You can buy sustainable and ethical jewelry – even on a budget. From ethically-sourced diamonds to conflict-free gold pieces, here are the best jewelry brands to try.
The jewelry industry is notorious for unethical sourcing practices for gemstones and precious metals. Identifying better brands can be difficult. We’ve tried to make the task a bit less daunting by compiling a list of a few sustainable and ethical jewelry brands.
Sustainable jewelry means jewelry that uses materials that are sourced, mined, processed, and manufactured in an economic, social, and environmentally sustainable way.
The definition of ethical jewelry is jewelry that has no negative impact on the people who make it or the environment and is made from materials that are Fairtrade and conflict-free.
1. SOKO: Sustainable Jewelry from Kenya
Price Range: $24 – $198
Products: Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, and Rings
SOKO is a unique women-led Certified B Corp. They’ve coined the term “virtual factories” which uses mobile technology to connect Kenyan artists to the global marketplace. They believe that in order ‘for something to be beautiful, the system that created it must also be beautiful’.
A fantastic feature on their website is that you can filter by material, including brass, silver, gold-plated, or mixed materials. Their brass, silver, and gold items use recycled brass as a basis. Other pieces use beads from a Fair Trade women’s collective in Kenya. Be aware that horn and bone are among the materials used – if you’re not a fan, you can filter them out. Their sustainable jewelry ranges from gorgeous minimalist to bold statement pieces.
2. Mejuri: Sustainable Heirloom Jewelry
Price Range: $25 – $4000
Products: Anklets, Bracelets, Earrings, Men’s, Necklaces, Rings, and Wedding
This Canadian company offers handcrafted, high-quality pieces without the insane price tag — fine jewelry for everyday wear. Mejuri has partnered with producers worldwide and is as committed to the quality of their pieces as they are to the conditions in which they’re produced. They aim to trace each of their pieces from mine to market. 60 percent of their production partners are certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council, the remaining 40 percent are family-run businesses.
Their gorgeous products may seem expensive, but they are made to last – and sustainable, too. Mejuri gold jewelry is partly made with certified recycled gold and responsibly mined gold. They also use ethically sourced diamonds in their pieces. According to Mejuri, their jewelry is “handcrafted like the olden days, but designed for the golden days ahead”. Go ahead and splurge on those white gold spiral earrings or that diamond stacking ring…it’s time to invest in some sustainable and ethical jewelry.
3. Ten Thousand Villages
Price Range: $5 – $175
Products: Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, Pins, and Rings
Ten Thousand Villages helps consumers shop with intention by providing sustainable and ethical jewelry products. They specialize in fair trade and create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to sell their wares. Ten Thousand Villages also lets the artisans determine a fair price for their products and pays them 50 percent upfront, so they have the capital needed to purchase raw materials and manage production costs.
Jewelry is only a small portion of their offerings. All the materials are locally sourced, and their product listing states the country of origin. Take your pick from bright, colorful pieces, or stick with more simple and classic designs.
4. Catbird: Sustainable Jewelry Made in NYC
Price Range: $14 – $6000+
Products: Anklets, Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, Rings, and Wedding
This New York City-based company takes pride in using ethically sourced and conflict-free gold and diamonds. Most of the diamonds they use are recycled! This women-owned and operated business makes all its jewelry onsite in Brooklyn and is a certified member of No Dirty Gold.
Catbird’s beautiful and unique ethical jewelry range includes items like cannoli charms, personalized cygnet rings, and single earrings. One of their coolest offerings is their “Get Zapped” feature (available at their Soho location). You can get their Forever Bracelets perfectly sized and welded on!
5. Astor+Orion: A Seattle-Based Company
Price Range: $30 – $150
Products: Earrings and Necklaces
The circular design is at the heart of Seattle-based Astor+Orion: all of their products are created to be continuously recycled or composted. Their ethical manufacturing facility is in Bangkok, having moved from China to increase their environmental standards.
Their designs would not be out of place at music festivals or on a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. Whether you prefer studs, hoops, or drop earrings, Astor+Orion has them all available in gold, rose gold, and silver.
6. Omi Woods: African-Inspired Sustainable Jewelry
Price Range: $59 – $4500+
Products: Anklets, Bracelets, Earrings, Men’s, Necklaces, Pendants, Rings, Stacks, and Wedding
Toronto-based Omi Woods offers stunning contemporary heirloom jewelry inspired by Africa and its diaspora. Their gold is fair trade and sourced from small-scale artisanal mines in Africa, and their other fine metals are also conflict-free.
Omi Woods draws inspiration from different locations in Africa and the Caribbean. The design elements for their ethical jewelry include coffee beans, Coptic Crosses, and different coins. Feel free to mix, match, and stack their brilliant pieces.
Price Range: $15 – $110
Products: Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, and Rings
Transparency in the supply chain is incredibly important to Arlokea. Each piece of sustainable and ethical jewelry on their website has very clear and defined origins. They are also committed to building strong communities and use sustainable materials like recycled gold and brass in their collections.
If you’re looking for simple, sustainable jewelry that won’t break the bank, Arlokea is the place to shop. Their stunning products can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and make a great addition to any outfit.** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.
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