While ethical fashion and jewellery were once pegged as ‘having a moment’, the reality is that now more so than ever consumers are becoming increasingly aware of where their pieces are coming from. Brands now have to live up to the transparency that those who plan to purchase their pieces want and expect—revealing everything from who and where they are made right down to the locations the fabrics and stones are being sourced.
In particular, when it comes to jewellery, consumers are becoming more mindful of the latter, whether that be an on-trend shell piece, a statement earring with a particular gemstone or diamonds. Below, what ethical jewellery really is and where to shop some of the brands we love.
What Is Ethical Jewellery?
Ethical jewellery has a lesser negative impact on the people who make it or the environment it’s sourced from. That can include anything from not using child labour and ensuring fair wages and working hours, to not using practices that pollute or impact the environment negatively, as well as implementing materials that can be traced in an ethical way, be that recycled or synthetic gemstones to diamonds.
Where To Shop Ethical Jewellery Brands?
Below, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favourite ethical labels that perfectly blend their values to quality and style.
Founded and inspired by country Victoria and Australia’s natural landscape, S-kin Studio founder Chi Mai was on a mission to create both ethical, sensitive skin-friendly pieces. “We take every step possible to minimise our effect on the environment and reduce the negative effects of fast fashion by taking a holistic view to our jewellery making process,” Mai says.
Pieces are sourced from small businesses around the world, which only produce solid gold, sterling silver and gold-filled jewellery which prolongs the life of the brand’s pieces and reduces the consumer’s footprint.
With 9K and 18K gold sourced from a mix of recycled and ethically mined gold as well as 100% recycled silver and all remnants from the process being reused, Argent Silversmith’s crafting process is all about minimising waste. Then, there’s their repairs and recycling scheme promising life-long care of your cherished pieces, carbon offsetting and responsible packaging.
As for the jewellery pieces, you’ll find stunning bespoke and custom designs, handcrafted by founder Elizabeth and her team, that are sure to become heirloom pieces.
Alighieri, founded by London-based designer Rosh Mahtani, is a collection of jewellery inspired by Dante Alighieri’s ‘Divine Comedy’, with each piece corresponding to one of the poet’s 100 poems.
Everything is made by hand using a process of lost-wax casting, in recycled bronze, ethically sourced in Italy. The brand counts celebrity fans such as Alexa Chung.
This Australian-based label’s values lie in both durability and sustainability, using locally recycled and refined precious metals all hand-carved, cast and polished in its Sydney studio. The label operates off a ‘Green Studio’ too, ensuring a carbon offset for couriers wherever possible, as well as biodegradable packaging.
On top of its already ethical practices, RUUSK has made a further commitment to plant a tree for every piece purchased, with designer Tania Gnecchi Ruscone saying: “We believe that no positive act is too small and that every step in the right direction is worth celebrating.”
Melissa Joy Manning
Jewellery designer Melissa Joy Manning has championed sustainability and ethically sourced materials since her brand’s inception in 1997 and is even a founding co-chair of the CFDA Sustainability Committee.
The label uses diamonds and precious stones that are responsibly sourced while also operating from a Green Certified studio, including a zero-waste policy.
The Line Of Sun
This unique, Australian-based label created pieces that are designed and made in Melbourne from locally sourced materials. With minimising waste as an important focus in its ethos, each of The Line Of Sun’s collections is created in small runs with every scrap of metal saved during the working process and melted down to create new works.
The result is intricately patterned and textured jewellery inspired by constant experimentation and evolution.
Noble & Precious
Founded by Sydney-based Georgia Antill, Noble & Precious is looking at new, environmentally conscious ways to produce jewellery.
Not only does the brand use marine-grade, biodegradable stainless steel for the base of their designs, their 18k gold exterior is applied via vacuum chambers, which reportedly uses less harmful chemicals than other processes, like gold plating and vermeil.