“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” sang Marilyn Monroe, and countless women have since wished to be accessorised by this sparkling gem. But with growing awareness of the exploitative diamond mining industry amongst millennials, younger consumers appear to be slowly turning their backs on the stone, moving on to eco-friendly alternatives. You can read more about the atrocities of the diamond mining industry in an older post HERE.
There is such a wide variety of great sustainable and eco-friendly brands out there who have taken a stand against unethical sourcing of materials. Whether it is by using up-cycled materials or by contributing to local communities in other ways, these brands are putting transparency and consciousness on the table. I have rounded up 5 of them for your pick of ethically-made accessories and jewellery to accompany your outfits all year round!
Little By Little Jewellery
Little By Little Jewellery is an ethical jewellery brand that advocates a transparent and responsible supply chain. Inspired by the natural beauty found in food, each piece of jewellery is lovingly made from gold, silver and touches of enamel. The jewellery is designed in the UK and crafted by a well-established jewellery producer in Lima, Peru. Since its establishment, the factory has employed people with no prior technical experience and trained them in jewellery production.
Working with international charity Action Against Hunger, each sale by Little By Little Jewellery comes with a donation to cover three days’ food supply to nurse an acutely malnourished child. Action Against Hunger works in nearly 50 countries around the world to carry out lifesaving programmes in nutrition, food security, water, sanitation and hygiene.
The Apple Pip Stud Earrings that I am wearing have been beautifully made using 24 carat gold plated Peruvian silver and navy enamel. As seen in the photo, the earrings can be worn in two different ways. The simple pip studs can be worn by themselves or together with the navy and gold rounds. They make a great day-to-night statement piece!
These lovely earrings can be bought HERE and retail at £65. While you are there, make sure to check out the two other brilliant collections by this brand!
SAYA Designs is a hair accessories brand that makes whimsical handcrafted pieces from recycled wood. The brand’s founder, Victoria, was inspired by a deep love for nature and a growing awareness of environmental issues, in particular deforestation. When I met her a few weeks ago in Oxford, she discussed her desire to reflect the stories behind objects used in the manufacturing process.
For example, while searching for ways to sustainably source wood for her designs, Victoria came across Made & Wayan, wood sculptors who dig up and recycle root wood from old commercial plantations across Indonesia. These roots are left behind by large-scale tree harvesters and take hundreds of years to decompose, adding little value to the soil. SAYA Designs uses this material, which would otherwise simply waste away.
Each SAYA Hairpiece is inspired by the rich flora and fauna of Indonesia, where Victoria has lived. These stunning pieces are hand carved by skilled Balinese artisans, with whom Victoria regularly keeps in touch and whom she visits every year. The pieces are then finished with natural wax and oils. The artisans have flexible work conditions with Victoria and receive a fair pay.
SAYA hairpins are the ideal sustainable alternative to common plastic and elastic hair accessories. Each piece can be worn in various ways, with lots of different hairstyle options for every day of the week! You can check out some tutorials for fun ways that you can wear your SAYA Designs HERE.
Did I also mention that SAYA Designs also plant trees for every purchase? Having met Victoria, I was truly inspired by her commitment to ethical manufacturing and drive for sustainable companies to be well-informed on key issues.
The Taro hairpiece that I am wearing can be purchased HERE (in rose wood and golden tamarind) and retails at £33.
ISA/III Oc S.A.S
ISA/III Oc S.A.S was founded by Isabel Ortiz Cárdenas in Bogotá, Colombia. Fascinated by the diversities of cultures in Colombia, she decided to embark on a journey to capture her colourful roots into urban handbags. Preserving rural tradition and its high quality in her designs, Isabel has nevertheless found a way to create a new look that fits well in urban settings.
Isabel´s aim is to create a simple product, a valuable long-lasting handcrafted piece that reflects beauty and quality. Her designs do not follow trends, but rather offer a product that captures histories and traditions of her country.
Her lovely pieces are going to be shown in an exhibition honouring fashion and design in New York at the Museum of Art and Design on 7 and 8 November this year. So if you are around you definitely must go check it out!
You can see more from the amazing ISA/III Oc S.A.S collection HERE.
Baume Watches, which belongs to the Richemont Group, creates modern, mindfully designed, entirely customisable, unisex watches that are both sustainable and vegan. The watches have interchangeable straps and are made from cork, cotton, line, recycled PET and alcantara. This stunning watch is such an exciting addition to the industry and hopefully will pave an ethical way that more timepiece brands will follow. With their drive to transform the watch making industry into a circular economy, Baume Watches have proven that you can create a luxurious time piece without the use of leather or precious stones.
By adopting a made-to-order approach, Baume minimises its environmental footprint. Upcycled from multiple materials, these iconic watches illustrate the brand’s commitment to mindful design, demonstrating that is indeed possible to reinvent waste into a beautiful, highly durable products while also cutting CO2 emissions and having a positive impact for the sake of the planet.
Baume has been awarded the Butterfly Mark, sponsored by Positive Luxury, in recognition of their commitment to social and environmental sustainability. You can head over to Positive Luxury’s website to find out all of this brand’s positive actions.
Head HERE to customise your own Baum watch! Prices start at £430.
Laura Elizabeth Jewelry
Laura Elizabeth Jewelry is a sustainable jewellery brand from America inspired by nature. Every piece in the collection represents snippets from personal stories and life experiences that have affected Laura, the brand’s designer.
The pieces are handmade in the United States or through fair trade artisans in India. You can find out where a piece was made by looking for the location symbol on the product’s page. The pieces are made from recycled metals and plated with either gold or silver, with many pieces cast in an ethical and eco-friendly factory in Los Angeles without the use of harsh chemicals.
You can wear the Lady Luck and Marni necklaces by themselves or paired up with other jewellery. I would personally pair them up as I think they look stunning together! You can buy both necklaces HERE.
This post was sponsored by multiple brands, each of which products I tested myself and absolutely love. As always – all content, suggestions, and opinions are all my own.