I'll admit it–I'm a total jewelry whore. I think I was a pirate in my former life–spending my days looting and my nights watching my treasure sparkle in the moonlight!
But like cars, clothing, and practically everything else I buy, I've become more and more aware of the need for sustainable jewelry. Much damage is caused by the mining industry, including destruction of the earth and unethical labor practices. Because of this, many green buyers are now looking in to buying jewelry that is made from recycled precious metals, or lab created stones. There are also many alternative materials that can be used for stunning, and totally unique pieces. [more]
Brilliant Earth is one site that offers conflict free diamond jewelry. Many of the diamonds that are mined in South Africa have been traced back to terrorist groups or has funded violent conflicts in the region. By purchasing conflict-free diamonds such as those mined in Canada, you are supporting mining companies that have a proven commitment to ethics. Another site that offers conflict diamonds, recycled gold, and lab-created stones is C5. Heck, even Wal-Mart is jumping on the bandwagon with their own sustainable jewelry line!
If you're not in to buying high end jewelry, or if you're just looking to jazz up an outfit with something new and pretty–try these unique jewelry lines: The Palma Collection makes jewelry out of the Tagua nut of South America. You can also find cool pieces made out of all kinds of surprising and delightful materials. For example, Mountain Laurel makes adorable, whimsical jewelry out of vintage buttons. Hi-Octane makes jewelry out of used car parts!
Jewely can make or break a look, so choose your pieces wisely. Look for things that stand apart from the regular, everyday and overdone. Find pieces that tell a story, and can be treasured no matter how much you pay for them. And as always, stop before you buy and think about the impact of your purchase.
The Q writes Fashion,evolved – a style blog for the eco snob.