Earth Day and the Origins of ZK

Earth Day and the Origins of ZK

Did you know that Earth Day is coming up this weekend?

Earth Day is a worldwide event that takes place on April 22nd each year. The event has been celebrated for over 50 years, and focuses on raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices.

I've always been a big fan of Mother Nature, and even as a kid I always looked forward to the day itself. I loved learning about ecology and the environment around me, and as I got older it became an interest that went far beyond a single day.

Earth Day is every day.

Not only did I adopt this as part of my daily life, it's been at the heart of my business from the very beginning. 

Little Adventures in Jewelry

While I was definitely a nature lover growing up, I was also very fond of all things glittery and girly.

When my mom was busy, I'd sneak into her closet and spend hours playing dress up with her incredible collection of family heirlooms. I would spend hours going through her clothes, and I was especially enamored with everything in her jewelry box. I'd pile on the golden chains, and I was absolutely mesmerized by the glittering gems.

Although it's not a huge surprise that she was always furious when she caught me, she always told me that I would inherit the that little treasure trove one day.

But it never happened.

The whole lot was stolen in my teens. The loss was devastating for us all, but there was a silver lining.

I didn't know it at the time, but those little adventures in jewelry would have a lifelong impact. Losing all those special pieces piqued my interest in making my own one day.

Alongside those early memories of all that glitters, a deep appreciation for the natural world around me was also growing.


This is an image of a brother and sister in the woods. Both children have olive tone skin and black hair. The boy has straight short hair, and the girl has bangs and long hair. They're likely on a hike or camping, and smiling at the camera.
My parents were hippies at heart and every weekend, they loaded me and my brother in the car and took us to enjoy the natural splendor of the world.

Hikes in national parks, camping under the stars, and travels across the world to my mom's native Malaysia all became a huge part of who I was. Over the years we traveled back to a lot of the same areas, and I noticed the effects that mining and deforestation had in these beautiful places.

When I started ZK in 2004, sustainability wasn't exactly on anyone's radar. Even so, it was a big part of my core design philosophy.

This image features a close up of a pair of hands using a pliers and wrapping a gemstone with wire. The designer is in the process of making a necklace by wire wrapping gems and adding them to chain.

In those early days, it took shape by using high quality materials, creating timeless designs that went beyond seasons, recycling scrap metal and offering cleaning and repairs.

I've kept those elements and have improved by adding a range of ethically and sustainably sourced materials throughout many designs, using upcycled materials, and teaching upcycled jewelry workshops.

All your orders are shipped carbon neutral and will arrive beautifully wrapped in sustainable packaging made from recycled and fair trade materials. The mailers are both recycleable or compostable and the jewelry box and pouch are perfect for storage and travel. 

Nearly Twenty Years of ZK

It's hard to believe the brand is almost 20 years old!

So much has changed over the years, but some of the most important things remain. My commitment to the planet has always been at the forefront of what I do, and that's not changing anytime soon. 

Whenever Earth Day rolls around, I like to think it was a contributing factor. 

Questions or Comments?

What do you think about Earth Day? Has it impacted you in a similar way?

I'd love to know what you think. 

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.