How to find the perfect ethical jeweller?

How to find the perfect ethical jeweller?

Living coral might be the colour of 2019, but looming large and overshadowing any trends is our love of all things green. Yes, if there are any decisions to be made about products, a deciding factor for many of us is the environmental impact of making that consumer choice.

Jewellery is one such area where accessories aficionados and designers alike are wising up to the demands pretty pieces can put on our planet. As sustainably-made jewellery, that is pieces made from responsibly-sourced materials and adhering to high standards of production, becomes more popular, so too are the choices on offer.

So whether you’re after a timeless piece or a more radical style, we find out the perfect ethically-minded jeweller for you.

Best for timeless chic

Transparency is the order of the day at London-based jeweller Emma Aitchison’s label. Aghast at the disposable nature of fashion, Emma has created an evergreen line of elegant and minimalist jewels which, where possible, use Fair Trade or recycled materials. The source of each piece is clearly identified, giving you the tools to make an informed decision about your accessories. As well as being open about the materials used, Emma’s ethos is funnelled through to the workshop where energy-efficient lamps and recycled paper are used and the team cycle to work. The brand also donate 1% of their profits to the charity 1% For The Planet and use local materials.

Best for classics

Alongside a contemporary line of British-made jewellery, London-based designer Georgina Boyce can refashion old pieces, meaning that instead of letting passe old gems gather dust, they can find a new lease of life in a different band or setting. It’s also worth noting that there’s a jewellery repair service too so if you’re happy with your jewel but it’s seen better days, the team can bring its sparkle back and ensure you can enjoy it for years to come.

Best for the unusual

As well as having a brilliant name, Bloody Mary Metal does a fine line in edgy, gothic-inspired jewellery with funky designs and solid principles behind them. The team are committed to only using ethically-sourced diamonds, cut in controlled environments to ensure child labour and exploitation aren’t part of the process. Among the pieces on offer is the striking Bad Cat Ring. Not only does it look great, but £10 from every sale supports a brain tumour charity, so it’s a win all around.

Best for bold workwear

Sue Gregor’s colourful collection of jewellery ensures the only impact you’re making is a positive one, with her signature looks made from Green Cast acrylic, consisting of 100% recycled materials. Bold statement necklaces and floral cuffs offer a playful hint to an everyday outfit and even better, Sue has carefully sourced biodegradable materials to package all of her goods too.

Best for delicate pieces

Ocean-loving Californian brand Washed Ashore celebrates and seeks to help the world’s waterways with their innovative fine jewellery range. The owner Larada Lamsam sources sustainable raw materials and works with nature to ensure no waste is created. Case in point is the brand’s use of the keshi pearl, which is discarded by oysters before the culturing process begins. Once the keshi has been taken, the team put the oyster back in the ocean, and then start on their designs which honour the beauty of nature.

Best for nights out

Style and sustainability sit side by side in Lilian Von Trapp’s line of modern, minimalist jewels, best of which are the elegant drop earrings. The Berlin native has a no mining policy, instead using upcycled diamonds and gold and crafting her designs under fair labour conditions. Packaging is sustainably-produced and 2% of the brand’s earnings go towards the Earthbeat Foundation which provides education about the sustainable use of natural resources.

Words: Keeley Bolger