I'm a big fan of "natural" jewelry - necklaces, bracelets and rings made from seeds and stones, or sea glass found on the beach. But jewelry doesn't have to be this rustic to meet my "green" criteria. Generally, for reasons I list here, I look for accessories that are
* fashioned from recycled or reclaimed materials (like gold, silver, and gemstones)
* made either by artisans in the U.S. or Fair Trade jewelers abroad.
The socially responsible jewelers listed below have mastered the art and design of environmentally friendly creations for your personal adornment.
Brilliant Earth. Crafts high quality jewelry using recycled precious metals (gold and platinum), conflict-free Canadian diamonds, and fair trade colored gemstones. Brilliant Earth offers loose diamonds, engagement and wedding rings, earrings, and pendants. (18K White Gold Open Leaf Pendant with Diamond Accents pictured left).
KYLER by Joy O. Made 100% in the US, KYLER by Joy O creates elegant, intricately designed jewelry. The pieces are primarily made from steel, the most recycled material on the planet, and accented with partially recycled glass. All other chains are made from heirloom-quality, hypoallergenic nickel-free 14k gold fill and sterling silver. All artisans work in fair trade conditions AND even their packaging products are made from reusable and recyclable recycled paper!
Ruff & Cut. Manufactures beautiful bracelet, earrings, necklaces, pendants, rings, engagement rings, and men's jewelry. All jewelry is made from recycled metals such as certified recycled gold and sterling silver, and conflict-free diamonds. Ruff & Cut purchases all raw materials from socially responsible sources, and actively re-invests 10 percent of each sale as well as portions of company profits into non-profit organizations working to improve the conditions for those working and living in mining communities around the world.
Laughing Girl Arts. Handcrafted jewelry made from renewable and reclaimed materials. Some of the more exotic pieces feature bamboo pendants with images inspired from 18th Century Japan and earrings and necklaces made from pure silver reclaimed from photographic processing.
Sweet Organics and Naturals. This site provides a generous assortment of handcrafted, sustainable jewelry. All pieces are crafted in the US and made from recycled or fair trade silver, recycled glass or untreated fair trade beads and semi-precious gemstones. (DRUNK Leaf Necklace made from recycled wine bottles pictured right).
Urbanecologie. Offers a wide variety of eccentric and inexpensive eco jewelry.
Bambootique. Works directly with artisan cooperatives in Honduras, Guatemala, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal and South Africa to ensure fair trade working conditions and practices. Offers striking and colorful handcrafted bracelets, earrings, necklaces and brooches. All earrings are made using materials that promise not to cause allergic reactions.
For more on green clothing and accessories, visit www.biggreenpurse.comFor green product recommendations, health and safety information, and environmental succeess stories, get your own copy of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World today.