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Man Makes Jewelry From Tin Can, Turns Unique Anniversary Gift Into Sustainable Biz

Thomas Paul Althaus’s dilemma for an anniversary gift for his wife turned into an idea for a business. Today, Canned Goods has repurposed over 10,000 cans and given almost 20,000 cans to charity.

If you’d ever venture into making jewellery out of scrap metal, you’d be surprised at the beautiful outcome. Thomas Paul Althaus was.

In June 2013, he and his wife celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary. In spite of the ‘no gifts policy’ they had agreed upon, Thomas knew he wanted to make it special.

Unimpressed by traditional anniversary gifts, Thomas thought about a gift from an unusual material – tin.

Try as he did, he couldn’t find anything tin‐based that would be a good fit, and it was a few nights later, while preparing dinner, he gave some thought to the food can in his hand.

Why not chisel it into jewellery, he thought.

The outcome of his hard work was a pair of earrings and a bracelet that surprised his wife and all the other women who saw it.

Earrings by Canned Goods
Earrings by Canned Goods

This response inspired the duo to scale the idea and launch their business — Canned Goods.

The Denver-based company upcycles discarded tin cans that would otherwise end up in a landfill and turns them into jewellery pieces called ‘Tin Can Glam’.

An extensive process transforms the scrap metal. The lids of the cans and their labels are stripped. After soaking and washing, the cans are then cut down their seam and flattened.

The resulting sheets of metal are turned smooth through sanding, and finally, wires and chains are added as per design.

From just one tin can, 20 pieces of stunning jewellery are produced.

Here’s a look at how the process is carried out.

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According to their website, Canned Goods has repurposed over 10,000 cans and given almost 20,000 cans to charity.

As the industry is resorting to conscious fashion, these metallic beauties have found their way into the mainstream market, runways, photoshoots and more.

“We are unapologetically glamourous, glam you can feel good about,” Thomas told 303 Magazine. He added, “Sustainability is a broad term that has many segments of importance. For us, that includes, but is not limited to, image/design, dialogue, business and of course, environment.”

The brand has also ventured into cuff links, necklaces and money clips.

Plant vessel by Canned Goods
Plant vessel by Canned Goods
Bookmark by Canned Goods
Bookmark by Canned Goods

They believe that ‘humble beginnings can lead to glamorous destinations’ and they advocate this philosophy through their work. The good does not end here.

The brand, through its ‘Can Do Good’ program, donates a full can of food to charity for every piece of jewellery that is sold, thus contributing to societal good along with their circular economy principle.

According to a study by Science Direct, gold and silver mining and refining is the largest environmental impact contributor. This concept by ‘Canned Goods’ could change the way the fashion industry operates in the coming years.

Sources

“Canned Goods” Takes Sustainable Jewelry to the Next Level by Ella Zeiler, Published on 26 March 2020.
Corporate environmental assessment of a large jewelry company: From a life cycle assessment to green industry by Chonlawan Thammaraksa, Annuwat Wattanawan, TrakarnPrapaspongsa, Published on 26 June 2017

(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)

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