We can’t ignore the huge conversation surrounding ethical fashion. It’s definitely not ‘just having a moment’ – its now spreading wider than clothing, with ethical jewellery being the next biggest thing.
But while you may know where to find trend-led pieces like sassy chokers or statement earrings, do you know how they’re made? Or even where they’re sourced? If you want to sharpen up your knowledge a little in regards to ethical accessories, read on….
First of all, I’ve started being more conscious of ethically sourced fine jewellery since earlier this year. But my recent love lies within dainty, classic earrings. AU | RATE is a brand I’ve recently fell in love with, especially their range of small 14k solid gold earrings. But I’ll touch on them next…
What is ethical jewellery?
In a nutshell, ethical jewellery is jewellery that has no negative impact on the people who make it, or the environment they’re produced in. There’s a list of ways to ‘statement’ this, so to speak, so I’ve listed them below:
- Using materials you can trace back to the source, to ensure they’ve been produced in an ethical way, eg, fair trade materials and conflict-free diamonds
- Using recycled materials such as gemstones
- Using synthetic diamonds
- Not using child labour and ensuring fair wages and working hours
- Not using practices that pollute or impact the environment in a negative way
I became hugely interested in ethical jewellery when I decided to switch up my old way of accessorising, which was with large statement piece, and changed to fine, delicate pieces. I came across numerous retailers on my hunt for fine, dainty jewellery, but the ones that stressed they were ethical stood out to me.
It makes me feel better for the way I shop, which is why one of the retailers I’m shouting about today are indeed an ethical jewellery brand, called AU | RATE.
AU | RATE
AU | RATE believe that uou shouldn’t have to choose between high quality, fair pricing and doing good. So they focused on what matters: durable materials, transparent pricing, sustainable production, and tangible giving. Giving yo one less concession you have to make.
They are big believers in buying the best you can afford, and that goes for the materials they source, too. They seek out the purest 14- and 18-karat gold, procure pearls from Japan and the South Sea, and only use S1-clarity diamonds. Some of their pieces are statement and bold, and others are more classic – the style I like to take on when accessorising.
Here’s a few styles from the brand which I’m loving. They are literally stylish and pretty visually, yet made from the best quality 14k solid gold (yes, these are the earrings I told you about before!)
This is a gorgeous jewellery brand VIERI is handmade in Italy, where all pieces use ethically sourced and recycled gold. Guya Merkle, the creative director, is passionate about creating beautiful pieces that help to make a difference, which is one of the reasons she founded the Earthbeat Foundation.
The Earthbeat Foundation donates 10% of overall profits, which goes towards creating a better future for goldmining communities.
They have the cutest Tiny Clouds collection, which includes this bracelet below for €860 from VIERI
All of the WALD collection is handmade by a collective of unemployed mums or grandmothers, often from small villages, where there are limited jobs, especially not for older women who have been Mums their whole life.
Each woman is responsible for one model of the collection. The WALD team teach them over Skype and phone and they can make their living out of their home.
WALD share the following about their brand, ‘for us it is really important to be aware of where we spend our money. You can make such a difference when thinking twice and change the world each day a bit to be better. They are the heroes of our society and deserve jobs and appreciation.’
I particularly love this pretty shell necklace for around £168 from WALD
What are your views on ethical fashion and jewellery? I also wrote a blog post on being ethical in terms of tasks like clothes swapping and how to be thrifty, which you can read over here.