Actress Nikki Reed has announced her partnership with Dell through her company Bayou With Love. Together, they're recycling gold scraps from Dell's old motherboards and turning them into a new line of jewelry, Engadget reports. The line includes 14- and 18-carat gold rings, earrings, and cufflinks.
Dell's website states that in the U.S., people throw out a collective $60 million in gold and silver when they don't recycle their phones or electronics. The metal is used in internal circuitry, and there's about 800 times more of it inside of a computer. Dell wants to "close the gold loop" for their products, and reduce waste. They already refurbish and sell old computers through a program with the Goodwill, but some computers can't be repaired. The scraps needed somewhere to go.
For her part, Reed says she was looking for high end jewelry that could be considered sustainable, and was having trouble finding a business with ethics she aligned with. She guessed that if she was having this issue, so were other people, and sees the new line as an opportunity to fill an interest that promotes sustainability.
The line features thin gold rings and opal studs, making an elegant and simple piece, and they start at $88. Not bad for gold with a purpose:
Everything at Bayou With Love, which Reed founded with Morgan Mogle, are made with sustainably sourced and recycled materials in the U.S. It was important to Dell to consider where their gold was going as well as where it came from. Mining for many materials is a complicated business, and often takes place in areas with lax regulations. Dell writes that they're committed to avoid companies that promote pollution through their mining practices, or that use child labor—and all too common practice in the gold industry.
The process for extracting the gold from old electronic materials is 99 percent less harmful to the environment than mining for new, and also avoids 41 times the amount of "social impact" as mining, meaning harmful effects on communities. Dell hopes to raise awareness of this issue through their partnership with Reed, and encourage people to recycling their electronics. At the moment, only about 15 percent of people across the globe do.
Even if you don't want one of Reed's designs, you can consider your own electronic waste management and find a place to recycle old phones and computers in your area. It's like giving a gift to the environment that won't fit in a tiny velvet box.