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Rating: Bottles & Wood Jewelry

B&W Bombay Sapphire Necklace

Review by Donna DeForbes

 I’m a big fan of upcycling and creative reuse… and I also love pendant necklaces. So I jumped at the chance to review Bottle & Wood’s repurposed jewelry — specifically the Bombay Sapphire tumbled necklace — which represents the intersection of these two loves.

 Bottles & Wood is a California company that rescues used wine, liquor and water bottles from local hotels and restaurants and crafts them into gorgeous bangles, earrings and necklaces. The “wood” part of their name refers to serving ware and furnishings made from recycled wine barrels and pallets, however this review is focused on their jewelry.

The company offers The Green Mama readers 15% off their jewelry! Use the code GREENMAMA15 at checkout.

What's To Love?:

 

  • Beautiful, simple and clean design
  • Sustainable reuse of glass liquor bottles, many of which would otherwise have gone to the landfill
  • Unique gift idea – choose the recipient’s favorite color or favorite drink (Jack n’ Coke necklace, Grey Goose bangles, etc.)
  • Company strives to be a model in educating their community about the benefits of upcycling and sustainability

 

 

Overall Rating:

Health Rating:

The jewelry is made of reclaimed glass, which saves the environment from extra waste and won’t harm your body when worn. Additional jewelry materials include stainless steel, silver and copper wire, and hemp.

The company cleans the old bottles with vinegar or Simple Green all-purpose cleaner (while not classified as hazardous, Simple Green does contain fragrance and colorant), and they do not use toxic chemicals in the production process. They recommend cleaning their jewelry with Simple Green or Ivory soap.

Design Rating:

As a designer myself, I appreciate the beautiful, clean and functional design of the jewelry, which often reflects an aspect of the original bottle in shape or graphics. The Bombay Sapphire necklace was simply constructed of a blue glass ring with a silver chain wrapped around it – no extra fasteners or connector pieces.

 

Social Rating:

Bottles & Wood began as a grassroots company in the San Diego “hood” that created a business by solving community problems. They created local jobs during a tough job market and diverted trash from a landfill nearing capacity. The jewelry is handmade at their San Diego warehouse by local craftspeople.

The company organizes “bottle drives” to help local schools, sports teams and non-profits with their fundraising efforts. They offer their retail showroom as a venue to local organizations at no charge as a way of raising awareness about the business of upcycling

Carbon Rating:

Bottles & Wood thinks LOCAL as much as possible. Collected from local hotels, restaurants and bars, glass bottles are diverted from the local wastestream. They source the majority of their additional materials (stainless steel, silver and copper wire, and hemp) from local jewelry suppliers. The same hotels, restaurants and bars often purchase the bottles back once they have been handcrafted into custom glassware and gifts.

Waste Rating:

The company creates their products from reclaimed waste! In their new San Diego manufacturing facility and showcase venue, they use secondhand appliances, equipment and shop supplies: the fixtures and displays are all made from recycled wood; the industrial shelving units were repurposed along with the kiln and stainless steel sink, which came from a restaurant.

They try to acquire used packing materials when possible, although some of the packaging seemed unnecessary (my necklace came in a plastic bag within a cardboard box layered with polyester fiber).

Value Rating:

Ranging in price from $8.75 to $25.00, Bottles & Wood’s jewelry line is absolutely affordable. Unique and artfully made, this jewelry offers the added value of repurposing waste.

The company offers The Green Mama readers 15% off their jewelry! Use the code GREENMAMA15 at checkout.