10 Best Sustainable Jewelry Brands Eco-Friendly Ethical

10 Best Sustainable Jewelry Brands Eco-Friendly Ethical

Eco friendly jewelry makes for sensible environmentally friendly gifts to family, friends and colleagues. As the holiday giving season approaches it is helpful to understand what actually is considered “ecologically friendly” if you are giving jewelry as a gift. A lot of jewelry uses environmentally unsustainable and unfriendly manufacturing processes. The production of gold, for example, is destructive to the environment in terms of the strip mining extraction methods used to harvest it as well as the chemicals that are used to process it, like cyanide.

Generally speaking you should look for jewelry products that use conflict-free diamonds, fair trade colored and produced gemstones, and environmentally friendly gold and platinum. In addition, jewelry made with an awareness of the environment often uses reclaimed woods, reprocessed metals, and recycled materials, such as glass and plastics. All of these materials minimize impact to the environment.

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Here are some of the primary materials you should look for when selecting true, eco friendly jewelry:

Recycled Materials

Glass, metals, wood, and even plastics are all used in recycled jewelry. Generally speaking, jewelry products made with these materials will promote this fact as they are small scale in production and typically made by local artisans or very small businesses. Part of the cachet of this type of gift is the challenge of using an existing material but in a recycled format, something the producer is proud of and will let you know through their marketing process.

10 Best Sustainable Jewelry Brands Eco-Friendly Ethical 2021


Metals are typically reclaimed from other uses and often used in this type of jewelry production. Metals often require some additional processing to be used in a recycled manner. That may include cleaning the material or reheating and then shaping it into a form the artist or producer prefers. In most cases, these processes have minimal to no impact on the environment, but it is worth asking if it is not mentioned on a tag or product description. Wood, including trees and branches that naturally fall to the forest floor, can also be considered “reclaimed”.

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Conflict-Free and Sustainable Gemstones

Although not necessarily a recycled material, conflict-free gemstones are becoming increasingly important to consumers seeking eco-friendly jewelry. Look for fair trade and sustainable production and extraction or processing standards as they represent a humane and non-destructive approach to the environment. Unfortunately, diamonds, even conflict free sources from Canada, carry a significant environmental impact. Going with a lab-created diamond or gemstone is both sustainable and good environmental practice.

As the holiday giving season approaches it is possible to find and confidently give eco-friendly jewelry, just make sure to ask a few questions. It’s the sensible thing to do for those you are giving to, as well as for the environment.

Sensible Eco-Friendly Jewelry

13 Ethical and Eco-Friendly Jewelry Brands to Know Now

n it comes to sustainable fashion, there’s a lot of talk about organic cotton or recycled polyester, but jewelry is often left out of the conversation. Given that Earth Day is this week, it makes for the perfect opportunity to spotlight some brands that are defining what it means to make more sustainable jewelry.

It’s not just about using recycled metals or ethically sourcing gemstones for jewelry for these brands, their sustainability efforts go way beyond that. These practices range from supporting local communities where the pieces are made to offering full transparency and tracing, and to committing to zero-waste programs to prevent excess materials from ending up in landfills.

Plus, their designs are stylish and timeless. See how these 13 sustainable jewelry brands are working toward a smaller environmental footprint now, and their plans for the future too.

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AGMES Sustainable Jewelry

Sister duo Morgan and Jaclyn Solomon of New York-based AGMES combine their architectural designs with their dedication to sustainability and commitment to keeping a small environmental footprint, starting with hand-making everything locally. Their assortment of sculptural silhouettes is made out of recycled materials, ensuring no metals go to waste in the process.

SVNR Sustainable Jewelry

If you want to know exactly where your jewelry was made and who made it, look no further than SVNR. Its colorful, handcrafted drop earrings are made from upcycled or natural materials. SVNR founder Christina Tung describes the brand as a “union of ethics and aesthetics” and makes each piece herself.

What is sustainable jewelry? 2021

Sustainable Jewelry is produced in a way that demonstrably contributes to achieving the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the localities where the product’s materials were sourced or mined and processed and where the product itself was manufactured, without undermining the sustainability.

