The natural world is an incredible source of inspiration for new design work. It is also the source of many rare materials we use to put these ideas into physical form. We acquire and use these resources to celebrate nature's beauty, our relationships to each other, and the special moments in our lives. As such it is important to reflect on where the raw materials for these cherished personal adornments come from. When we cease being mindful of the true costs (to the environment and in human labor) of these resources, then we devalue them, and some of the integrity that we seek to invest in them as personal talismans is lost.
At Taber Studios it is our desire to help bring back a greater sense of integrity to your jewelry buying experience, in particular, and to the jewelry industry as a whole. We are currently doing this in the following ways:
Martin Taber Designs
With a B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and over 15 years experience in the jewelry trade Martin brings a fresh and exciting design presence to the creation of a very unique style of haut-couture eco-jewelry. The purpose of this new collection is three-fold: 1. To celebrate the beauty of the natural world; 2. To use found objects as the primary components and bulk of each piece, thereby reducing the use of rare and precious materials to accents; and 3. To encourage the wearer/viewer to redefine what it is they consider "precious."
15% of the sale of all Martin Taber Designs jewelry is donated directly to the Ocean Conservancy.
Whenever possible we seek to use only recycled metals. This includes all of our sterling silver wire and sheet metal and most of our 14k gold material. Our primary suppliers are Rio Grande, a family owned and operated jewelry materials supplier, and Hoover and Strong's Harmony Metals.
5% Materials Surcharge
While we are big proponents of using recycled metals to reduce the amount of new material being mined, no amount of recycling is going to halt the continued mining of new ore. With a strong personal mandate to help develop cleaner technologies and processes we have instituted a 5% materials surcharge on all materials we use. This added surcharge will be donated on a quarterly basis to the Alliance for Responsible Mining, an organization committed to enhancing equity and wellbeing in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities through improved social, environmental and labour practices, good governance and the implementation of ecosystem restoration practices. Artisanal and small-scale mining constitutes 50% of all precious metal mining that occurs around the world.
Ethical Metalsmiths is committed to leading jewelers and consumers in becoming informed activists for responsible mining, sustainable economic development and verified, ethical sources for gold, diamonds and other materials used for jewelry. Ethical Metalsmiths' vision is a world in which people can create and enjoy jewelry made with materials from responsible sources that respect and protect the earth, its peoples, and cultures. Martin Taber is an active member of the Ethical Metalsmiths Responsible Studio Practices Working Group, formed to address questions about sustainable and health-safe studio practices and proper disposal procedures for studio chemicals that don't have suitable alternatives.