The Sustainable Making of Our AILI Edition
It takes all sorts of thoughtfulness to make this necklace magic.
Monica Ruzansky is quick to name-check nature as a constant source of inspo for her daintily cool jewelry line AILI, and her earth-friendly approach to production completely backs it up. That means using environmentally friendly sourcing and working with people who are caring and meticulous about what they do. “There’s a lot of damage and waste in this world,” she says. “I want to do my part to repair that.” Here’s all the goodness that went into her Of a Kind piece. —mattie kahn
“I try to use recycled metals whenever I can. You know, because every little bit helps. It is important to me to do my best to be environmentally friendly. Once a piece is finished, I recycle my scrap, either by melting it down or reusing it in a new piece. And here’s a trick: In the studio, I keep different little cups marked with the different gold karats for all the dust filings. Over time, you can get a good amount of gold dust. It’s so precious. You don’t want to waste a thing.”
“Sustainability factors into design as well. The triangle shape of this piece symbolizes equality and balance. I use a lot of triangles in my work. I just think it’s a powerful shape. For me, it means stability and strength.”
“I don’t do casting or setting myself. I hand that job over to the professionals! The setters that I work with are a sweet family that I met through my studio mates. They’ve been in business for years, and they know exactly what they’re doing. It’s special to be able to know the faces of the people that work with you. They’re your community. The rubies that they set and that are used for the edition come from Thailand and are cut in Bangkok, where the government oversees the cutting process in order to keep working conditions good and wages fair.”