Last week I talked about the issues within the jewellery industry, from ‘blood diamonds’ to the environmental damages caused by mining. There are even human aspects, such as miners frequently being denied fair wages and adequate health and safety provisions.
With this in mind, I want to provide you with some conflict-free, ethical jewellery brands that are suitable for any style and budget. Each brand has a deep consideration for both human and environmental aspects of the industry. Many were born out of frustration within the industry.
Thanks to these brands, consumers no longer need to worry about the harms their jewellery has caused!
Fair Trade Jewellery Co. is a small family company in Canada. The online retailer has a strong focus on designing and manufacturing ethically sourced jewellery. Although mainly an online company, Fair Trade Jewellery Co. operates a storefront in Toronto’s Cabbagetown.
Fair Trade Jewellery Co. is the first North American business to use Fair Trade Certified Gold and to use Fair Mined Certified Gold. In addition, the company holds partnerships with the Responsible Jewellery Council, the North American Gem Association and Competition Bureau of Canada.
A neat service the company offers is providing proposal loaner rings. When you are ready to propose you no longer have to wait to find the perfect ring! This company offers several jewellery options, including wedding rings, occasion rings, bracelets and earrings. And their prices are suitable for any budget.
ETHICS | Conflict-Free Diamonds, Socially and Environmentally Responsible Sourcing, Fair Labour Practices
Founded in October 2005, Brilliant Earth has become a global leader in ethically sourced fine jewellery. Their diamonds, stones and metal come from sources that are free of human rights abuses and use fair labour practices.
As part of its mission to transform the jewellery industry, Brilliant Earth works in partnership with advocacy groups to promote awareness about problems within the industry, such as conflict diamonds, dirty gold and mining issues. Their website is full of useful information, both about the industry itself, information on specific gems, such as diamonds and sapphires, and guides for wedding rings, engagement rings and vintage jewellery.
The company also donates 5% of its proceeds to communities harmed by the jewellery industry.
Melissa Joy Manning offers handmade pieces made by skilled artisans in both California and New York. The company draws its inspiration from Mother Nature and offer a unique yet modern style using recycled, up-cycled, conflict-free and ethically-sourced materials.
Their studio in Berkeley, California is Green Certified by the state of California since 2005. In addition, their retail store in Berkeley is the first of its kinds to receive this certification as well. The company has two other retails stores, one in Brooklyn and the other in Manhattan, New York.
When sourcing its metals, Melissa Joy Manning chooses to work with Green Certified refiners. A certain amount of stones are domestically sourced from reputable companies while all their diamonds are certified conflict-free through the Kimberley Process.
Not only that, Melissa Joy Manning uses recycled packaging and purchases carbon offsets with every package shipped, both domestically and internationally, through UPS’ Carbon Neutral program.
ETHICS | Conflict-Free Diamonds, Sustainable Sourcing
Aili Jewelry was born in 2012 “with the intentions of materializing and interpreting beauty through the lens of light, a primary source of energy and life“.
Each piece receives its name from Greek history and is handmade to order from New York City. In addition to being handcrafted, Aili Jewelry uses recycled metals sourced by sustainable-certified companies and contain conflict-free diamonds.
Catbird creates handmade pieces in their small Brooklyn studio, which has been its home for the last 12 years. Their pieces are made using fair-trade and recycled gold, while all their stones are conflict-free.
In addition to carrying their own jewellery line, the Catbird studio is also home to other brands and products such as cruelty-free beauty products, home trinkets, candles, hats and more. Live in New York? If you do, Catbird offers same day delivery!
Since the beginning the company dedicates a significant amount to being a charitable company. A minimum 1% of all sales go to various charities, such as Girl Up, Citizens Climate Lobby and New York Times Neediest Cases. In addition, Catbird is a proud member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Made in New York and No Dirty Gold.
ETHICS | Socially and Environmentally Responsible Sourcing, Fair Labour Practices
Vrai & Oro means ‘truth‘ in French and ‘gold‘ in Spanish. This fine jewellery brand is built on three key values: quality, simplicity and transparency.
Frustrated with the lack awareness within the jewellery industry related to materials and ethical issues pertaining to overseas production, Vrai & Oro decided to do something about it. Providing high quality materials and education is their way of doing so.
Their jewellery is made in the USA and sold directly to consumers. No middlemen or retail markups.
As always, these brands will be on BeEco Fashion’s Shopping Guide for easy reference in the future. There were a few certifications mentioned in this post so I have also updated BeEco Fashion’s Certification page to include these.
Let me know if you buy from any of these awesome companies!