Washed Ashore became a certified green business in May 2016. At Washed Ashore, we believe in conscious consumerism and are committed to acting to conserve resources and prevent pollution. At our headquarters, we use environmentally preferable products, such as 100% recycled paper, and energy efficient and resource-friendly appliances and devices, such as LED lighting. We also make a conscious effort to support local businesses. In implementing these practices, Washed Ashore’s goal is to reduce water use, conserve energy, prevent pollution, use non-toxic cleaners, avoid waste, recycle materials, and work locally to minimize driving.
Certification aside, Washed Ashore crafts jewelry that is inspired by our love for the ocean. As such, all our shell and pearl accessories are made with sustainability as our priority. The shell pieces are casts made from molds of real shells, which eliminates our reliance on the industry’s mass collection of shells, and we only use keshi pearls, which are a byproduct of pearl cultivation and are often disregarded by the industry. Washed Ashore hopes to bring awareness of ocean and marine life conservancy by providing souvenirs of the sea to those who find their love and sanctuary in the deep blue.
How is the shell jewelry made?
Unlike shell-inspired jewelry that incorporates actual seashells, Washed Ashore's shell jewelry is made from molds of seashells. Wax models are formed from the molds, which are then casted into metal. With this process, no actual seashells are used on the pieces of jewelry. This means no mass collection of seashells from the ocean is necessary. Mass collection of shells removes a significant source of calcium carbonate (Ca2CO3) from our oceans; calcium carbonate is essential in the formation of the exoskeletons of mollusks, such as snails, clams, oysters, mussels, and many others, as well as maintaining a habitable ocean pH for marine life. In using this more sustainable technique, Washed Ashore is not only trying to clean up after the industry, but we are also fighting for conservancy of marine life and resources.
Why are the pearl pendants not round?
Washed Ashore uses imperfect, keshi pearls which are usually disregarded in the industry - keshi pearls are a byproduct of the pearl cultivation process. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and tend to have high luster and orient. Because keshi pearls have a solid-nacre composition with no nucleus, they generally have a greater luster than the best-quality cultured pearls. Nacre is made up of thousands of layers of overlapping crystal plates and it forms around the nucleus, usually a bead of shell that has been implanted into an oyster, of pearls. To produce round cultured pearls, this bead has been cut, rounded, and polished before being surgically implanted into the oyster. By turning the imperfect pearls into pendants, we are conserving and highlighting nature’s beauty.
Why does the jewelry that I purchased look different from the image online?
Keshi pearls have traditionally been considered a less desirable byproduct of pearl cultivation. Pearl cultivation is driven primarily by the jewelry industry; and as trends dictate the demand for different types of pearls, the color, size, and shape of the resulting keshi pearls are also affected. At Washed Ashore, we are committed to our sustainable use of keshi pearls, regardless of color, size, or shape. While the characteristics of the pearls we use may vary according to what is being disregarded, the overall designs will remain consistent with what is pictured. As different pearls generate waves in the industry, we’ll be watching the sets, waiting for whatever washes ashore.
Can my jewelry get wet?
Yes, of course! Our jewelry is meant to be worn in the sea.