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 to where the fabrics and stones are being sourced.
In particular, when it comes to jewellery, consumers are becoming more mindful of where particular items are coming from, 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 no negative impact on the people who make it or the environment they are 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 and using materials that can be traced in an ethical way, be that, recycled or synthetic gemstones or 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, who 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.
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 labels 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 off-set 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.”
At the core of Australian-based jewellery designer Holly Ryan’s eponymous label is simplicity and wearability. Each piece is carefully considered to capture modern architecture, sculpture and conceptual art in a wearable way, with Ryan’s passion for sustainability front and centre of every collection. Minimising its environmental impact, pieces are created using sustainable materials and low or zero-waste processes. All metals are recycled and stones are sourced as ethically as possible.
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 which includes 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.