The advent of social media and fast fashion has habituated many to view their wardrobe as temporary, ephemeral, eminently replaceable by the next trend. The largest clothing retailers today produce several hundred new designs every week. Globally, nearly 100 million tons of clothing is dumped into landfills each year, and, in the U.S. alone, annual clothing waste has doubled over the last twenty years. The short shelf life and low price of fashion today belies its hidden cost: a staggering amount of waste comprised of synthetic materials that can take over 200 years to decompose.

The jewelry designers featured in this photo series have rejected fast fashion’s dependence on disposability by creating collections with fine materials – high karat gold and precious stones – that are intended to last long past their lifecycle of Instagram likes. There is a price to doing business this way: each design is an investment in craftsmanship and costly materials, and sales come slowly as designers find their customers and build a loyal following. The photos in this series juxtapose plastics and other disposable materials with the designers’ fine jewelry to highlight their commitment to designs that last, and to a culture of fashion that is not turned so easily to waste.

Words and photos throughout by photographer and visionary Alain Simic.

Jewelry by Linda Hoj
Jewelry by i seira

Featured here: NYC Jewelry Week’s most recent photographic collaboration with photographer Alain Simic for NYCJW21. Featuring NYC based jewelers working in fine jewelry materials, we embrace the Power of Jewelry to impact our world and communities and salute those who dedicate their practice to slow jewelry.

Featured jewelers: Lorraine West Jewelry, Chee Lee Designs, Vasili, i seira, Kendra Pariseault, Linda Hoi, Tess Sholom Designs and Prounis.

Intro and photography by Alain Simic. Edited and compiled by JB Jones.

Photoshoot Credits:

Alain Simic – Photographer @alainsimic

Patricia Van Der Vliet – Model @patriciavdv

Evyta Soendoro – Makeup @eveyevesmakeup

Jake Seitchik – Hair @jakeseitchik

Hide Suzuki- Prop Stylist @system7hide

Natasha Digius – Producer @juinandolive

KIRU Smith – Assistant @highaski