style by Sam Potenciano

Meet Annealed: An Eco-Conscious Jewelry Line

The Neighborhood talks to Meg Tarrobago of Annealed, a local line of sustainable jewelry made from reclaimed and recycled metals.

Introduce us to Annealed.
Annealed is a purpose-driven line based on the concept of simple, seasonless, and sustainable jewelry. The simplest way I can describe how it came about is that it’s a byproduct of fashion overload. I thought to myself, there must be a better way of doing things. I do not have an intensive background on designing nor jewelry making, but this curiosity led me to begin learning about traditional metalsmithing.

What was it that led to your appreciation of accessories?
I was exposed to accessorizing at a young age through my mom and our then household helper, who used to buy and sell jewelry for extra income. When I was a kid I also loved to create, draw, paint—anything that entailed working with my hands. So when I tried my hand at actually “making” things again back in 2014, I found myself in tears at 3AM after seeing the first piece of jewelry that I worked on. It felt like coming home – like opening or waking up something that had been dormant for years.annealed 1What does jewelry mean to you on a personal level, as part of your own style?
I am a believer that choosing and wearing jewelry is a personal choice, and it always finds its foundation in our innermost values. I’ve always believed that aside from being a great form of self expression, what we wear greatly influences how we feel, think, and act. Annealed reinforces that notion by creating jewelry pieces that aren’t just beautiful, but are easy yet sensible.

What are some of the things that inspired you in your design process?
I am inspired by nature, geometry, and architectural design. I appreciate lines and curves. I usually head out for a walk around our neighborhood or go to the park when I feel stuck or crave for inspiration. There’s something about nature, about being outside and just seeing the sky above my head. It has this certain energy that helps me in my creative process, one that I can never find on Pinterest or Instagram.IMG_7019I read on your Instagram page that your jewelry is made from reclaimed, recycled metal. Why was it so important for you to create a sustainable brand of accessories?
I am a believer in the Seventh Generation principle, which says that in every decision that we make (how we live, how we use things, what we value, how we parent, etc.), we must consider how it will affect seven generations down the line. That is about 140 years from now. Living in a city where everyone is so obsessed with fast fashion which isn’t synonymous with sustainability, I feel that it just makes so much sense to go the opposite direction for the sake of the seven generations after us. This is my little way of leaving a positive imprint in the world because I believe that my actions and decisions will affect my children and their children after them.

Why do you think there has been this small movement by makers back towards slower, more sustainable production methods?
I think it’s more of an awakening. Many are being awakened to the ugly truth that disposable goods from fast fashion do no good for us and our environment. For decades, the world has been saturated with brands that are only in it for profit, and not conscientious about the negative effects that production has on the ecosystem. I am so inspired by sincere makers who use their creativity and voice to express their deep concern about the future, about people, about the environment, and are actually doing something about it. That for me is very admirable. I’m proud to share the same path as them.IMG_6995How do you imagine the Annealed customer? Who are they and how do they wear your pieces?
I see someone who is connected and self contained, compassionate yet fierce, appreciates simplicity yet is strategic in their own way, a warrior yet gentle, someone who is stylish but isn’t dependent on trends. They are the ones who seek what truly resonates with them. The lovely thing about Annealed pieces is that they can independently stand on their own, but they can also be worn with your other favorites. At the end of the day, it all boils down to preference and reverence.

Produced and styled by Sam Potenciano
Photos by Ralph Mendoza

Sam Potenciano
Sam Potenciano
Sam is the digital editor of L’Officiel Manila. Formerly the founding editor of The Neighborhood and the editor-in-chief of Candy magazine, she is also a columnist for The Philippine Star's Young Star section. Follow her on Instagram at @sampotenciano.
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