Barbara Michelle Jacobs Madison Garland Band–Eco-friendly and gorgeous to boot!
Collecting special jewelry is one of my favorite things—not that I have a lot, per se, but maybe that’s part of the point. I’m pretty selective about my jewelry, so what I do have, I really love.
Often, my reason for purchasing jewelry is solely for its beauty. After some time, though, it tends to take on more significant meaning—not that beauty alone is insignificant in my book! Certain pieces remind me of certain times in my life or the people I hold dear. Sometimes a piece of jewelry will help me remember a value or a promise that I make to myself. For example, I have a toe ring that never comes off that reminds me that I can create a beautiful life wherever I live, whatever I’m doing. Remembering this was especially critical when I was working a job I didn’t like and living in a place I knew was temporary. Now it serves to continue to remind me to live with grace in my new, semi-permanent (?) home.
As I become more aware of the world around me, I want my jewelry to further reflect my values, especially in relation to the environment and matters of social consciousness. Part of this means investing in pieces that I’ll have for a long time, which for me, means pieces that are sterling silver, gold, or gold-filled—not something that will quickly fade and look cheap. Unfortunately, mining for new precious metals is environmentally damaging (at a disturbing level). From deforestation to toxic waste, the metal mining business isn’t a pretty picture. Likewise, as many of us are aware, the sourcing of precious stones, particularly diamonds, can also be troublesome: diamond mines in conflict regions fund insurgency and warlords, and many mines in general operate in violation of basic human rights.
Fortunately, the jewelry industry is taking note of consumers’ concerns, and there are now several jewelers who offer eco-friendly and socially conscious options created with repurposed materials, recycled precious metals, and conflict-free stones. The following eco-friendly jewelers are just a few of my favorites!
Alex and Ani Lotus Peace Petals Pull Chain Bracelet
Alex and Ani create eco-conscious jewelry made in America and infused with love and positive energy. Between the carefully selected materials for their jewelry and the symbolism of their designs, the pieces are intended to empower and inspire their wearer. Through their Charity by Design program, Alex and Ani donate profits from certain collections to various non-profits around the globe.
Color by Amber Isis Necklace
Color by Amber produces jewelry with ecoresin, a 40% recycled material that helps bind the layers of jewelry. Color by Amber participates in Full Circle, a program that provides aid to female artisans and their communities in Nepal, Senegal, and Mali. Perhaps most notable is the company’s zero-landfill policy. Nothing goes to waste, making the production facility carbon neutral.
Barbara Michelle Jacobs Esperanza Twig Hoop Earrings
Barbara Michelle Jacobs is an eco-friendly jeweler based in New York City. Each piece is created with recycled precious metal and, where applicable, conflict-free gems. Barbara Michelle Jacobs’ designs are inspired by nature’s organic beauty—quite literally, in fact. Many of the pieces are created from molds of foliage found in Central Park.
Nashelle Druzy “Signature” Ring
Nashelle creates pretty pieces with recycled metals. The company also participates in multiple philanthropy programs, including Food for the Hungry, Kids Center, Family Access Network, Stand Up 2 Cancer, and Feeding America.
Bashford Jewelry Antique Art Deco Diamond Engagement Ring
Bashford Jewelry offers a line of high-end gemstone rings. Created with ethically sourced conflict-free diamonds, Bashford Jewelry strives to create awareness about the impacts of the jewelry industry while offering more socially conscious luxury alternatives.
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Photos: Alex and Ali, Color by Amber, Barbara Michelle Jacobs, Nashelle, Bashford Jewelry