17 Ethical and Sustainable Jewelry Brands to Shop Now
I have been obsessed with jewelry for as long as I can remember. Layering every necklace and bracelet I could get from my grandmother's jewelry box on my tiny four-year-old wrist was one of my favorite pastimes. To me, jewelry is meant to be worn, enjoyed, and kept for years to come. The pieces I treasure most remind me of a trip, a milestone, a loved one, or an experience. I limit my purchases to a select few that I know I will be able to save for my daughter one day.
Recently, I have started to examine the ethical and sustainability practices of jewelry brands. I want to know that anything I buy is thoughtfully produced and sourced and supporting fair wages. This enriches the story of the piece. You aren't just wearing something because it's beautiful, but because it carries meaning and is protecting the welfare of others and the planet. Some brands work with vintage items, recycled materials, or focus on a responsibly sourced supply chain. Here are some standout brands, for all different price points, that are getting it right.
This delicate ABLE Chain Ring ($30) looks great on its own or layered with other personal rings. All of Able's jewelry is handmade in Nashville, Tennessee, and sourced from US-based vendors for visibility into ethical and sustainable standards. All of the brand's scrap metal is collected and sent off to a refinery that melts it down and processes it into new pieces of wire or sheets of gold and silver.
The Meadow Lark Camille Necklace ($256) is a forever piece, perfect for everyday as a gift to yourself or someone close to your heart. Meadow Lark focuses on circularity and makes sure almost every piece produced is recyclable. The company is committed to ensuring all the materials used meet the standards for environmental responsibility, fair work, and human rights.
The perfect modern take on a friendship necklace, this Soko Mwenzi Pendant ($100) is handcrafted in brass by artisans in Kenya using traditional techniques. Soko is a women-led, people-first ethical jewelry brand built to connect artisans in Kenya with the global market.
The Serendipitous Project Bahamas Necklace ($275) makes such a statement and can be worn day or night. Serendipitous Project provides an affordable and sustainable alternative for trendy jewelry. Every item Serendipitous Project designs is ethically sourced.
There is nothing more sustainable than shopping vintage. Susan Caplan travels the world and sources unique pieces giving them new life. Expect to find one-of-kind pieces from the '80s and '90s and a great selection of Chanel costume pieces. We love these Susan Caplan 1980s Vintage D'Orlan Heart Earrings ($150), for starters.
Wear this delicate Mejuri Wishbone Stacker Set ($375) together or separately for a hint of shine. Made from a combination of recycled and fairly mined materials that support communities dependent on the industry, Mejuri aims to validate the authenticity of their materials and improve the social and environmental impacts of their collection.
We love the mix of elements on WWAKE's two-step earrings ($328) with opals and diamonds. Create your own combo with other small earrings or wear them on their own for a hint of color. WWAKE's materials are sourced sustainably focusing on recycled and fair trade materials that provide a positive impact to responsible mining communities from around the globe. All WWAKE jewelry is then crafted in New York.
The Matilde Jewellry Coração Necklace ($418) draws inspiration from the Coração de Viana, the traditional filigree heart, a symbol of the founder's Portuguese heritage. The brand's mission is to offer transparency to its customers and quality materials making it more accessible for anyone to own ethically sourced and thoughtful jewelry. The pieces are made with preloved gold in a 100 percent recyclable process, lab-grown diamonds, oh and, they're beautiful.
Pippa Small's ethical jewelry brand has been worn by Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie, and Meghan Markle. We love the message of home behind every piece, including this 18k Gold Vermeil PSTM Afghanistan Aquamarine Double Pendant ($300), which was handmade by the artisans of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Afghanistan. Turquoise Mountain has worked in Kabul for years training and employing young people in meaningful, creative jobs.
These ZOË CHICCO 14K Gold Wire Earrings With Baroque Pearls And Prong Set Diamonds ($596) are the perfect delicate accent to a dress or blazer look. The jewelry is handmade in downtown Los Angeles using conflict-free diamonds compliant with the Kimberly Process, 100 percent recycled 14K gold, and one-of-a-kind organic pearls.
From Founder Zoe Chicco: "As a trained metalsmith, I've had 20+ years of experience working with diamonds and precious gems, but a life-changing trip to one of the DeBeers Group's diamond mines in Botswana gave me a whole new perspective. To see firsthand the journey of a diamond from mine to design was a game-changer. At ZOË CHICCO, we make sure the diamonds we use are conflict-free and compliant with the Kimberley Process, and all of our gemstones are ethically sourced from our reputable partners."
The Ali Grace collection is sustainably handcrafted in NYC from recycled precious metals and ethically mined diamonds and gemstones.
From Founder Ali Grace: "My favorite piece from my new collection is this gold, turquoise and diamond signet ring ($2,800). This ring packs a punch! Not only is it the perfect pop of color to add to your pinky, the ring is sustainably made with recycled 14k yellow gold, an ethically mined diamond and natural, untreated turquoise."
Vrai carries everything from fine jewelry to engagement pieces and features diamonds sustainably created by Diamond Foundry, a diamond producer certified with a net-zero carbon footprint. The Vrai Inner Light Medallion ($380) is delicate enough to be worn every day and made with platinum and recycled solid gold so it won't tarnish.
The Foundrae pieces are packed with hidden meaning, making each piece truly unique. This Disk Drop Necklace ($1,695) symbolizes resilience and bloom, even in darkness and against adversity. Add in your own customized, engravable charm. The jewelry Foundrae casts is made with 100 percent recycled gold and re-refined precious metals. Recycled gold is refined back into its pure element and is the same high quality as newly mined metals, without the level of degradation to our natural resources caused by new mining.
L'Atelier Nawbar Necklace
This handpainted enamel, 18k gold, and diamond necklace by L'Atelier Nawbar ($1700) is like a piece of wearable art. Each item is ethically sourced from Belgium and Switzerland and offers two programs for clients to upcycle/recycle their jewelry: Upcycling & Remodeling and Gold Exchange.
Logan Hollowell Ursa Major Diamond Split Studs
We love that these Ursa Major Diamond Split Studs ($315) don't match and work well with other delicate studs. Logan Hollowell Jewelry is handcrafted in Los Angeles using 14k and 18k recycled gold, conflict-free diamonds and ethically sourced gemstones from around the world