A Glimpse Inside Mother Nature’s Jewelry Box

I'm a big fan of "natural" jewelry – necklaces, bracelets and rings made from seeds and stones, or sea glass found on the beach. But jewelry doesn't have to be this rustic to meet my "green" criteria. Generally, for reasons I list here, I look for accessories that are

* fashioned from recycled or reclaimed materials (like gold, silver, and gemstones)

* made either by artisans in the U.S. or Fair Trade jewelers abroad.

The socially responsible jewelers listed below have mastered the art and design of environmentally friendly creations for your personal adornment.

Brilliant Earth. Crafts high quality jewelry using recycled precious metals (gold and platinum), conflict-free Canadian diamonds, and fair trade colored gemstones. Brilliant Earth offers loose diamonds, engagement and wedding rings, earrings, and pendants. (18K White Gold Open Leaf Pendant with Diamond Accents pictured left).

KYLER by Joy O. Made 100% in the US, KYLER by Joy O creates elegant, intricately designed jewelry. The pieces are primarily made from steel, the most recycled material on the planet, and accented with partially recycled glass. All other chains are made from heirloom-quality, hypoallergenic nickel-free 14k gold fill and sterling silver. All artisans work in fair trade conditions AND even their packaging products are made from reusable and recyclable recycled paper!

Ruff & Cut. Manufactures beautiful bracelet, earrings, necklaces, pendants, rings, engagement rings, and men's jewelry. All jewelry is made from recycled metals such as certified recycled gold and sterling silver, and conflict-free diamonds. Ruff & Cut purchases all raw materials from socially responsible sources, and actively re-invests 10 percent of each sale as well as portions of company profits into non-profit organizations working to improve the conditions for those working and living in mining communities around the world.

Laughing Girl Arts. Handcrafted jewelry made from renewable and reclaimed materials. Some of the more exotic pieces feature bamboo pendants with images inspired from 18th Century Japan and earrings and necklaces made from pure silver reclaimed from photographic processing.

Sweet Organics and Naturals. This site provides a generous assortment of handcrafted, sustainable jewelry. All pieces are crafted in the US and made from recycled or fair trade silver, recycled glass or untreated fair trade beads and semi-precious gemstones. (DRUNK Leaf Necklace made from recycled wine bottles pictured right).

Urbanecologie. Offers a wide variety of eccentric and inexpensive eco jewelry.

Bambootique. Works directly with artisan cooperatives in Honduras, Guatemala, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal and South Africa to ensure fair trade working conditions and practices. Offers striking and colorful handcrafted bracelets, earrings, necklaces and brooches. All earrings are made using materials that promise not to cause allergic reactions..

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9 Responses to A Glimpse Inside Mother Nature’s Jewelry Box

  1. Lulu July 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Thanks for the info. Recycled jewelry is just as beautiful as new stuff, and gives you the added feeling of warmth from being socially responsible and not putting extra pressure on the environment. It’s all good.
    I’m a London based jeweler who works with recycled materials. Do check out my blog for inspiration and tips on how to make your own original pieces. It’s fun and they make excellent gifts for friends and family.

  2. Linda at Laughing Girl Arts July 5, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Diane, thank you for the lovely mention of my work! Finding recycled, sustainable, and eco-friendly materials for jewelry design really sparks my creativity.
    It’s great to have a growing following in the green community.
    Linda at Laughing Girl Arts

  3. Diane MacEachern July 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Thanks so much for the thoughtful suggestions on other places where folks can find “green” jewelry!

  4. Valerie July 20, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    You can also find a lot of recycled, sustainable and eco-responsible jewelry through searching on Etsy.com, and talking with local artists to find out about their practices. There are several major jewelry suppliers now (Rio Grande is one example) that are offering jewelers a much wider variety of raw materials that have been made from recycled metal so you will find many of your smaller local artists are even more eco-friendly then you would have imagined.
    Search for terms like precious metal clay (PMC), tagua nut, repurposed, etc…
    Beyond just the materials in the jewelry itself, try to find jewelers who employ sustainable practices. For example in my own business I try to use 100% recycled packaging and shipping materials, as well as use virtually no harsh chemicals in my jewelry production. (I also use a lot of old fashion tools to try and stay off the power grid)

  5. Kyler by Joy O July 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Thanks so much for the mention Diane! Especially when it comes to luxury items, finding eco-friendly alternatives is so important to the environmental integrity of consumers. We’re so glad that you’ve shared us with other eco-enthusiasts! We love Big Green Purse!

  6. Diane MacEachern July 30, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    My pleasure, Kyler.

  7. Diane MacEachern August 10, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    Yes, that was a terrific movie and it did a great job of shining the spotlight on blood diamonds. Glad to hear you “vote with your money.” So do I!

  8. pandora jewellery November 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    I recently watched a movie called Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio and it was a real eye opener into the sorry story of where many gems come from. Hard to believe the cruelty involved.

  9. engagement rings in las vegas August 6, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    I remember that one, Blood Diamond. I hated that movie. Sad that its a fact of our reality. Very sad.

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