The jewellery industry is rife with confusing language. From greenwashed sustainability policies to misleading terminology, it can be difficult to know whether the jewellery you're buying really is eco-friendly.
This is how to identify fast fashion jewellery to avoid poor quality mass-produced accessories. Now let's break down sustainable jewellery, how it's made and where to buy it.
What is sustainable jewellery?
Put simply: sustainable jewellery is handmade with minimal impact on the environment. The metals used to craft the jewellery have been fair-mined and responsibly-sourced, reducing the impact caused to the planet. Waste is minimised through reducing water and energy usage, and jewellery recycling.
Sustainable jewellery is crafted in an environmentally and socially responsible way, making it not only better for the planet but kinder on the people who make it. Sustainable jewellery avoids the exploitation of both humans and animals by ensuring all workers in the supply chain have been treated well and paid fairly in safe working conditions. While also avoiding the use of animal-derived products, like pearls or leather.
The packaging used to deliver jewellery is made from recycled and recyclable materials and kept to a minimum to reduce waste. Many sustainable jewellery brands also offer carbon neutral delivery to further reduce environmental impact.
This more ethical approach means the jewellery is made in a way that is both sustainable and eco-friendly, with less waste and minimal impact on the planet.
How is sustainable jewellery made?
Sustainable jewellery is a lot more complicated than fast fashion jewellery. There are many different approaches depending on a brand's focus.
Some choose to use fairly-mined materials and ethically-sourced stones, while others focus on minimising waste and recycling metals. Other brands are solely dedicated to making a positive impact on communities through fundraising and donations.
Let's take a closer look at the ways jewellery can be sustainable.
Small Batch Production
The mass-production of jewellery causes a huge impact on the planet. Sustainable jewellery is often made in small batches. This helps to reduce the impact caused to the planet and reduce waste as much as possible.
To minimise their environmental impact, sustainable jewellery brands use responsibly-sourced materials to minimise their environmental impact. These include fine metals like recycled gold and silver, conflict-free stones, and lab-grown diamonds.
Ethical Vegan-Friendly Jewellery
The aim of sustainable jewellery is not only to protect the planet but to reduce the harm caused to both humans and animals. Workers are protected by receiving fair wages and safe working conditions. While no animal-derived products are used to make vegan-friendly jewellery.
Eco-Friendly Jewellery Delivery
An easy way for brands reduce their environmental impact is to offer eco-friendly delivery. Jewellery is packaged in minimal packaging that is both plastic-free and recyclable. Carbon neutral delivery is another option that reduces the damaged caused by online orders.
Fair Prices and Affordable Jewellery
Being a sustainable brand also means being inclusive. There's nothing sustainable about inaccessible pricing, which is why many eco-friendly jewellery brands strive to offer fair and affordable pricing.
Other ways sustainable jewellery brands minimise the negative impact caused to the impact is through waste reduction. This means eco-friendly jewellery can often be repaired or recycled through a brand's take-back programme, which deals with end-of-life products.