Five Gold Rings

Lily Cole models rings made from precious metals salvaged from e-waste

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 10 December 2020

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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Lily Cole has modelled a collection of five gold rings – made out of old tech including discarded laptops, baby monitors and mobile phones.

Designers made the 9ct gold and 925 silver rings by hand, using precious metals such as gold and silver from parts of old gadgets that had been thrown away.

Stop waste, save Earth

It’s estimated around 95 tonnes of gold, silver and palladium – equivalent to £857 million – could be recycled from unwanted electricals each year.

Not-for-profit organisation Material Focus teamed up with sustainable jewellers Lylie’s to create the rings as part of their Recycle Your Electricals campaign – and they’re being given away.

‘When I interviewed David Attenborough and asked him what individuals can do to improve their impact on the planet, his response was insistent and simple: ‘Stop waste.’

‘Waste is not just literal – plastic in oceans, precious metals in trash, food releasing methane in landfill – it is also cultural and psychological.

‘Our attitude to waste reflects how we view and value the material world around us, and the creativity we can apply to transforming ‘waste’ into new possibilities.’

Environmentalist and model

Jewellery gifts

Research commissioned by Material Focus found 39% of the 2,000 adults polled will buy jewellery as a gift this Christmas. 15% said they either intend to propose or hope to be proposed to over the festive period.

This is after the pandemic ‘wreaked havoc’ for 28% when it came to their romantic plans for 2020.

More than a third were forced to cancel or postpone anniversary events and 27% had to change their plans after being financially impacted by the outbreak.

More than a quarter (27%) also said Covid-19 ‘made it difficult to keep the romance alive’. Perhaps as a result, one in four are intending to be especially romantic this festive period.

Recycled rings

Carried out through OnePoll, the study also found 43% would consider buying a ring made from precious metals recycled from electrical items.

Almost three-quarters said they would do so because they support and believe in recycling.

‘Many everyday electricals such as mobile phones, TVs, laptops, and baby monitors contain precious metals that can be extracted and given new life when recycled using new innovative recycling technologies.

‘If all the unwanted electricals we hoard or throw away every year in the UK were recycled, we’d have enough gold to make over 858,000 rings.
‘We hope this campaign helps raise awareness and inspires the nation with the potential that recycling electricals has to offer.’

Material Focus

Almost a fifth believe jewellery made from recycled metals would be a popular gift choice, but 34% admitted to having concerns about the quality of the ring.

‘In many ways the jewellery we make is much more precious’, explains Eliza Walter, founder of Lylie’s. ‘Our high-quality, certified pieces are proof that one person’s trash can literally become someone else’s treasure.

Lily Cole

‘When researching my book Who Cares Wins, I was horrified by the amount of electronic waste that is produced every year, and how little of it is recycled.

‘Yet electronic waste is unique in that it is highly valuable: e-waste often contains precious metals and finite materials, which can be transformed and reused.

‘So when Material Focus reached out to me with their campaign to give away rings made from recycled e-waste, I thought it was a beautiful initiative to demonstrate the value in objects we might consider ‘waste’.

‘And I hope the Five Gold Rings inspires a new perspective on the ‘junk’ most of us have hiding in our drawers.’

Environmentalist and model

Click on the Lylie’s Instagram page to discover how you could win the Five Gold Rings

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