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dotOnly recycled precious metals and not directly mined and therefore no further displacement of fragile eco-systems.
dotLocally-gathered surface stones.
Cruelty-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
dot15% of profits donated to wildlife protection and re-naturing - also land-care education in developing countries.
A genuine approach to chemical-hazard-free crafting.
No plating. No casting. Nothing designed or made with computer software.
Carbon-inverted targets (Dedicated to putting more back into nature than taking from it).
Every detail handmade by Laibach.
No greenwash answers to customer questions.
No newly-mined gems ... ever.
dotAtelier Laibach is the first jewellery maker worldwide to use
The  About The NOVA Key Ethical Label Key ethical label.

Ethical Jewellery Gift Voucher
Atelier Laibach jewellery pouch
Your jewellery piece comes in a Kerstin Laibach handmade pouch made with bamboo / hemp, raffia and vegan sealing wax.


Gathering PebblesLaibach's Unique Principles of Luxury with a Clear Conscience.

Kerstin Laibach's ethical principles, which you will find in her pledge below, are always being fine-tuned to harmonise with the betterment of global conservation.
Laibach atelier takes a genuinely responsible approach to sustainability ... and with our carbon and environmental "inverted" targets we are truly dedicated to putting more back into nature than taking from it. For example, Kerstin harmlessly gathers a few local stones and makes every aspect of her jewellery pieces in her atelier with recycled materials and renewable energy. She then awards fifteen percent of her profits directly to conservation, wildlife protection and nature restoration projects in the UK and Europe and land-care eductional and re-training programmes in developing countries.
Kerstin uses only sustainable gold - this means carefully recycled gold and other recycled precious metals. She never uses environmentally disruptive new-mined gold and this also means she does not use Fairtrade / Fairmined gold either ... which is new-mined. (
For more on this see here).
What is the difference between recycled gold and new-mined gold?

Laibach atelier's goal to "restore more than remove" may be unusual in the jewellery profession, but we also hope that all trades will find ways to adopt a similar approach ... not just marketing jargon, but sincere action. Being ecologically accountable for every aspect of a business, i.e. material resources and work practice, not only helps to minimize carbon and environmental footprints, but could essentially "back-step" them to help reverse the damage caused by the exploitation of our world.

A True Path to Genuine Ecologically Sustainable Ethical Jewellery.

Laibach atelier is fully aware that jewellery traditionally serves as an aid to personal desire and has little to do with the protection of our planet. But what we strive to do is retune aspirations of life's small luxuries; to consider compassion and conservation as a natural postscript to bespoke style. We want to show that elegance can evolve; created by Kerstin in a completely earth-friendly environment and worn by you ... with a truly clear conscience.

A Theme of Compassion and Conservation.

Kerstin Laibach's focus on compassion mainly refers to the unnecessary harvesting and killing of living beings to make jewellery ... For the sake of vanity there is simply no need for it.
Because Kerstin's jewellery is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, she doesn't use any derivatives from animals in her pieces; neither parts of the animals themselves like coral, or else pearls extracted from them. Neither does she use animal derivatives during the construction process.
Further reading about Kerstin Laibach's principles on a conservation / ecological theme progressively explains why she avoids new-mined precious metals, diamonds, other newly-extracted gems or any other form of commercial rock / crystal extraction for use in the jewellery industry.
To read more on this subject see below and also on Laibach's
Ethical Information Menu Page.

The Principle of Genuine Hand Crafting.

If you appreciate a piece of music played entirely by a musician where raw skill and emotion produces natural nuance and character, then you may value truly individual goldsmith work as the hand-crafting equivalent of an inspiring performance.
With the jewellery industry awash with designers who are solely dependent on design software, factory-made jewellery parts, casting, plating, plastics and lasers, true heirloom quality professional goldsmith skills are becoming an unknown entity to the wider public ... with fewer genuine opportunities for them to see and feel the very distinct and refined difference.
Laibach's crafting principles strictly means: No jewellery design computer software and subsequent computer aided casting processes are ever used. Instead, inner-vision, "poetic" imagination and skilled hands create each unique piece.
An entirely handmade piece by Kerstin Laibach also means no casting ... no plating ... no pre-fabricated parts like factory chains, clasps and other closing clips.

An Ethical Pledge ... Kerstin Laibach Explains her Principles...

