STYLE

Planet Friendly Jewelry Brands

Sustainable Fashion is all about designing goods made with materials that can be easily and fully recycled or biodegraded (minimizing other impacts, of course), while also maximizing the use of surplus, dead-stock, up-cycled and otherwise wasted materials. If you consider yourself a conscious consumer, a minimalist, or simply care about the impact your purchasing decisions have on the world around you, then you know that less is more. This could not be more true than when it comes to jewelry.  Thankfully, the increasing global focus on sustainability in the fashion industry has also raised questions about the environmental impacts and ethics of the jewelry that we adorn ourselves with. Whether you’re looking for an investment piece or affordable pieces, there are options for any budget on this list. The aesthetics of these fair trade and artisan jewelry brands also vary, so you’ll also be able to discover an ethical brand that matches your unique style. To help you navigate the jewelry world with a conscious compass, here is our ultimate guide to ethical jewelry brands.

1. Soko

Based In | San Francisco, CA
Ethics | Artisan empowerment through globally-connected technology
Price Range | $$

Soko works with over 2,100 artisan entrepreneurs around the globe, helping them to build businesses, improve production capacity, and sustainably increase income. The fair trade jewelry brand is pioneering an innovative approach that empowers marginalized artisans. Using Soko’s mobile tools, artisans have access to an entire world of consumers, and they can expand their businesses and entrepreneurial endeavors. This jewelry collection includes a stunning range of minimal classics and luxury pieces. Inspired by architecture and traditional tribal designs, Soko’s line has a strong yet minimal aesthetic that eludes to the brand’s origins.

SHOP SOKO

2. 31 Bits

Based In | Indonesia, Uganda, & the USA
Ethics | Ethical working conditions, fair wages, holistic care for artisans
Price Range | $–$$

31 Bits works with artisans in Uganda to create fashionable, high-quality jewelry. The company employs women and cares for its beneficiaries by offering counseling, health education, finance training, and business mentorships. And everything the fair trade jewelry brand does is funded through product sales. That means your purchases directly impact and empower women in Uganda.

SHOP 31 BITS

3. ABLE

Based In | Nashville, TN
Ethics | B Corp, female artisan-made in Peru, fair labor practices
Price Range | $$

ABLE creates sustainable business opportunities for women who have overcome adversity. The social impact brand believes that generational poverty ends when people can provide for themselves and, by empowering women, entire families and communities are uplifted. The brand works with artisans abroad and in the USA. In fact, many of the jewelry pieces are handmade by women in Nashville. ABLE is our one-stop-shop for affordable social impact jewelry and accessories.

SHOP ABLE

4. Nisolo

Based In | Nashville, TN
Ethics | Artisan-made, better-than-fair wages, transparent production practices
Price Range | $$

Nisolo collaborates with local artisans in Peru and Kenya in the creation of its exquisite jewelry collection. From design to production, the Nashville-based brand works with artisans, all while providing better-than-fair wages and working conditions for its employees. Because Nisolo isn’t only committed to producing beautiful, timeless products—the socially-driven company promises respect and dignity for its employees. For gorgeously-designed, well-made jewelry, shop here. The fast, free shipping is an added perk.

SHOP NISOLO

5. Ten Thousand Villages

Based In | Akron, PA with artisans worldwide
Ethics | Fair Trade Federation member
Price Range | $

For over 70 years, Ten Thousand Villages has been a pioneer of the fair trade movement. The company has laid the groundwork for sustainable change in over 30 developing countries through empowerment and employment opportunities. Jewelry is created by independent small-scale artisan groups, co-ops, and workshops. The pieces are crafted with love using local materials and time-honored skills. Ten Thousand Villages is also our favorite stop for unique, handmade gifts from around the world.

SHOP TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES

6. Bario Neal

Based In | Philadelphia, PA
Ethics | Ethically-sourced metals & stones, fair trade gold, environmental sustainability
Price Range | $$$$

For stunning, custom jewelry, we’re shopping the Bario Neal collection. Pieces are crafted with precious, carefully-sourced metals, as well as recycled metals. These practices reflect the brand’s commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability. As one of the first jewelry companies to participate in the Fairmined Assurance label, the Bario Neal proudly offers Fairmined gold extracted by responsible miners; a third-party auditing system ensures participating miners meet rigorous environmental and social standards. Bario Neal also works closely with US refineries to minimize environmental impacts.

SHOP BARIO NEAL

7. Starfish Project

Based In | Asia
Ethics | Fair Trade Federation member, employs women survivors of sex trafficking and provides holistic care
Price Range | $$

Starfish Project supports women escaping human trafficking and exploitation in Asia by providing shelter, counseling, employment, and education. The fair trade company’s holistic care program offers vocational training, health care, shelter, counseling, and child education grants. Through its social enterprise, Starfish Project has hired more than 125 women to craft jewelry and work in manager, accountant, graphic designer, and photographer roles. Learn more about the women behind your jewelry online.

SHOP STARFISH PROJECT

8. Aurate

Based In | New York City
Ethics | Ethical working conditions, seventh-generation artisans, sustainably-sourced materials, give back
Price Range | $$$-$$$$

Born out of New York City, Aurate crafts the delicate, stunning gold jewelry that we love. Inspired by NYC icons (think historic building doorknobs and the Brooklyn Bridge), all of the pieces in this collection come with flair and style, making this line perfect for the modern woman. Crafted by seventh-generation craftspeople (yes, seven), you know you’ll look and feel your best flaunting Aurate. You’ll rise to the gold standard in every way.

SHOP AURATE

9. Accompany

Based In | New York City
Ethics | Ethically made by artisans, fair trade, give back, B-corp
Price Range | $$-$$$

Accompany bridges the gap between artisan-made jewelry and direct-to-consumer needs with an easily accessible platform. The company teams up with brands like Soko and Makua for the most original, ethically-made jewelry one can find. Shop pieces from indigenous communities and jewelry made from responsibly-sourced materials (like Colombian wood). If you’re looking for a socially conscious platform that believes in one-of-a-kind accessories, Accompany fits the bill.

SHOP ACCOMPANY

10. Zoë Pook

Zoë Pook has an environmental and socially responsible approach to its production of bespoke engagement and wedding rings. Its gold is sourced from Fairtrade and ethical community driven mines (where workers receive a fair wage and safe working conditions), and its diamonds are ethically sourced (guaranteeing no human rights abuses, child labour, or war profits). Its coloured gems come from known and trusted retailers, fair trade dealers, or directly from the mines, and its recycled precious metals are sourced from an environmentally friendly refinery (with stringent controls on the use of chemicals and recycling of water). Zoë Pook offers an excellent selection for you to pick the perfect piece to indulge that special someone.

Ethics | Ethically sourced, fair trade
Price Range | $$$$

SHOP ZOE POOK

Whether you are looking for your next ‘treat yourself’ item or a gift to a loved one, the beautiful jewellery that these brands produce while encouraging change and supporting sustainable and ethical practices means that you never need to sacrifice aesthetics for your values.

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