2019 is a great year to start being more environmentally conscious. Cutting down on plastic, limiting the amount of meat and dairy you consume and volunteering for mass cleanups are great ways to help out. Being more aware of what is going into your jewellery and clothing is important too. Ethically sourced and conflict-free gemstones and metals, recycled materials, and helping local communities are steps that many of our JewelStreet designers take to ensure their jewellery is ethically made.

Our designers promote the curation of environmentally-friendly jewellery and are paving the way to a more eco-conscious future. This New Year, reinvent how you think towards jewellery and do your bit for the environment by investing in ethical and environmentally-friendly brands. Give back to the world around you and invest in gorgeous jewellery which is as environmentally friendly as you are.

Here are our reasons why you should be buying ethical jewellery.

Fashion is a major polluting industry

The fashion industry is one of the major polluters in the world, contributing to water, air and soil pollution. It is responsible for 10% of our carbon footprint and is the second greatest polluter of freshwater. Fast fashion is especially damaging to the environment. The mass production of garments is ever increasing, with 80 billion clothes made and consumed each year. Due to the increased rate of making clothes, more resources and more workers are needed. By investing in ethically made jewellery, you’re receiving something that isn’t mass produced and that is helping the environment through its use of ethically sourced materials rather than cheaper and flimsier materials that will break after a few wears.

Image sourced from REX

Goods from the environment

The world around us is full of incredible materials and natural sources. Instead of cheaper materials that are mass produced, our designers use quality materials as well as resources that they find around them. Black Rock Jewel are a Copenhagen-based brand, that are inspired by the ocean and use eroded, carved stone and wood found on their local coastline. These materials and high-quality silver make up their unique signet rings, full of attitude and texture.

  

Oxidised Sterling Silver Moon Ring | £225.00

Helping local communities

Fast fashion not only has a strong environmental impact on pollution but also affects its workers. Speedy mass production is combined with cheap labour that makes clothes and jewellery cheaper for the consumers, which allows fast fashion brands to maintain economic success. Workers receive little pay and work gruelling hours, which is unfair and ethically wrong. Laura Galasso works with her local community in Bali, where they exchange knowledge and techniques to create her pieces and grow together as a community and company that helps the environment.

  

24kt Gold Plated Sterling Silver Blue Lace Agate Bracelet | £94.00

Natural materials

Natural materials and items from the environment are incredibly precious and important in jewellery. Mass production takes the unique and ethical out of that, with creating artificial and lab grown gemstones to increase their selling rate. Many of our designers use fairtrade materials and reliably sourced gems like Bergsoe and Shakti Ellenwood. Oria Jewellery and many other designers source their materials from cooperative mines and use conflict-free diamonds. Supporting the Kimberley process, a scheme that keeps gems conflict-free by having extensive requirements placed on participants who ship and buy them, guarantees that their gems and diamonds are ethically sourced. Under strict environmental conditions, these stones are purchased, guaranteeing quality and assuring that the miners work in safe conditions and with good wages.

    

Shakti Ellenwood 18kt Fairtrade Cherish Ruby Ring (Left)| £680.00
Oria Jewellery Sterling Silver Small Star Earrings (Middle)| £52.00

JewelStreet have countless designers who use recycled materials to create their jewellery. Sandy Leong, Enji Studio Jewelry and Betty Balaba are just some of our designers who use recycled gold, silver and paper in their designs.

    

Enji Studio Jewelry Paolo Pendant (Left)| £910.00
Sandy Leong | Origin Small Hoops (Middle)| £1,374.00
Betty Balaba Gold Bead Drop Necklace (Right)| £700.00

Less machines

Our designers make all of their jewellery by hand using traditional and modern techniques. Some of our designers, like Rebekah Ann Jewellery, MIL Jewellery and Saba Jewellery by Geraldine Murphy sand, hammer and add gemstones and colour to all of their jewellery by hand. It’s great to know that your jewellery is made by a real human being rather than a machine - that way you know that nothing is artificially enhanced, has been treated with love and care and is as natural and sustainable as can be.

Cut down on waste

Fashion is a major polluter in many ways. Synthetic fibers are in high demand. However most of these synthetic materials are made from fossil fuels and are non-biodegradable. We’ve all seen the fatburg and we don’t want another one of those on our hands! Dyes and toxins are a big factor contributing towards pollution. Fast fashion and mass production creates a ridiculous amount of waste. 15.1 million textile clothing waste was produced in 2013 - an obscene number that is only going up due to fast fashion increasing. When textile waste is in landfills, chemicals and dyes leak into the ground, causing environmental damage. Our designers use ethical resources and recycled materials which helps cut down on waste. They create high quality jewellery that is durable and won’t break after a few wears but will last a lifetime.