When we think of ethical fashion, we often just think of the impact fabric production can have on the environment. However, the accessories we wear can have huge implications on sustainability as well. Jewellery in particular can be sourced in lots of non-sustainable ways: whether it is gemstones mined in unsafe working conditions or the polluting impact of extracting raw material, like bronze. In response to this, designers have begun to use more innovative ways to create jewellery. In this piece, we’ll look at a few brands that provide the gorgeous jewellery we love without the harmful effects it can have.
Sue Gregor creates colourful acrylic necklaces and earrings among other products, made from 100% recyclable materials. Each piece is individually handmade and real flowers and leaves are used in the production process, resulting in truly unique creations. Although gold and silver are more traditional, why not swap these for a more sustainable and equally stylish option? https://www.suegregor.co.uk/
Source: Sue Gregor. Photo shows a wide cuff made out of recycled perspex.
To create the beads used in Quazi’s Jewellery, discarded magazines are utilised to make a surprisingly diverse range of products. The jewellery itself is very cheap (at around £10-20 for most products) but far more importantly, the working conditions that it is manufactured under are ethical. The company was founded in Swaziland in 2009 in an attempt to create sustainable jewellery while also bringing employment to local communities. https://quazidesign.com/
Source: Quazi design. Photo is of earrings from the Heritage collection.
All of the material this company uses is sourced in the UK: the gold and silver are fairtrade standard and recycled materials are used wherever possible. Aitchison offers rings, bracelets and brooches among many other products. All aspects of this busines are considered with sustainability in mind- one percent of its profits are donated to an environmental charity and all the packaging the jewellery comes in is sustainable, made out of organic cotton. https://www.emmaaitchison.com/
Source: Emma Aitchison. Photo depicts the Swash necklace, handmade out of brass.
The founders of Meadowlark are committed to ensuring that nothing goes wasted in their jewellery’s production process so they reuse materials regularly, from metal scraps to the repurpose of old jewellery. Every piece is made to order as well, reducing waste even further. They also try to ensure that every material they use is traceable, creating full transparency for the consumer. https://meadowlarkjewellery.com/
Source: Meadowlark. Photo shows fleur drop earrings made of yellow gold.
All diamonds used in Chicco’s jewellery are conflict free while all gemstones are ethically sourced from a number of responsible partners. As if this wasn’t enough, they also use 100% recycled 14ct gold in their jewellery, which ranges from necklaces to rings. Instead of mass production, this is a carefully thought out process, designed to maximise sustainability. https://zoechicco.com/
Source: Zoë Chicco. Photo is of a horizontal diamond quad ring made with white diamonds and gold.