In light of a recent response to another of my blogposts: “Jewelry for Vegans”- I thought I might also share a list of other jewelry designers that also work in an environmentally-friendly and socially responsible manner; something I am ever diligent to maintain and improve within my jewelry business model/techniques.
As this list has been in the works for quite some time, I cannot guarantee that the information about the jewelry designers/businesses listed below is still accurate. However, I thought it might be interesting to some of my readers and I welcome any clarifying details or corrections to this list and please let me know if you know of any additional designers that should be added- whether it is you, a family/friend, or simply someone/business you read about- as I have done- I am most interested in seeing/learning about other socially responsible designers and businesses!
BEST WISHES TO ALL - TODAY AND EVERYDAY…
Enjoy and happy shopping!! – ( even if it isn’t my jewelry that you’re purchasing ; ) )
- JENNIE RICH, THAT’S JUST RICH JEWELRY DESIGNS
Saught: works with Cambodian artisans to make earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets from scrap metal left by landmines. Partnering with Italian NGO Fileo Development Organisation, Saught trains workers in the art of fine jewelery-making as well as providing food and lodging for students and their families. The Singapore-based business offers three lines of socially inspired jewelry with their Freedom from War, Freedom from Poverty, and Freedom from Fear designs. Each purchase contributes money towards subsidizing the workshops, de-mining efforts, and expansion of the startup into other countries that have experienced conflict.
“The beautiful thing about fashion is that it reflects the sentiment and culture of the season that its in, and is a true representation of your identity and person. We see Saught as being part of a movement within the fashion industry to one where fashion cares about what matters – people and the planet. Saught encourages shoppers to become advocates of peace through one of their three lines of jewelry. Peace doves, flower petals, laurel branches, and bricks symbolizing strength and unity shine in gold. They hope that their mission helps to not only empower the people of Cambodia, but to help the beauty of peace shine through each item they sell.
KenandDanaDesign In keeping with our ethical commitment, all of our jewelry is responsibly handcrafted in NYC. We do not engage in overseas production and everyone involved in our supply chain earns a generous living wage. All of our diamond suppliers are Kimberley Process compliant, which is a certification system that prohibits the trading of diamonds from war-torn regions. In addition, we use eco-silver, eco-gold, and eco-platinum from melted down, already existing supplies to the furthest extent possible. By using recycled metal we help to decrease the global demand for newly mined gold and the social/environmental destruction that comes with it.
Reflective Images: Santa Fe, New Mexico jewelry firm promoting fair trade and eco-friendly production/ sales practices. Custom jeweler/ Celtic styles, artisan wedding bands, “Carousel beads”. Uses 100% recycled precious metals/ Seeks out gems/ materials derive from F.T./ eco-friendly sources/ Practices transparency- consumers can trace all components of jewelry
- Marc Choyt (prez. And jewelry industry activist) – publishes online source on fair trade jewelry issues/ publishes free source for professionals – “The Ethical Jewelry Handbook”
http:/celticjewelry ; http://artisanweddingrings.com ; http://carouselbeads.com ; http://fairjewelry.org
Nature’s Candy Designs: jewelry line inspired by 4 elements
- Exclusively uses recycled gold and silver, production technology employs fewer resources/products/ A portion of proceeds benefit Global Green USA
Todd Reed: Boulder, CO- “raw elegance movement” uses raw diamonds in designs. Uses only recycled gold/ Purchases antique diamonds (“bear no current environmental impact”) /Buys w/ an eye on eco-friendly components/ processes
PICKBAY: Eco Brass GUITAR PICK Holder Pendant
Zulugrass: from the Leakey collection is hand made jewelry crafted by Maasai artisans from Kenya using environmentally sustainable materials. leakeycollection.com
Our jewelry is made by hand, from artists, who are able to earn a living wage with real benefits while crafting their art. Disposing of the wasteful modern techniques of casting and machine molding, we have embraced the timeless techniques of traditional metal smithing, producing pieces that are both unique and environmentally friendly.
- The impact from mining in the last few centuries has been devastating on our environment.
Cheekymonkeyjewelry - The economical Cheeky Monkey line of jewelry, worn by stars such as Drew Barrymore, Tori Spelling and Selena Gomez, methodically blends ethically harvested gems and recycled metals with fashion forward design. Longtime green-minded jeweler Simon Cardwell designed environmentally friendly jewelry before it was trendy.
As Cheeky Monkey's trademarked statement points out, we make 'Beautiful Jewelry That Doesn't Cost the Earth' TM
- Did you know that an estimated 20 tons of earth needs to be moved to mine enough gold to make an average-sized woman's wedding band? That is why Cheeky Monkey Jewelry uses the gold and silver that comes from reclaimed materials.
In addition, the precious gems used by CHEEKY MONKEY JEWELRY are restricted to fair-trade or recycled. Translation? The stones are pre-screened to ensure that they meet our tough standards and that the communities that mine them are offer an equitable return for their hard labors. All Cheeky Monkey Jewelry is made here in the USA . We use a local workforce where possible. Our fair-trade stones are purchased with assurances from a reputable Fair-trade dealer. If we cannot find enough fair-trade material we use like-new stones from recycled sources.
