Is it really possible to get stunning jewelry that looks and feels incredible, but is made from sustainably sourced materials that don't damage the environment?
I decided to find out. But I realised quickly I couldn't do it alone.
When prepping for this article, I knew exactly who I needed to draft in to help me sniff out the best eco-friendly jewelry brands in the U.S.
Mrs. M To The Rescue...AGAIN!
Her input was invaluable in my Eco-Friendly Clothing article, and I was delighted that Mrs. M was able to again run her keen eye over the brand shortlist and help pick the winners.
I thought she was doing it out of the goodness of her heart and to spend some extra time with her doting husband. However, judging by her comments regarding VRAI, I have a feeling I know what her fee is going to be! 😁
Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend - According to Marilyn Monroe, anyway. But they can be the worst nightmare for the planet and the people who mine them.
It’s not just the diamonds thorough. To be entirely eco-friendly, every single element of your jewelry should be as sustainable as possible.
Later, I’ll go into more detail about exactly what to look for when shopping for eco-friendly jewelry.
But first, I’d like to introduce you to the best sustainable jewelry brands that impressed the hell out of me and Mrs. M.
They Say: Zero emissions: Powered 100% by renewable energy, we grow the purest diamond from their very elements in America’s beautiful Pacific West. No offsets required. No mining: By its very definition, depleting resources is never sustainable, no matter what miners say. True craftsmanship: The artisans in our workshops then cut and polish our diamond crystals into facets so they produce maximal brilliance, scintillation, and fire.
We Say: I’ve gone straight in with the most expensive brand on the list.
If you’re not looking for high-end diamond jewelry, the other brands listed below are much more affordable...while still remaining sustainable.
However, if you’re in the market for the best lab-made diamonds money can buy, then VRAI has to be your first point of call.
VRAI is based in California, with showrooms in LA, San Francisco, Shanghai, Xi'an, and Chongqing.
They grow their own sustainable diamonds in a zero-emission foundry energized 100% by the renewable power of the Columbia River in the beautiful Pacific West.
You can learn more about VRAI diamonds are created here.
Mrs. M Says: The jewelry VRAI produce is simply breathtaking. Their designs are simple, elegant, and timeless. Stunning jewelry made from the very finest sustainably sourced materials.
Their Melrose Place store is divine! If you’re ever in the CA 90069 area, I strongly recommend a visit. Even if it’s just to drool over the window display.
There’s no hiding from the cost. VRAI jewelry can be expensive. However, there are still some lovely entry pieces available for less than $100. The Tiny Stud earrings are mega cute and cost $82.50 each
But it’s the special occasion pieces where VRAI shines (literally) for me!
If your budget can stretch that far, a piece of VRAI jewelry will be passed down and cherished for generation, after generation, after generation.
With that in mind. And in light of our upcoming wedding anniversary. If a certain Mr. M is stuck on ideas. I ABSOLUTELY ADORE the Round Tennis Bracelet - Petite - White Gold! 😉🤞
They Say: Each piece of ABLE jewelry is made by hand in our Nashville, TN studio by women who have overcome extraordinary circumstances. Handmade necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings can often be customized at no additional charge with a monogram or phrase. These unique pieces make a great personal gift with meaning.
We Say: ABLE made it onto our list of the best sustainable fashion brands, so it stood to reason that I should also take a look at their jewelry offering.
Ethical jewelry brands don’t come much better than ABLE. Their eco-credentials are above reproach.
They aim to create economic opportunities for the millions of underpaid women in the supply chain to the fashion industry.
This is achieved by ensuring safe working conditions and fair pay for all their workers.
I love that every piece of ABLE jewelry is handmade in Nashville, Tennessee. This supports the local economy and keeps emissions low due to reduced transportation of materials and finished goods.
Mrs. M Says: The ABLE range of handmade jewelry is super cute and super affordable.
My favorite are the Bali Hoops. A real statement pair of earrings. At a great price.
I also love that you can personalize many of the pieces with wording of your choice.
They Say: Our showroom is located in Nashville's Buchanan Arts District and is also home to our company headquarters. We are invested in our community and regularly host exclusive shopping events, workshops, and parties of all sizes. Whether you're local or just visiting, we invite you to shop our handcrafted leather shoes and accessories in addition to a thoughtfully curated selection of goods from a few of our favorite small businesses and makers.
We Say: Nashville appears to be the place to be at the moment for fair-priced and fair traded sustainable jewelry.
First ABLE and now Nisolo is representing the Music City in the jewelry world!
Nisolo is Climate Neutral Certified and pays every worker a 100% living wage.
Mrs. M Says: Nisolo jewelry collaborates with local artisans in Peru, Mexico, and Kenya.
This totally comes across in the rustic nature of the brass they use.
I adore the Stacked Shape Hoop Earrings.
Nisolo has a relaxed shabby chic showroom you can visit if you’re ever in the Nashville area (TN 37208).
