Whevever possible, I only use materials that are sourced from UK suppliers and preferably from a small business - I believe that it is important to support our network of small businesses.
I also want to use the finest and most luxurious materials available and I use a lot of Swarovski crystals and glass pearls - I use an authorised UK Swarovski seller and buy bulk factory packs of pearls and crystals to save on packaging and transporation. Swarovski as a company have a pretty good environmental policy for a large organisation and their products are of the highest quality.
I use Miyuki delica seed beads which are made from glass and produced by a small family owned Japanese business. I also use Czech glass crystals - all of which are sourced from UK suppliers.
All precious metals that I use are made from recycled materials - all sterling silver and gold is recycled and is purchased from two UK bullion dealers in Hatton Garden in London and Birmingham. I use brass wire for a lot of my designs - brass is nearly always recycled as it is not economically viable to produce new and I use a silver plated copper wire for a lot of my silver designs. I buy wire in bulk (I use a lot of it) as this saves on packaging and transportation costs. I do use cut brass leaves which I have cut for me by a lovely woman in the US so these are the only items I currently buy from overseas - I will eventually move to cutting all of my own leaves from sheet metals. I also use quite a bit of raw copper to make my headbands and this is recycled from my partner who is an electrician! I strip waste cable and re-purpose the copper wire.
I do use freshwater pearls and natural gemstones in some of my designs and these are sourced from a company in Birmingham and a Cornish company who guarantee that their stones are fair trade.
I try to source vintage materials such as mother of pearl beads and jewellery so that I can re-use the materials in my designs - I love scouring vintage and antiques shops and markets to see what treasures I can find.
I do use silk ribbons which I purchase from small creative businesses that hand dye small batches of ribbon using natural plant based dyes. Wherever available, I will use peace silk or bamboo silk and eventually, I will only use ethical silk.