If you’ve made the resolution to be more sustainable with your shopping habits in 2020, this is the post for you! Today I’m back with another post all about shopping sustainably, ethically and eco-friendly. This time it’s all about sustainable jewelry brands! I’ve already talked about shoes, handbags and which brands, in general, put a heavy focus on these things. Now that the holidays are behind us, I want to keep this conversation going because over the last few years, shopping this way has become really important to me. I want to be more aware and intentional about not only where I’m spending my money, but where I’m influencing YOU to spend your money.
Something I’ve learned when it comes to shopping sustainably is that it usually means spending more on fewer things. I totally get that can suck, but that’s the mind shift I’ve been working on making: spending a little bit more for one handmade, locally made piece that checks all the environmental and ethical boxes vs. spending that same amount on fast fashion and getting a half dozen pieces that I’ll end up breaking or getting tired of.
I’m still new to this arena, but through doing research for these posts and trying to shop a little more sustainably, I’ve picked up on a few shopping tips and tricks — especially when it comes to jewelry. So I wanted to share them with you, along with some of the brands I’ve discovered!
Tips for Shopping for Ethical, Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Jewelry
The jewelry industry is a little bit different than the apparel industry. In addition to considering energy sources and supply chains, whenever you’re buying a piece of fine jewelry that includes a gemstone, you want to be aware of whether or not that stone is what’s called a “conflict stone.” If you’ve never heard of that term, maybe you’ve seen the movie “Blood Diamond” with Leonardo DiCaprio? It really sheds a light on conflict stones and what buying a stone without knowing where it comes from can mean. But in case you haven’t seen the movie, basically a conflict stone means it comes from an area in Africa owned by rebels and they use the money earned from stones to buy weapons.
And with that in mind, I wanted to include a few tips and things to consider when shopping for ethical, eco-friendly and sustainable jewelry.
- Ask for the source of the brand’s gemstones
- Ask about their supply chain
- Look for recycled metal (gold, bronze, etc.)
- Buy from local makers or brands that partner with artisans that get paid a living wage
5 Sustainable Jewelry Brands to Shop
Ethics | Uses some recycled materials, partners with artisans and independent makers to create products, mostly transparent supply chain
Price range | $18 – $170
Raven + Lily’s pieces are absolutely stunning so it’s amazing that they get such a great rating from Good On You. Their focus on treating their makers with respect and only selling handmade products is a huge ethical plus for me. If you’re in the market for high-quality, affordable, everyday jewelry, I’d definitely give Raven + Lily a look. I think I might have to scoop up these earrings because how cute are they?!
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Ethics | uses only recycled metals processed in the US, traceable gemstones, completely transparent supply chain
Price range | $95-$5,000+
Bario Neal is more of a fine jewelry brand that offers stunning and ethically sourced stones. For example, if you want an ethically sourced and sustainably produced engagement ring (or any fine jewelry piece, for that matter) from a brand that has taken an oath to always use responsible labor practices, Bario Neal is the place to shop. I also have a soft spot in my heart for them because they are based in Philly!
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Ethics | Most products made of recycled bronze, responsible sourcing, handmade by local makers in London
Price range | $130-$970
Alighieri is a great example of a small business doing things right. They responsibly source all their materials. For example, bronze from Italy, which is all recycled and pearls from Singapore. Then it is all used to create handmade, sustainable jewelry by makers in London. I think their pieces are timeless classics, so even though it’s a bit of an investment, it’s something that will never go out of style.
Ethics | Uses 100% recycled gold, traceable gemstones, founded the Earthbeat Foundation to help better mining communities in Africa
Price range | $535-$2,300+
Another great fine jewelry option, Vieri makes gorgeous earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Everything is made from solid, recycled gold and ethically sourced gemstones. What I think is a standout fact about this brand is that they started the Earthbeat Foundation. It’s an organization funded by a percentage of the company’s annual profit that works to create awareness surrounding the conditions of the mining world and also funds training for mining communities in Africa. Now that is a brand with a mission and I love it!
Ethics | Follows code conduct set by the Responsible Jewelry Council, which helps create transparent supply chains and puts a heavy focus on creating sustainable products
Price range | $44-$99
While doing research for this post, ADORE was a brand that kept popping up over and over again, so I had to check it out. It’s a much larger company than the others I listed, but this means it’s price points are a little more affordable. ADORE is one of those companies that, although it’s large, is making an effort to pay attention to things like being eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethically sourcing their materials.
And lastly, it’s always great to thrift for jewelry at places like Poshmark and ThredUp. Also, one of my favorite things to do lately is scope out local antique shops for jewelry with more character and more of a story.
Who has experience shopping for jewelry while keeping sustainability, ethics and being eco-friendly top of mind? Leave a comment with any sustainable jewelry brands you love that I need to check out!