Along with reusing and reselling, the process of upcycling — reworking (typically secondhand) items into new styles — is a fairly well-known sustainable practice in the fashion world. A common example is garment makers sourcing used plastic bottles and spinning them into thread. In the jewelry space, makers most often upcycle metals and alloys that once took the form of silverware and vintage jewelry. However, some creators, like Christina Tung of SVNR, have taken a craftier approach. She recently partnered with The RealReal to produce a capsule jewelry collection under the name TRR x SVNR. It highlights the power of invention with some more unlikely objects.
The collaborators took natural and used items, like coral and Venetian glass, to create its pieces. And, all of the items reflect several jewelry trends for 2022 — such as pearlcore, playful beading, and turquoise accents — so shoppers can feel modern in the prized pieces. “Resourcefulness was an integral part of my first-generation Chinese upbringing — reusing items, reimagining the old into something new,” SVNR founder Christina Tung tells TZR in an email. From that experience, Tung’s grandmother was among her biggest inspirations: “I remember [her] telling me to eat every grain of rice because someone had to pick each one. We would use every piece of paper, front and back. She instilled in me to take what I would use, [and if there was excess,] save the rest for later.” The partnership was a natural fit, she explains, given both brands’ mutual commitment to minimizing fashion’s carbon footprint and closing the consumption loop.
“We've done sustainable jewelry collections in the past, but this collaboration with SVNR is the first time we’re branching outside of fine jewelry to create a more accessible assortment of pieces,” explains Steffi Lee, fine jewelry and watches editorial manager at The RealReal. She describes the juxtaposed pieces as “an elevated take on costume jewelry you might buy on a tropical vacation” and says she loves them for their beach-to-street practicality. All are handmade by Tung in Brooklyn and also include precious materials like freshwater pearls, Lapis Lazuli, and Amethyst — all sourced from Central America and authenticated by The RealReal’s in-house gemologists. Price-wise, items range from $150 to $495. The entire capsule consists of about 150 one-of-a-kind pieces.
Items on therealreal.com generally sell out quickly, so be sure to add these to your virtual checkout cart lightning-fast. With every piece from the collection having such a rich history and renewed future, whatever you snag will surely be a valuable addition to your jewelry collection. Your purchase will also benefit a worthy organization, as a portion of proceeds will be donated to Stop AAPI Hate.
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