by Ashley Lodato
Toss it. Single-use. Throw it away. Disposable. Discard it. Scrap it. One-time purpose. Junk it. Non-recyclable. Temporary. Trash it.
Sound familiar? Increasingly, our consumer society seeks the convenience of single-use items. Paper plates. Plastic cups. Anti-bacterial wipes. Single-use contact lenses. Garments cheaply made by children in foreign sweatshops.....but that's another story.
But at Bronwen Jewelry, we embrace a different ethic: jewelry for life.
When we began making outdoor jewelry in 2007, we didn't deliberately set out to create adventure jewelry that would be worn for a lifetime. We simply wanted to create artisan bracelets, necklaces, and earrings that would stand up to the stresses of sand, salt, wind, and water that we subjected our jewelry to. But in creating active jewelry for active women, we found that our materials choices resulted in artisan jewelry that endured.
Our jewelry is not indestructible (a toddler with a hammer and a pair of scissors could render it unwearable) and if it were, you wouldn't want to wear it. But our pieces are created with high-quality materials, carefully constructed by hand, and designed to be with you for life. That's why we established our signature Bronwen Jewelry Lifetime Warranty, which promises that we'll repair or replace your Bronwen Jewelry that gets broken.
We find reinforcement for our Lifetime Warranty program from companies like Stanley, where a lifetime warranty guarantee has been in effect for more than 100 years. Le Creuset is another company renowned for its warranty, and for good reason; their cookware is so spectacularly made that you could buy a set for your first apartment and still be using it to cook dinner on your 100th birthday.
Patagonia has crafted its own approach to keeping products in action even when owner interest has waned. Through its Worn Wear program, Patagonia offers customers the opportunity to repair, reuse, or recycle apparel by trading in, fixing, or reselling. We're too small to offer a trade-in program, but we love to pass on our tips for refreshing your jewelry whenever we get a chance.
We're delighted when we hear stories about other companies valuing quality and endurance, so we were especially thrilled to learn about the Buy Me Once website, which curates a collection of environmentally responsible, long-lasting products. Buy Me Once aims to radically shift habits from short-term buying to long-term buying, and this is echoed in Bronwen Jewelry's philosophy. (Of course, you're probably not going to buy just one piece of Bronwen Jewelry the way you might buy one couch or one cast iron turkey roaster, but still, you have the security of knowing that every piece of Bronwen Jewelry you own is designed to be with you for life.)
Stuff happens. We use glass beads--occasionally they break. We use linen and nylon thread--they eventually fray after years of swimming or sweating in them. We want you to wear your Bronwen necklaces, bracelets, and earrings for a lifetime, so we'll help you get your favorite pieces back on your wrists, neck, and ears as soon as possible, whether they be your Tiny Charm Necklaces, your Ribbon Wrap Bracelets, or any other of our lovingly-crafted pieces of artisan jewelry.
And although we often find ourselves returning to old pieces that we haven't worn in years, you might be the type who likes to keep her jewelry box constantly fresh. If "out with the old, in with the new" is your motto, you've probably realized that you can upcycle some of your old pieces by giving them to friends, selling them at consignment stores, or donating them to a women's shelter.
At Bronwen Jewelry, our customers believe in the quality of our products and they understand the added value of our warranty. We know how well-built our products are because we build them with our own hands. We haven't had a problem with customers taking advantage of our warranty, and we don't expect to.
Bronwen Jewelry: consuming less by consuming better.