11 Minimalist *And Affordable* Sustainable Jewelry Brands To Add A Little Something Special To Your Look
There’s something special about jewelry: a new pair of gold hoops can somehow add a little extra joy to a sleepy Monday morning and a little more confidence before a night out. Or zoom meeting. Or date night with me, myself, and I. 💛 But just like we want to support eco-conscious clothing brands — we also want to support sustainable jewelry brands.
But what can we actually do to ensure we’re purchasing sustainable jewelry? Take a peek below at our “checklist” to see what to look out for next time you’re shopping for something sparkly.
A Checklist When Searching For Sustainable Jewelry Brands:
(**this is a non-exhaustive list, but a good place to start)
- What are the materials used for the jewelry? Take a look at the product descriptions. Do you see transparency in the materials used for each piece or insight into how the jewelry is sourced? Any mention of “upcycled” and “recycled” materials? Or ethically-cut gemstones? Also, if something feels and looks as if it will only last a few wears — that’s not great. Buying fewer, high quality pieces is generally more sustainable than buying more, low quality pieces that you’ll end up replacing.
- How are the people working at the organization treated? Look out for fair wages, time off, appropriate safety conditions, and other benefits that show workers are treated ethically as humans.
- Is the brand mindful of inclusivity? This goes for diverse representation of the models and use of inclusive language.
- Do they have a giving back program?: We recommend checking out the Mission pages to get an idea of what organizations and values the company supports and how they’re doing so. For example, are they donating a portion of proceeds? Do they have a record of how much they’ve donated so far?
- Do they use eco-friendly materials in the packaging? This is an easy one to overlook! But check out the FAQs or Mission pages to see if there’s any effort in delivering packages in recyclable or compostable packaging.
- See any certifications listed? B-Corp, Wrap-Certification, and Fair Trade are good indicators the company is taking accountability for responsible and ethical production.
11 Minimalist (and Affordable!) Sustainable Jewelry Brands
1. Tines For Change
Tines For Change makes upcycled jewelry from tines — also known as the “point” of forks. Why forks? As a reminder that when we eat, we have “a choice to be kind.” Each piece is unique and truly one-of-a-kind, and we love that the founder channels her passion for animal rights and cruelty-free living through handmade jewelry.
The pieces range from rings and earrings to necklaces and cuffs. We’re partial to the “Until Every Cage Is Empty” ring, but no matter which piece you choose, you can feel good knowing portions of all proceeds go to groups or individuals on a mission to advocate for animals.
Price: $25 – $80
Why We Love It: Each piece of upcycled jewelry is a daily reminder to be mindful of how the food we eat makes a difference in the world beyond our bellies.
2. Devi Arts Collective
Looking for a dainty heart necklace made from recycled silver? Or a ring made with an ethically cut gemstone? Devi Arts Collective is home to so many gorgeous, ethically made, and responsibly sourced pieces.
All of the pieces are handmade using recycled and refined gold and silver in their Vancouver studio. And the jewelry is even prettier in person than it looks on their website.
Price: $20 – $100+
Why We Love It: So many reasons! Devi Arts Collective is women-led, and they allow you to choose which nonprofit they’ll potentially donate 10% of your purchase to, which adds extra purpose to your purchase.
3. Ten Thousand Villages
Ten Thousand Villages not only provides customers with beautifully handmade pieces, but also creates income opportunities for artisans in developing countries.
They feature a wide range of jewelry – necklaces, earrings, pins, and bracelets – handmade in Ecuador, Cambodia, Peru, India, and many more countries. While some pieces are above $100, there is an extensive selection of beautiful jewelry under $100.
Price: $15 – $150
Why We Love It: In addition to lovely jewelry, they’re extremely transparent in their process to find solutions and address root causes to fight global poverty.
4. Made Trade
Made Trade is a leader when it comes to promoting ethical fashion, home decor, and accessories. Which is why we love referring to their jewelry section when we’re looking for something new. Whether you’re looking for colorful earrings made from upcycled plastic or a necklace made from recycled gold — Made Trade has you covered.
