Sustainable Staples: All That Glitters

Jewellery and adornment has a special place in history, with its meaning rooted in spirituality, status and heirlooms. So when you’re choosing a gift or looking for an investment piece, have you noticed how your search is a little longer than if it were an item of clothing?

Jewellery doesn’t come without it’s perils either. Fast fashion has made it normal to be able to pick up a pair of earrings for less than a few pounds and not thinking twice about throwing them away. Whilst mining for precious metals and gems puts the lives of others at risk. But what if there was another way? Here’s five brands doing it differently.

Ara the Altar
Named after a constellation, Ara the altar offers beautiful jewellery for everyday magic. Inspired by astronomy and nature and the world’s fascinating relationship with both, each piece is made to order by designer and creator Lauren.

With ethics and sustainability at the core, careful considerations are made at every part of the production process and beyond to make sure each piece is mindfully managed. Lauren aims to create as little waste as possible using tools made from natural materials and packaging that is beautiful but low impact. Minimal design made with 100% recycled gold and silver gives these easy to wear pieces a whole new conscious meaning.


Emma Aitchison

As a natural creative, Emma is happiest when she’s making and creating. Having worked in the creative industries for several years, she decided to turn her passions for design and protecting the natural world into a business.

Her collections are inspired by nature, but in particular different weather forms and the fleeting moments they can create. Using a combination of traditional, modern and adapted techniques, each piece has its own unique details. Most of the silver used is 100% recycled with some use of brass and 18 carat gold plating. She also has goals for the brand like becoming carbon neutral, to use more solid gold and build an eco studio, proving that we can all evolve and be better. The organic shapes and bold sizes make Emma’s jewellery great statement pieces!


Little by Little Jewellery
What do you get when you cross a jewellery designer with a food writer and photographer? Thoughtfully designed jewels, that take inspiration from the natural beauty found in food! 

Annabel and Georgina always strive to make a positive impact and they do this in several ways. They donate a portion of funds from each purchase to a partner charity, with each item made ethically in Peru at a factory providing employment and training. They use local Peruvian silver, some of which is recycled and are working on having 100% traceable silver. Not only that, but all their packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable and they offer repairs for all customers. They’ve got it all covered! 

Each collection is wonderfully ornate and so easy to wear by themselves or as a set in both silver or gold. Take your pick.


MADE

If fashionable design is what you’re after, I’ve got just the thing. MADE combines fashion with ethics and sustainability through handmade jewellery, made ethically in Kenya providing safe employment to developing communities. Using infinitely recyclable Brass as a base, there’s nothing they can’t create!

Collaborating on collections with everyone from Whistles to Louis Vuitton, has meant honing their designs and growing their expertise whilst supporting the traditional skills of jewellery making in Kenya. Their current collections with Ella Grace of Stories behind things are the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe when you need to jazz up a white tee and shorts.


Wild Fawn

An independent, creative business with a fully female team that makes timeless jewellery?! Yup that’s a thing. Think thin and delicate lines with subtle textures that you can wear forever.  Each piece is made to order in their London studio, meaning there’s no middle man and made to be accessible to all. 

Their collections evolve through feedback from their customers and what they want, so they really do listen! Using recycled silver and fairtrade gold, the entire range is super easy to wear and gift.

You’ll notice that none of these brands use stones or gems. The reason being, it is very difficult to get stones that have been ethically mined or sourced whilst being affordable. Mining is a difficult world to navigate as there are a lot of layers, involving the risk of lives and motivations of big corporations. Besides, with pure silver and gold, they can be melted and made into something else without a loss of quality!



Have you found any other brands that do great jewellery with a conscious?

Written by Indie Foolheea
IG: @unfoldchange | @ctrlchange