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Dr. Camilla Bustamante of Santa Fe Community College (left) presented New Mexico’s Green Business of The Year Award to Reflective Jewelry President Marc Choyt and his wife and co-founder Helen Chantler last week.
Santa Fe, N.M.—Reflective Jewelry, a custom and designer jewelry studio, was recently named Santa Fe, New Mexico’s Green Business of The Year.

The City of Santa Fe and its Chamber of Commerce presented the award at a ceremony last week, honoring the retailer for its commitment to environmentally responsible business practices.

The company was founded in 1995 by husband-and-wife team Marc Choyt and Helen Chantler, who began making jewelry in their home before opening a store in 2001.

Its jewelers use citric acid for pickling (a process that cleans metal after soldering), fluoride-free flux for soldering and a soap-based solution when tumbling stones, all in lieu of harsh chemicals.

The sinks are equipped with traps for catching heavy metals and the vacuums capture dust and compounds, and those trappings are then recycled.

The store uses LED lighting and ships products in biodegradable bags. Even its broom closet is eco-friendly, stocked with washable cloth towels, organic dish soap and non-toxic floor cleaners.

The store transformed the concrete foundation in front of the boutique into a landscape garden, complete with apricot and cherry trees and native plants, all fed by water channeled off its 3,500 square foot roof.

The company began making its products with recycled metals in 2007 and joined the Fairtrade Gold initiative in 2015.

“Though there are over 250 Fairtrade Gold jewelers in the United Kingdom alone, we are still the only Fairtrade Gold jewelers in the entire United States,” said president Mark Choyt in a statement. 

“We produce our entire two-tone line and much of our bridal collection in Fairtrade Gold. This supports local economies, alleviates poverty and reduces global mercury contamination for small-scale gold producers.”

Environmental activism is a cause close to Choyt’s heart.

Choyt began an ethical jewelry blog in 2006, which transformed into Fair Jewelry Action, a human rights and environmental justice network that was active between 2010 and 2015.

In 2018, Choyt published “Ethical Jewelry Exposé: Lies, Damn Lies, and Conflict Free Diamonds,” which covers the author’s perspective on the responsible and ethical jewelry movement in North America.

Choyt is a freelance writer for trade magazines as well as an anti-mining activist and an advocate for indegenous miners’ rights.

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