Astor + Orion creates ethical, modern jewelry that is fair and beautiful for the future. They create unique hand-sculpted pieces. Want to wear your value? Shop the Astor + Orion collection.
What drove you to start your business?
I’m a creative soul and making beautiful objects is what I am here to do. As a former manufacturing agent who spent a decade living and working in Asia, I am also aware of the environmental and human cost of the fashion industry.
Astor + Orion is the result of me working to reconcile my need for beauty with my need for justice.
As a result, our jewelry is made from recycled stainless steel and produced in a factory in Thailand that has been certified for worker safety and environmental controls. Later this year we will launch a take-back program that will allow our customers to send back any pieces they are not using for a credit. All returned jewelry will either be recycled with a foundry in Seattle or refurbished for resale.
Who are your employees or your artisans?
We use a single, certified factory in Thailand to produce our jewelry. Please see our most recent Fashion Revolution Campaign where we posted many pictures and stories from our recent trip to visit the factory.
How did you find them?
We were introduced to the factory by another designer.
What do they mean to you?
They are the foundation of our business. We make a very specific and unique product that requires a lot of care in order to produce. It is only through our good relationship and mutual cooperation that we are able to produce such a high-quality product at an accessible price point.
What made you decide to start producing ethically?
Given my experiences working in many factories in Asia, I really couldn’t see any other choice.
What impact has your business had on your community?
We know putting on a pair of earrings isn’t going to change the world. But we also believe that giving our customers the first-hand experience of how the Circular Economy of the future will work to create satisfaction in their lives, is the most powerful type of advocacy we can think of.
What was the most difficult part of starting and running your business?
I think the most difficult part of starting a new business is that you need to believe in yourself and your idea for a long time before you have anything to show for it. You have to find an internal strength that doesn’t depend on what others do or say. Finding that strength is a lot easier said than done.
What has been the most rewarding outcome of your business?
For me personally, it was finding the strength to keep working in the face of difficulties. But now that our product is launched, my favorite thing is to connect with our customers via social media. I love the conversations we have about sustainability and I love seeing the looks they create with our jewelry.
What is your company’s mission?
To help build a beautiful world where there is no such thing as waste.