A $20,000 Cardboard Bracelet: Are Expensive Eco-Friendly Items Worth It?
8 months ago
When going 'green' costs you hard earned green
"Going green" can mean everything from biking to work, using a hamster wheel-powered cell phone charger, recycling cans or dumpster-diving for dinner (by choice). For California-based jewelry designer Keariene Muizz, it meant creating a cuff bracelet from salvaged industrial cardboard and—upon sealing it with a high-varnish gloss and adorning it with a two-inch glass gem—selling it for what she believes it's worth: $20,000.
Repurposing metals and minerals, papers and plastics, fabrics and sometimes even feces for the sake of environmental sustainability, or wearable art, is no new fad, but Muizz's eye popping price tag for salvaged materials may have just taken sustainability to a whole new price point.
"It's way over-priced and not at all reasonable," said Lisa DiSciascio, a fellow eco-friendly designer. Her Starlight Woods collection (below) is comprised of jewelry and key chains made from slices of storm-damaged trees.
Still, while the cost of Muizz's cuff seems to contradict the 'waste not, want not' mentality that largely drives the eco-friendly industry, DiSciascio doesn't deny that upticks in pricing for sustainable products are very likely.
"I don't feel that products that are eco-friendly, yet expensive, are counterproductive because sustainable materials need to be sourced and sometimes the hunt for those materials is a process," she said. "It's not like we just go online and order our materials to create, but the issue with that bracelet is just that it is priced too high for what it is."
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