Nowhere Soon Studio: Crafting Connections Through Sustainable Jewellery

December 8, 2023

Nowhere Soon Studio (NSS) produce unique handcrafted sustainable silver and gold rings, earrings and earpieces. Beyond the distinctive aesthetic of jewellery at NSS, each piece carries a powerful message of sustainability, collaboration, and self-expression.

In a world that often feels ever-accelerating and disjointed, it is the hands of the craftsmen and craftswomen that possess the creative ability to rekindle a much-needed sense of connection. Based on conversations with NSS founder Zoe Bavis, the brand presents a clear artistry and vision that weaves connections between the individuals and their environments, the past and the future, the intangible and material.

Zoe began the brand's journey through her own insatiable curiosity for craftsmanship, materials, and design. She explains, ‘Having constantly researched new and innovative ways to ethically produce pieces - starting with experimenting with recycled cheese wax when the brand first started’. This started during the unpredictability of the first Covid lockdown in 2020, where the brand name comes from the collective feeling of ‘not being able to go anywhere soon’. When disconnection became universally felt, Zoe discovered new ways of fostering reconnection through her craftsmanship.

Connection lies at the centre of Nowhere Soon Studio's vision. It is vital to transform the jewellery industry, helping us to embrace our shared responsibility for the planet and nurturing the bonds that tie us to our communities, the past, and the essence of who we are.

Commitment to Eco-Innovative Practice

The jewellery industry's mining and extraction of silver and gold have long contributed to the emission of mercury, leading to an increase in air, soil, and water pollution. In response to this environmental degradation, goldsmiths are seeking to upcycle and recycle materials to reduce their carbon footprint and waste generation. At the forefront of this eco-innovative movement is Nowhere Soon Studio, a brand that prioritises creativity rooted in sustainability.

NSS has made it their mission to explore recycled and responsibly sourced materials. One of their pioneering methods is extracting silver from discarded NHS X-Ray. Zoe elaborates, ‘Nowhere Soon has now found a way of extracting silver from recycled NHS X-Ray film. Repurposed from hospitals around the UK and Ireland and independently audited by the Responsible Jewellery Council. For decades the by-product of X-Ray film has been thrown into landfills or stored at the NHS for high cost. We are utilising a sustainable process to extract 2-5g of silver from every kilogram, smelting and refining the metal.’

Nowhere Soon Studio’s recycling of silver from X-Ray machines not only reduces landfill waste, but also alleviates the financial burden on the NHS associated with storing and disposing of outdated equipment. Zoe passionately advises others in the industry to adopt her approach, stating, ‘This is the next step in ethical innovation within the jewellery industry whilst protecting the planet and funding healthcare. Spreading the word and making others aware of the use of this type of silver as the more people can purchase and create with this, the better for the planet and more sustainable jewellery world we will live in.’

Reviving Craftsmanship and Community in the Heart of Hatton Garden

Transparency is a cornerstone of Nowhere Soon Studio's approach, sharing the creative journey of each piece from its origin, through the hands of skilled artisans, to the final wearer. They employ meticulous methods for tracking fairtrade gold and utilise recyclable packaging.

Each piece is handmade using ancient craftsman techniques in workshops in the Hatton Garden district (London, UK). Dating back to the 1700s, Hatton Garden has become renowned for a space that has been a centre of the jewellery industry, dominated with skilled and independently owned jewellers with connections to buyers and traders around the world.

With an increase of globally dominant brands over the last 20 years, with mass production choosing quantity over quality, the traditional approach to craftsmanship operating in small businesses are at threat. Zoe shares the Nowhere Soon Studio’s community-focused ethos, ‘I understand the importance of building strong connections with other artists in order to learn new techniques, share visions and expand a widened knowledge on how the fashion industry can better itself as a whole’.

The collaboration between Nowhere Soon Studio and skilled artisans is a dedicated effort to restore the sense of community and traditional craftsmanship that lies at the heart of Hatton Garden. A pursuit to re-connect our bodies to the material world.

Weaving Connections with Self-Expression

Much like the natural world, the realm of human sensibilities carries a powerful unpredictability. In the case of Nowhere Soon Studio’s Fluidity Collection, Zoe has captured the dynamic nature human emotions, infusing it into each individually crafted piece. She shares, ‘The majority of the Fluidity collection was created by moods I was feeling at the current time of creation. Feelings and emotions dictate an intricate process of wax forming and melting. Each piece starts as a blank block that channels the fluctuating physiology of the idea and emotion for each design.’

For Zoe, creativity knows no bounds; it is spontaneous and charged with emotion. She commemorates the fluctuating state of human psychology by pushing the material boundaries through her creative improvisation. Each curve and groove of the silver and gold studs within the “Fluidity Collection” serve as a reminder to rekindle human connection. It's not just about the beauty or the value of the materials; these pieces are tokens that ground us in our shared and often messy flux of emotions.

Other pieces beyond the “Fluidity Collection” include the “Crybaby Earrings” and “Meltdown Hoops”, each replicating a heightened emotional experience. Zoe emphasises that she is ‘hoping to use this self-expression to resonate with others who can relate and wear the pieces’ as they become ‘touchstones’ for our shared emotions and experiences, uniting wearers in a meaningful and lasting way.

Going Forward…

Nowhere Soon Studio are working to push the boundaries of the jewellery industry. The brand is focusing on creating more non-gendered, ethically sourced pieces. Zoe shares ‘Nowhere Soon Studio has been working hard and will be releasing a new collection later in the year as well as a specific functional piece of jewellery that we hope will be of use to many’.

Keep an eye on Nowhere Soon Studio for their upcoming collaborations and exciting new collections. Staying true to their eco-conscious ethos and distinctive style, there's much to look forward to in their further pursuit of crafting connections.

Words DAISY SPURRIER