Apache Moon Studio – Apachemoon – earth friendly silver jewelry- all precious metals from recycled/ reclaimed sources; stones are ethical, Fair Trade, and conflict free. Purchases made thru etsy- 100% of revenue will go to rescue and shelter unadobtable animals.
Hovey Lee - Hovey Lee implements the principles of socially and economically responsible business by working with fair trade vendors and eco-friendly material producers.
At Hovey Lee we are committed to promoting fair trade, human dignity and environmental sustainability before profits. Our materials are sourced from the gemstone suppliers that adhere to fair trade sourcing standards. These standards ensure that these gifts from nature are brought to the customer in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible way that cares not only for the materials but the people who are involved in the process. Fair trade standards uphold labor conditions and workers’ rights, environmental protection, product integrity and supply chain transparency from gemstone mining, cutting, to processing.
. By upholding the Fair Trade Federation and the No Dirty Gold campaign guidelines, we hope to reflect the values of our customers around the country who have a deep commitment to human rights and the environment. Photos below show the raw recycled metals used in making our jewelry.
Garuda – www.shop.organicearrings.com Our natural and organic earrings are hand made with care, pride, and you in mind. We make all of our jewelry with natural materials harvested using responsible practices. All of our organic jewelry and silver earrings are Fair-trade, hand-carved and crafted by highly skilled artisans in our own Atelier from only Earth-Friendly natural and organic materials. All our Wood, Feathers, Bone and Horn are responsibly harvested.
Seeing as most of my free time is spent making jewelry, it stands to reason that I have amassed quite the number of finished pieces. And despite my every effort to do so; one can only wear so many pieces of jewelry at a time…
It was for this reason, coupled with my joy of designing and creating jewelry, that my family and friends encouraged me to start a jewelry design business. Especially seeing as, after I had accumulated a wardrobe of jewelry items, it was only logical that I would move on to creating pieces for all of my friends and family.
Designing for specific people in mind had proved to be a challenge at first. Besides knowing what a person’s style may be, even if they love a particular design, they may maintain a lifestyle that influences what they can or will choose to wear.
For instance, some people may love the look of antique and vintage jewelry they may have an allergy to certain metals that make them unable to wear brass or a gold-plate, etc.
To provide me with my next challenge, my best friend recently converted to Veganism, (is that a word?). Her new lifestyle made many of the former pieces I made her, obsolete. So rather than have her go without jewelry made by yours truly, I knew I would have to re-think some of my designs she so loves, and customize them to better suit her new lifestyle.
Easy peasy- right?
I mean all I had to do was remake her leather bracelets using some sort of cotton cord in its place. But upon further thought and research, I soon realized that there were other things that may be off-limits for me to use. For one, that leather bracelet I was going to remake using cotton cord, had previously been made with silk thread. And seeing as silk is produced by an animal – the silk worm, of course- it was also unavailable for me to use in the updated Vegan-friendly design.
Upon a bit of digging through my numerous boxes of tools, beads and other materials, I found I could use Silamide- a waxed polyester beading thread- in lieu of the silk beading cord I had previously used.
I mean, I recognized my inability to use leather; but I truly had not even contemplated on the use of silk- I can’t even remember what it was that made me recognize this mistake…
Upon discussion with a customer at the bead shop I work at- I recognized that perhaps I ought to remake my feather earrings. The customer was asking for my help in making feather earrings for her, using some of the cruelty-free feathers she had. (The feathers had been purchased online from someone who collected feathers that had been naturally shed; (Or would it be considered molting when in reference to a bird? Hmmm)…
So therein lies the rub…I don’t know a gosh darn thing about being Vegan!
And was therefore, stressing as to how on earth I was going to figure out how to remake all of the pieces of jewelry I had made for this friend.
So I went to my b.f.f. and expressed just a bit of my frustration at the quandary I found myself in – that I knew her jewelry had to be re-made, seeing as she no longer wore any of the bracelets I had made for her; bracelets that she had worn continuously, (sleeping, showering, etc.), for months after receiving them.
To my relief, she informed me that the reason she wasn’t wearing her bracelets, or any jewelry at all for that matter, was due to the fact that she lived with her baby niece- who being only 1 year old- couldn’t quite grasp that whole: ‘What’s mine is mine’ thing. That with a baby around, you didn’t wear any jewelry simply because even if it managed to not get broken or damaged, it would inevitably end up being sucked and chewed on and dropped on the floor.
Furthermore, once she was able to resume wearing jewelry, she would still be donning the pieces I had previously made for her. Even though she was now vegan, she was more focused on the aspect of sustainability. In this respect, would it make sense to take something apart to discard certain of its pieces, to then purchase all new materials and use them to remake the piece in its former incarnation? Perhaps going forward, I can utilize sustainable, Vegan-friendly materials when designing for her, but to take and remake pieces of jewelry, just so they can be labeled as Vegan…
Well that just seems like a whole lot of waste to me.
A sample interaction between an uninformed customer and an artist on the price of one of his/her creations:
I'm just a girl with simple- albeit refined- tastes...