techniques and practice traditional eco-consciousness of reusing and recycling as much as I can.
I source my materials from individuals and companies I know and trust to maintain high standards.
ETHICAL GEMSTONES - I use natural stones, preferring the use of those which are not treated or scarce and whenever I can find, those responsibly mined, antique or vintage stones already in circulation. I use freshwater pearls because their production requires clean water, thus discourages river pollution. I do not use real diamonds for ethical and moral reasons. I am increasing the use of Swarovski crystals and lab-created gemstones because their production is more responsible and does less harm to the world around us.
ETHICAL METAL - I use recycled silver and gold when possible. I use fairly traded Karen Hill Tribe silver crafted by artisans using traditional methods. I do not do gold plating and use gold plated components only when there is no alternative. Most of my gold jewellery is made with gold fill which is more resistant to tarnishing and rubbing off than gold-plated jewellery, thus gives my designs longevity while being affordable.
REPURPOSING VINTAGE - I source and repurpose vintage jewellery and findings to give them a new life.
REUSING, RECYCLING - I collect and reuse the scrap metal to ensure that I am not creating any unnecessary waste. Many of my favourite designs are lovingly crafted from recycled silver to create organic forms.
ETHICAL PACKAGING - I have always used recycled, recyclable and biodegradable packaging.
I am always on the lookout for ways to reduce the consumption of natural resources and minimise the environmental impact of my jewellery. Handmade production cuts down the pollution associated with machine-made jewellery and the massive carbon footprint of international import and export associated with fast fashion and mass-produced jewellery. It is also kinder to the Earth because by crafting each piece of my jewellery by hand I am more aware of the materials involved in the production. I avoid using harmful substances as much as possible and use natural alternatives whenever available.
I make all my pieces and I bring them directly to you here. No middleman, no third party mark-ups. Fairly made and fairly priced. I care deeply about our planet, the animals and the plants co-inhabiting with us. As an eco-conscious consumer myself, I understand that sometimes you wish to know more, and am happy to answer any questions you might have.