Behind Our Cork Jewellery Boxes

A few years ago now, we decided we wanted our jewellery boxes to be more sustainable.

So Taiman, Justin and Issy stuck their heads together and attempted to find a new solution. After a quite a bit of head scratching, and research into environmentally friendly materials that would work aesthetically with our jewellery, Justin had the great idea to use cork.

Our ring boxes are now made for us in a small factory in Northern Portugal from sustainable Portuguese cork oak.

We knew that cork was good, but the more we researched it, the better it got.

Cork is a fully sustainable, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly material. When harvested the tree is left completely undamaged - the bark is simply removed, and the tree left to grow, ready for the next harvest approximately 9 years later!

Cork forests are home to a huge range of biodiversity, creating a unique ecosystem that provides a habitat for insects, birds, and other small animals. They also provide a home for endangered species, such as the Iberian Lynx and the Barbary Macaque.

These forests are one of the best-known carbon sinks in the world and help to prevent flooding and soil erosion by acting as a natural watershed.

Although 70% of the worlds cork is produced in Portugal, it has seen a huge decline in demand over recent years in favour of cheaper and less sustainable materials. It therefore feels really good to source our boxes directly from there and support this rich but dwindling industry.

So, you can imagine how pleased we were when Issy found a small factory that were happy to work with us. There was a lot of back and forth, with many small tweaks to the shape and size of the box, but eventually we settled on a simple design that would work well with all our rings, and be able to accommodate studs, pendants, and cufflinks too.

We now had the box, but the trouble was it didn’t come with any sort of filling to hold our jewellery in place.

After some more research, we chose natural British felt, which is a fully biodegradable material. We picked two colourways; a natural grey felt and an off-white to showcase the different metals and gemstones in our designs.

The finishing touch is the card sleeve with our logo. This is printed locally at Headland Printers in Penzance and made from recycled card.

A top priority was for each element of the box to be recyclable or ideally compostable, and we’re really pleased to have sourced the right materials to be able to do just that.

But really, we would love you to repurpose the box (or send it back to us to be reused!). We think it’s the perfect size for storing sewing pins, tiny buttons, beach treasures and other knick-knacks – but do let us know if you have any good ideas!

Each piece of Justin Duance jewellery comes in a cork box, but if you would like an extra one, they can be found on our sundries page here.