For your peace of mind it is important to know that from conception to the finished piece, the greenest possible path of creation has been taken. The prime ethics which underline my principles are laid out without blinding you with science:

  • I don't give greenwash answers to your questions. In the jewellery business, the term ethical is grossly undefined and subsequently meaningless. This allows makers and sellers to contrive almost any sourcing or crafting method as "ethical". My principles define ethical as being sustainable; ecologically / environmentally nondestructive as much as it possibly can be.
  • I use only recycled gold, platinum, palladium and silver. I do not use new-mined gold or other new-mined precious metals. (Neither do I use new-mined gems.) I do not use "Fair-trade" gold, Fair-trade silver or Fair-trade platinum ... which is new-mined. Laibach atelier rejects ethical embellishment or "spin" such as using the terms "green" or "ecological" gold when describing social improvements in artisanal mining (a separate "ethical" issue entirely).
    The reality is that all raw extraction of stones and metals leave environmental scars and displaces / destroys habitats and ecosystems wherever and however it takes place. There is absolutely no process which can genuinely claim to the contrary.
    I am passionate about providing a genuine earth-friendly service and I therefore clearly explain moral discrepancies to make absolutely sure that my clients understand my principles. I make it my priority to inform my clients of the exact ecological nature of my work, including its packaging - and provide clarification of environmental projects which a percentage of its sales profits will benefit.
    I sincerely hope that my clients appreciate my transparency and honesty, and I would like to emphasize that I do all that is possible to make certain that trust in my ethics is fully warranted.
  • Environmentally damaging chemicals, common to jewellery making and repair, are replaced with safer, greener alternatives. (Completely green methods are always applied as a preferred option whenever possible.) Because of the slower results when using ecologically safer ingredients, things take longer but I hope you will find that the end product is just as beautiful.*****
  • I never use new-mined precious gems, or any type of stone which has been commercially harvested for my new pieces. I only uses self-gathered surface stones - approx one hundred each year to ensure no detrimental impact on the gathering area.
  • A cruelty-free environment. No animal derivatives are used in any aspect of Laibach jewellery construction and all pieces are suitable for vegans. My specially obtained polishing pastes are free of animal fat. ****
  • Because I only use recycled precious metals are used in Laibach pieces and never newly-mined this automatically means they have been recycled without the use of mercury.
    What is the difference between recycled gold and new-mined gold?
  • I do not plate my jewellery.
    see more about this on my marriage / relationship pages)
  • I specifically never make jewellery that feels disposable or short-lived. I hand forge my designs from the raw metals for durability and a lifetime of cherished wear. Nothing is factory cast - even repeatable pieces***** I strive to ensure that my pieces look and feel as fresh as the day they were created for generations to come.
  • I do not use computer programs to design my pieces. Therefore I also do not use such programs to create 3d models for computer-controlled casting / machine / laser cutting. From concept to final polishing I draw all my designs by hand and then make the design by hand.
  • I hand make chains, links, clasps and other elaborate fixings on my jewellery These parts (called "findings") are not sourced from factories. This is to ensure my clients that every part of my work is, a) Ethically suitable, b) High goldsmith quality, c) Genuinely handmade throughout.
    (See more on this ...)
  • I make all Sea Glass pieces using personally collected sea glass direct from the beach. I do not buy in sea glass and I never polish, cut or treat it in any way.
  • In my atelier in Germany, locally produced renewable energy provides the power for all processes requiring electricity.
  • Nothing ever goes to waste if it can possibly be avoided. Quality tools of the trade are sourced second-hand whenever possible and my workshop is full of working-aids innovatively made from reclaimed materials.
  • I hand make my own jewellery presentation pouches using carefully sourced, environmentally friendly materials. On delivery, if the postage wrapping looks previously used ... it probably has been.
  • Earth to Earth ... VeggieGlobal and Looking-Glass have created the term called "thrucycling"... a huge step beyond recycling and upcycling . Thrucycling describes an item that is made from earth friendly materials and will not adversly pollute the earth if ever discarded. My jewellery is "thrucycled" (including any packaging) This means it is made with recycled materials and elements naturally derived from the earth. No plastics, hazardous materials or non-biodegradable parts. At the end of its long life, a Laibach piece could end up back in the earth without any detriment to the environment. (The precious metals of course would again be recycled)
    What is the difference between recycled gold and new-mined gold?
  • Laibach atelier uses the most environmentally friendly delivery options whenever possible.
  • On the rare occasion that a Laibach piece requires "diamonds" or other gems, I source only laboratory-created gems*, or else antique gems sourced from unusable jewellery ***.
  • As a soldering and melting source. I use propane (one of the cleanest burning of all alternative fuels).**
  • Only your jewellery older than ten years will be bought or credited for recycling.***
  • The "Reclaimed" Collection only includes used precious stones from discarded / recycled jewellery which is to the best of my knowledge over ten years old or pre-millenium. ***
  • We periodically monitor our materials suppliers and subsequently their trade links for any "traceability" irregularities. I am dedicated to ensuring my clients that, to the very best of our knowledge, we avoid suppliers who leave us room for doubt about their "eco" credentials - or whose trade threads may potentially be connected with environmentally damaging work practices and human rights abuse.
  • The Laibach atelier "re-naturing principle" means rewarding more to nature than taking from it. For example, selected wildlife, conservation and re-naturing projects and land-care / retraining eductional programmes in developing countries receive a donation from the sale of each Laibach piece (15% of the profit). Therefore, I focus on projects that assist communities towards vocations which don't depend on mining but instead work interdependently, sustainably and ultimately protect their environment; while most importantly being able to climb out of poverty through the proceeds of their labour. In countries like Africa and South America my approach is designed to support whichever framework provides educational and retraining programmes, offering non-destructive ways for communities to thrive without depleting their environment by destroying complex eco-systems from river to forest. I am of course aware that gold mining is never going to cease, but do feel that ill-planned "fair wage" licensing by western consumer-trade organisations, which only fuels demand for mined gold as opposed to recycled, is not environmentally acceptable. This is why I feel it is so important to try and retain / establish a common-sense approach to ecological /financial stability in third world regions that are associated with mining. Hence my approach towards helping subsistence-based communities towards truly sustainable and environmentally-friendly vocations .... not dragging them further into the mining vortex.
  • My locally gathered principle is constantly evolving as we endeavor to seek solutions and permissions to help nature recover through a "returning-more-than-taking" process. Please see my Locally Gathered page for updated information.

