Beautiful waste

Ashley Heather creates a range of jewellery drawing on sustainable and socially conscious principles.

With a passion and commitment to ethical design processes, Ashley Heather creates jewellery with a sustainable and socially conscious approach.

For a long time Heather avoided making jewellery because of the environmental and social issues associated with precious metals and their extraction. After seeing metal smelted for the first time, she knew she needed to find a way to bring together her concerns over sustainability with her passion for the beauty in jewellery design.  

Coming from a background in photography, Heather explored how she could combine the two fields in creating bespoke, minimalistic and contemporary crafted pieces. The photographic waste process seemed like the perfect solution.

The process allows Heather to reclaim and reuse silver, which is found in x-rays and photograph negatives. When exposed to an electric current, the materials leave behind the precious metal. But as jewellery is likely to take a few knocks during everyday wear, Heather adds 7.5% copper to her creations, ensuring strength and durability.

Using this innovative process, Heather has minimalised waste on a grand scale, leading her to be considered one of South Africa’s most sustainable designers by The Culture Tip.

Believing that one forms a particular sort of relationship with jewellery as a result of experiences, her pieces are inspired by the beauty and fleeting moments of everyday life.