Mining for gold, diamonds and other precious metals and stones can have a devastating impact on the environment. Their extraction and production are also often associated with terrible working conditions for local people whose livelihoods depend on our demand for jewellery.
You can help by making sure the jewellery you wear has minimal impact on the environment. This could mean buying products which are:
- Second hand - look for vintage and antique bargains, or try charity shops and Ebay.
- Made from recycled materials eg metal, glass or paper, or sustainable materials eg wood or natural fabrics.
- Produced by companies with strong environmental policies and fair working conditions.
Many UK jewellery designers now specialise in beautiful and unique eco-friendly, Fairtrade and recycled jewellery. Here are a few:
- Friends of the Earth Shop Eco-jewellery, including Fairtrade accessories from around the world, using natural and recycled materials.
- A Alicia Ethical textile jewellery, made from materials which are ethically produced, vintage or repurposed.
- Amelia Parker Recycled jewellery, from reclaimed claypipes from the Thames’ foreshores.
- Cred Jewellery Specialists in stunning Fair trade wedding & engagement rings, Fair trade gold & ethical diamonds..
- Hairy Growler Jewellery 100% recycled jewellery, from sterling silver, pre-1919 English coins, to the forks and spoons of the Victorian dining table.
- Ingle & Rhode Fairtrade retailers, offering bespoke ethical jewellery, including ethical wedding rings, from both certified Fairtrade & Fairmined gold, or recycled gold or platinum.
- LiLi Eco-friendly products, offering contemporary jewellery which is ultimately biodegradable when finished.
- Mosami Contemporary jewellery from unique partnership of British designers and skilled craftspeople in Kenya and Thailand. All pieces are made from either Fairtrade or recycled silver.
- Rosie Weisencrantz Vintage and antique beads, brooches and trinkets from the 1900s to the 1950s, woven onto fine linen thread.
- Silverchilli Fairtrade retailers, selling eco-friendly, 100% reclaimed silver, from small businesses in Mexico. Includes Fairtrade wedding rings.
Look out for more tips in our series on tackling overconsumption.