* Laboratory-made diamonds are created either by HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) or CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) These new technologies signify a breakthrough in growing "real" diamonds, which are comparable and can proportionally be considered "purer" than their mined counterparts; being of the same crystalline structure and optically "almost" identical. Kerstin Laibach never uses new-mined stones, but on rare occasions she may use their lab-created counterparts (usually on customer request only). There is a very small carbon footprint created during "growing", cutting and subsequent transportation of lab-created stones. Although this is a tiny percentage in comparison to the huge environmental damage caused by the extraction, processing and distribution of mined gems, we take any amount of environmental impact into consideration. Therefore, relative carbon offsetting is automatically included in the final cost of your lab-created diamond. Our Co2 offset contributions are distributed to environmental restoration projects.

** Our on-going research suggests that propane may in the long-term prove to be less polluting than micro-flame soldering systems, which use hazardous chemicals.

*** Ten Year and Millennium Threshold Principle. If you are interested in using the Laibach Redesign and Recycle service please read the Laibach principle concerning the reuse and reworking of used jewellery at Repair, Restoration, Redesign and Recycle, Reclaim.

**** Based on the global standard definition of veganism, no Laibach jewellery contains any animal-derivatives. However, we endeavour to create a work environment which goes a step further. To the very best of our knowledge and thorough research, our workshop tools used to construct our pieces do not contain any animal derivatives. After construction, polishing your piece might raise a moral issue for a small number of vegan customers. Although all our other polishing and buffing wheels are made of sisal or cotton - and we use specially obtained animal fat free polishing paste - there is an essential goldsmith's preparatory polishing wheel which contains felt. This specifically prepares the foundation for a traditional glass finish to larger areas of a completed gold or silver piece (i.e. ring interiors). There is no direct non-felt alternative industrially available for this process so instead we have made our own unique non-felt high-polishing wheel. Kerstin Laibach is able to cater for the exact ethical polishing needs of ultra-strict vegans avoiding the use of a felt buff. See more on our Vegan Information Page

***** Laibach pieces are never factory / resin cast. Since Kerstin Laibach hand-forges each individual piece just once, there is normally no reason, even for lost-wax casting, to make identical repeatable pieces. If for any reason Kerstin was to cast a piece of jewellery using the lost-wax method (possibly for experimental or creative reasons) she uses own-sourced reusable surface sand (not quarried) with organic plant oils and infinitely reusable non-animal based wax for experimental sculpturing. After repeated use the sand and wax can always be returned to the earth without any detriment to the environment. Therefore Kerstin does not use commercial resin products such as bio-resin either. Although such resin is sourced from plant materials, the hardener contains highly hazardous isocyanates. The effects of this irritant may be blocked when working with the resin, but the causative agent remains in the non-reusable material, subsequently becoming an environmental hazard upon disposal.
Very often, even with jewellery making, the best environmental solution can be to stick to a natural / traditional path with a few environmental tweaks instead of contrivances misleadingly marketed as a greener choice.
Environmentally friendly pickling solutions for treating and cleaning precious metals and are not something new. Such solutions, with citric acid and vinegar as their main ingredients, are recipes that have been traditionally used long before harsh chemical alternatives appeared. With experienced handling, far better results can anyway be achieved with naturally eco-friendly recipies than the commercially available harsh chemical alternatives.
Note for jewellery students: You should however always refer to your local waste collection authority when disposing of any spent pickle solutions containing heavy metal residue.


To read more about Kerstin Laibach's ethics see the Ethical Information Menu Page.

Defining Laibach's "Real" Slow / Holistic Jewellery Ethic
Quantifying green ethics of the jewellery trade
Precious metals and our environmental ethics
Atelier Laibach's commitment to wildlife and the environment
Information about Laibach precious metals, your choices and pricing


Repair and Restore - Extending a Respect for what our Planet has Provided in the Past