I’m not really a big shopper, but there are few things more satisfying than finding beautiful baubles to adorn oneself that are also ethically and sustainably created. Okay, so maybe more than a few things are more satisfying, but it is a great feeling to know that while decorating ourselves or someone we love, we can also be more mindful of where these things come from, who made them, and perhaps even where some of the profits of the purchase may go.
I love jewelry, so this is an easy one for me. In my travels over the last couple of years, I’ve come across some interesting jewelry designers and concepts, some of which are really gorgeous in addition to being a feelgood style. Here are just a few I would recommend:
X-NYC Traffic Light Jewelry!
I met a woman (whose card I’ve lost) last summer at an eco-event @ Lincoln Center who had purchased literally tons of the old glass that used to be used for NYC traffic lights. When they changed to LED-style lights, she heard that all this glass was headed for the landfills. She asked if she could have it, and arranged to have it delivered to her instead! She has a method of breaking them down and tumbling them smooth to make some wonderful jewelry. Visit her web landing page to find out more – SoleArts.com
More Beautiful Eco-Jewelry . . .
Recycled Bicycle Chain Bracelet
I first saw these at a green event in Brooklyn last summer and there were different styles of jewelry and accessories made from old bicycle parts. Of course, the first thing I thought of was the greasy struggle with one of these bad boys as I tried to get it back on the spokes while sitting on the side of the road as a kid. These of course, aren’t greasy at all! The one pictured here is available through 3R Living, a fabulous store in Brooklyn and website with innovative and stylish sustainable, eco-products. There is also a wonderful organization that helps New York City youth learn about environmental issues in various after-school programs. They also work with kids to make some of these items, while teaching them about various sustainable practices, including how to fix their own bicycles. Check out Recycle-A-Bicycle.
Recycled Daisy Garland
These lovely necklaces are all about fair trade and celebrating women globally through the Women’s Multipurpose Cooperative in the Philippines, which employs artisans who create a variety of products, often recycling and repurposing materials that would otherwise be headed for landfills. I was particularly enamored with the recycle newsprint in these bright daisy garlands. Go to Ten Thousand Villages to find these and other items made by these resourceful women.
Untreated, Natural Brazilian Amethyst Necklace
These delicate and beautiful creations are made from fair trade gems. Moonrise Jewelry carefully tracks each untreated gem from its original mine to their studio to ensure the integrity of adherence to strict environmentally and socially responsible standards. These gemstones are mined by hand, minimizing the environmental impact, protecting watersheds, and restoring the land after mining is completed. These gemstones are also processed at a cutting factory with fair labor standards, healthy working conditions, and fair wages. To see this and similar eco-jewelry, visit Moonrise Jewelry.
Recycled Booze Bottle Glass Earrings
These pretty brilliant blue earrings are made from recycled Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle necks! Fortunately you don’t have to drink a whole bottle to get these cool earrings. These hand-crafted beauties are made by cutting the neck of the recycled bottles, then subjecting the rings to the churning motion of Gulf waters and coarse beach sand collected from Captiva Island, Florida, and finally they are suspended on sterling silver and adorned with a fresh water pearl. My friends at Sweet Organics and Naturals carry these and other wonderful eco-conscious products.
Some other great GO posts on Eco-Jewelry
Recycled Elements: Traditional Jewelry gets an Eco-Friendly Makeover
Conflict-Free Diamonds and Recycled Gold are a Girl’s Best Friend
Eco-Chic Beaded Necklaces Make Sustainable Stylish
Images are used with permission from associated artisans and/or organizations.