Akola Sustainable Jewelry 2021

All of Akola’s affordable pieces are made in Africa using local techniques and sustainably sourced materials. The brand’s vision is to create female empowerment in the workplace and contribute to economic development in Africa. It offers programs to its female-only employees that focus on leadership, financial literacy, and more.

Alighieri Sustainable Jewelry 2021

You might recognize Alighieri’s textured and imperfectly perfect literature-inspired gold pieces from the pages of Vogue or your Instagram feed. Each piece is made from either recycled bronze or silver and then plated with gold and cast.

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Washed Ashore gold and pearl drop earrings

From the fully recyclable packaging to a green refinery facility and creating pieces that are made from recycled gold, silver, and postconsumer stones, Washed Ashore approaches sustainability at every angle. It also has partnered with Carbonfund.org to help fight global warming and support the future of clean energy.

Is Sterling Silver sustainable?

For many in the industry, the only ‘ethical’ silver on the market is deemed so because it is recycled – as if the sins of first life can be washed away – and ethically reborn. … Generally, silver comes to market as a byproduct of the industrial mining of other metals, such as copper, zinc, and gold.

Zoe Chicco chained stud and ear cuff

Zoë Chicco adheres to a strict standard when it comes to diamonds. All of the diamonds used are conflict-free, while the rest of the jewelry is made from 100% recycled 14-karat gold.

Poppy Finch pearl drop earrings

Its website breaks down the story behind its recycled gold, ethically and responsibly sourced gemstones, pearls, and conflict-free diamond suppliers. It sticks to affordable, honest pricing, thanks to its “no-frills” approach to business and keeping production costs low and local.

Laura Lombardi gold rectangular earrings

Many of Laura Lombardi’s selection of tempting hoops and chunky chains are made from raw and recycled materials.

Is jewelry eco friendly?

So yes, there most definitely is such a thing as ecofriendly jewelry — that is, any jewelry that was mined with the least possible negative impact on the environment, or not mined at all. … Consider this: According to their site, the mining for one gold ring creates 20 tons of mine waste.

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Grace Lee clear resin ring

Designed in Los Angeles, Grace Lee’s pieces are made to be stacked and layered together. Known best for its rings, the brand often uses recycled gold and sources only cruelty-free diamonds.

Katkim pearl ear pin Sustainable Jewelry

In a world of mass production, Katherine Kim finds herself wanting to commit to transparency. All of her pieces are handmade in Los Angeles, and use recycled gold when and wherever possible.

Wolf Circus yellow hoops in gold pearl and glass necklace

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Wolf Circus makes its collections from recycled metals that are melted down and cast. The brand’s colored glass hoops, dome-shaped rings, and flower-shaped clasp chain necklaces are a favorite among New York’s downtown crowd.

Meadowlark signet ring amulet earring

The founders behind Meadowlark note that jewelry is a circular product, so everything can be recycled into new pieces, from metal scraps to repurposing previously made jewelry, so that nothing ends up in a landfill. Plus, they make almost every piece to order, with responsibly sourced and fully traceable materials, rather than creating excess products. For Meadowlark, it’s all about progress and the long-term commitment to sustainability practices going forward.

Bagatiba Sustainable Jewelry

Jessie Andrews of Bagatiba has an A–Z sustainability initiative behind her cult-favorite layerable necklaces and minimal earrings. Her eco-collection is made from recycled metals or pre-produced materials sourced in Los Angeles. Plus, you can donate your unwanted metal jewelry from any brand for a discount toward your next purchase, in effort to support the circulation of upcycling metals in the industry, instead of having them end up in landfills.

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How do I start a sustainable jewelry business?

10 Tips for starting an ethical jewelry brand

  1. Have you been thinking of starting a jewelry brand and you want it to be ethical? This is all you need to know to make it fair trade and sustainable.
  2. Create an ethical mission & vision. …
  3. Reuse Scrap Metals and Materials. …
  4. Conserve Resources In Business Operations. …
  5. Recycle. …
  6. Cut Down on Packaging Materials. …
  7. Pack the Kiln.

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