The best part: no matter what you choose, 1 percent of profits go to grassroots organizations and all shipping is 100% carbon offset.
Price: $35 – $100
Why We Love It: Made Trade makes it really easy to know who/what you’re supporting with icons like “women owned” and “fair trade” in the product description. Also, they give back and feature beautiful pieces at affordable prices. (Please note: Made Trade is an affiliate partner with Wholesome Culture, so if you use the above link – we will get a portion of the profits.)
GLDN was started by a single mom who wanted to make personalized gifts. Yes, the jewelry is GORGEOUS (we’re partial to the Empowered Collection). But what we really love about GLDN is seen in the numbers: 90% of the metals are recycled, 100% of pieces donate profits, and since 85% of the pieces are made to order – there is less ultimately less waste.
Price: $35 – $75
Why We Love It: They have an extensive Giving Back program outlined on their website, which shows they donate to nonprofits and give everyone at GLDN 10 hours of paid volunteer time.
6. 31 Bits
From gold minimalistic hoops to chunky beaded jewelry, 31 Bits has a little bit everything. And while a lot of businesses have “ethical” in their tagline, 31 Bits leaves no mystery about what ethical sourcing means to them. According to their website, they offer fair wages, unlimited leave whenever their artisans want time off, cultural preservation, and true apprenticeship opportunities.
Price: $20 – $50
Why We Love It: Their jewelry is affordable and beautiful. And we really LOVE their continued commitment to providing opportunities to artisans in Uganda.
Machete is a vintage-inspired, eco-conscious jewelry brand that takes advantage of renewable and ethically-sourced materials. Our favorites are the statement tortoise earrings, but we also love the collection of bracelets, bangles, and cuffs. Whatever piece you choose, everything at Machete strikes the perfect balance between striking and simple.
Price: $45 – $100+
Why We Love It: Machete is women-owned and contributes to a wide range of organizations, including: EarthJustice, National Parks Foundation, and 1% for the Planet.
8. Hello Ashto
For art deco jewelry that’s cute and vibrant, Hello Ashto’s collection of earrings is irresistible. The pieces are made from ultra-light polymer clay. So they look bold and fun — without weighing you down.
Plus, Hello Ashto is woman-owned and donates 10% of sales to @periodmovement, a youth-powered non-profit that is fighting to end period poverty and period stigma through service, education, and advocacy.
Price: $25 – $45
Why We Love It: They give back + most of the pieces are under $50. (Oh, and the artist/founder’s “about” story is extremely relatable and worth a read!)
There are so many beautiful reasons to support Boma. The jewelry is dainty, pretty, AND affordable (many pieces are around $20-$30). They’re members of the Sustainable Fashion Alliance and they launched a grant program for BIPOC Jewelry designers in 2020.
We love their “This Matters” collection, which is designed to fund on the ground organizations in the pursuit of racial justice and redistribution. And they also offer an extensive selection of jewelry made from recycled brass (like these earrings).
Price: $15 – $80
Take one look at Arlokea’s “Our Values” page and you’ll be inspired. Between their commitment to sustainability and transparency, and their dedication to community and social change — you can feel empowered knowing your jewelry is a part of a bigger movement.
Price: $20 – $80
Why We Love It: The founder’s story is incredibly motivating (read more, here). And we love how you can see the lovely person who made your jewelry in the product description.
For simple and subtle pieces, check out the Eco Section at Bagatiba. Bagatiba’s pieces are simplistic yet stunning, and they’re commitment to sustainability is visible through their giving back practices, ethically sourced materials, and mindful packaging. (You can take a full look at their sustainability practices, here.)
Price: $40 – $200+
Why We Love It: Bagatiba is woman-owned and also part of One Tree Planted; and they donate 100% of proceeds from the Bagatiba Yin Yang Necklace to charities that support Black Lives Matter, The Freedom Fund, Know Your Rights, NAACP Legal Defense, and the ACLU.