They Say: No sustainable outfit is complete without responsibly made, ethically sourced jewelry. Our collection of sustainable jewelry includes fair trade jewelry brands using recycled metals and heritage techniques, as well as ethical jewelry made in the usa using recycled gold, upcycled plastics, and lab grown gemstones. Whether you're looking for an heirloom piece or affordable sustainable jewelry for everyday wear, you're sure to find exceptionally made pieces for every style.
Mrs. M Says: As a family, we’re a little obsessed with Made Trade at the moment.
Being the massive eco-nerd he is, James loves the brand ethos because they’re, as he said over the dining table one evening recently, “saving the planet with their sustainable fashion”.
Like I said...ECO-NERD! 💖
What I love about Made Trade is the high quality of everything they sell. The fact that it’s all eco-friendly and sustainable is almost secondary (almost!)...but a real bonus!
My favorite is the Moonstone Halo Stacking Ring Set for two reasons:
The range of different brands on Made Trade that are not available anywhere else is also a big selling point for me.
They Say: Omi Woods jewelry are contemporary heirlooms that celebrate our connections to Africa and her diaspora. Our fine jewelry is individually and ethically handmade with fair-trade African gold and globally sourced conflict-free fine metals. Omi Woods jewelry is intended to be worn everyday, gifted for special occasions and passed down to future generations so its meaning can live on for generations to come.
We Say: I’ve been hearing A LOT about Omi Woods from Mrs. M, so I thought I’d better check it out for myself.
The name Omi Woods is a nod to founder Ashley Alexis McFarlane's Jamaican-Ashanti-Maroon heritage.
Omi means 'water' in the Yoruba language.
Jamaica comes from the indigenous Taino word 'Xaymaca', meaning 'land of wood and water'.
It’s a clever name for a seriously popular brand.
With over 4.5k sales and close to 35k admirers on Etsy, it’s safe to say it’s not just Mrs. M who loves Omi Woods.
The Omi Woods range of jewelry is designed to celebrate and honor African heritage.
Only fair trade gold / conflict-free gold is used. It’s sourced from small-scale artisanal mines that guarantee fair wages and safe working conditions.
Mrs. M Says: I’ve been obsessed with Omi Woods ever since a girlfriend told me about their COWRIE Infinity Necklace.
It’s simply stunning. I wear it as often as I can. It makes pretty much any low-cut top or dress plunging and sexy.
I also love the matching COWRIE Stud Earrings.
All Omi Woods pieces are made to order and usually shipped within 3-4 weeks.
If not properly regulated, diamond mining can have a negative impact on human health and environmental health.
Ensure ethical sourcing of your bling by considering the following diamond options:
All of the above applies to most other gems also.
Recycled gold is usually made by melting down old jewelry. It’s sometimes mixed with new gold or gold from other sources (industrial metals, electronic devices, etc.). It’s refined to remove any impurities, resulting in quality that matches newly mined gold.
It’s not just gold that can be recycled to make jewelry. Also lookout for the following recycled metals:
We mostly associate Fair Trade practices with the food industry. However, by looking for fair trade, you’re helping build a sustainable supply chain that works for everyone involved.
It’s not just recycled materials and metals you need to look out for. Upcycling is also prominent in the jewelry world.
Jewelry made from upcycled materials takes something no longer needed and turns it into something someone wants. Think a kindergarten shell and pasta necklace...but classier...if that’s possible! 😉
Reusing/resetting old gems in new jewelry, for example, is a great way to reduce the demand for new gems.
Many websites offer to pay you top dollar for your unwanted fine metals and vintage jewelry. It’s difficult to know who to trust, though.
Rather than sending your old jewelry off and crossing your fingers that you’ll ever get paid, I recommend popping to your local pawn shop. You should still get a reasonable price, and you know precisely who you’re dealing with.
Absolutely. While it’s true that high-end ethical jewelry brands, like VRAI, have pieces costing many tens of thousands of dollars, there is still value for money to be found if you shop around.
According to Chelsey Grasso of Remake, “Cartier has chosen to take a leading role in advancing ethical code in the jewelry industry. Their diamonds are sourced from suppliers who share the company’s values, and Cartier requires a Statement of Warranty for every diamond-related invoice they receive”.
According to the BBC, Pandora has pledged to stop selling mined diamonds and focus solely on lab-grown diamonds.
So. There we go. I hope this article has helped highlight that eco-friendly jewelry does not have to cost the earth. Both literally and financially.
There are many sustainable jewelry brands producing jewelry to meet every taste and budget.
The best sustainable jewelry brands don’t just use sustainable materials. They ensure that everyone in the supply chain (from mine/lab to store) is treated fairly and paid what they’re due.
True sustainability comes from not consuming needlessly. Investing in a handful of quality sustainable pieces of jewelry that will last a lifetime is one way to reduce the environmental impact of your fashion choices. Timeless jewelry never goes out of fashion!
Finally, a big thanks to my better half again for her input into this article. Always very much appreciated. It looks like I might have to return the anniversary scarf I ordered! 😁
Where do you buy your eco-friendly sparkle? Have I missed your favorite sustainable jewelry brand? Drop me a line and let me know.