Ethical Jewelry – Glamorous and Long-lasting

Ethical

I am sure many of you have heard of blood diamonds, or even seen the 2006 movie Blood Diamond starring Djimon Hounsou and Leonard Di Caprio. The movie presented a slither of the hardship and unethical activities that were involved in mining diamonds in African Countries. Although the movie was somewhat exaggerated, it raised awareness to the issue and the importance to ethical jewelry. Just like fashion, jewelry can have an unethical side, such as blood diamonds (conflict diamonds), unethical supply chain and workers. Thus, it is important to support ethical jewelry brands that sell ethical jewelry. So what exactly is ethical jewelry? Keep on reading to find out more.

What is ethical jewelry?

Ethical jewelry is based on the idea that the materials, diamonds, gold, silver and other gems, are properly sourced, through ethical channels and there is transparency throughout the process. The workers were paid fairly and treated ethically, there were no conflicts to the sourcing and producing. Plus, the brand itself is showing support and giving back to the community and workers. Fortunately, there are many ethical jewelry brands coming out. In addition, many ethical jewelry brands choose to use recycled gold and silver to reduce the amount of mining. Not only is this safer in some cases, it also helps reduce the carbon footprints. Choosing to buy from ethical jewelry brands is not only good for you but better for the people, workers, and overall earth.

Ethical Jewelry’s Criteria

Ethical Jewelry - Diamonds

Transparency: Being transparent about the diamonds or gems’ sources and origins is really important. Being able to trace and make sure that the process of the mining is safe, workers are safe and treated fairly and ethical is all part of the brand being transparent. It is important that the whole supply chain should be transparent.

Origin: Similar to transparency, it is very important to know where the diamonds are coming from. Ethical jewelry brands would know which countries or regions to not to source as there are still many cases of conflict diamonds and so on. Here is a listen of countries that are still having issues with conflicted diamonds: Zimbabwe, Angola, DR Congo, Ivory Coast, and Liberia (77 Diamonds).

No Child Labor: Using child labor is unethical in all ways, not only it is dangerous, but child labor is taking away the chance the child to get a proper education. While there are some laws against child labor, there are always loopholes or oversights. So it is important that the brand provide transparency to be labeled as an ethical jewelry brand.

Giving back to the community: Similar to other ethical causes, it is important that ethical jewelry is giving back to the local community. Give back resources and help the local community. This includes that the workers and local community are getting their fair share of payment and wages.

Reduce Environmental Impact: Mining can be very harmful to the environment, as earth and land are bombed and destroyed. So it is important that the company is actively thinking about protecting the environment around the mining area, protecting the ecosystem and so on.

Recycling: As mentioned above, many ethical jewelry are made from other jewelry. The idea of repurposing jewelry is very ethical and a great way to reduce the carbon footprint, since you didn’t need to mine it.

These criteria for ethical jewelry applies to other material than diamond, for example, there is fairtrade gold, recycled platinum or other gemstones. In addition, nowadays not all jewelry involved in precious stones or material, it is important that ethical jewelry brands support local artisans or traditional skillwork. In fact, many ethical jewelry brands go beyond these criteria and do a lot more, which is amazing! Now let’s take a look at a few ethical jewelry brands.

Ethical Jewelry Brands

Here a few ethical jewelry brands that you should definitely check out! In addition, you can easily find many more on online! It is important that you do your research about the ethical jewelry brand too!

Mejuri
Ethical Point(s): Fairtrade, Safe Factory, Transparency, Support Local Artisans
Products: Rings, Necklace, Bracelets, Earring, Leather Goods
Price: $$
Ten Thousand Villages
Ethical point: Give back, Fairtrade, Sustainable, Support Local Artisans
Products: Apparel, Jewelry, Home Goods
Price: $
Catbird
Ethical point: Fairtrade, Recycled, Woman Founded,
Products: Wedding/Engagement, Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings, Home Goods
Price: $$
Starfish Project
Ethical point: Give back, Help Exploited Women, Fairtrade, Woman Founded,
Environmentally Conscious
Products: Rings, Bracelets, Necklace, Earrings
Price: $


Why is buying ethical jewelry important?

Woman shopping for ethical jewelry
Just like buying anything ethical, it is important to know that you are doing more than just for yourself but also for the people who are making the product. Ethical jewelry ensures that the workers and producers are treated properly and fairly. That is making a better difference for the local community and good for the overall earth. You are helping out the local community by paying them properly and causing less environmental stress through recycled materials. By wearing these ethical jewelry you are making a difference for the people, the society, and the earth.



Resources:
77 Diamonds. Web. 25 Sept. 2020. <https://www.77diamonds.com/engagement-rings/ethical-jewellery>.
               
Author: Monica Chang
On my own ethical journey since 2010. Always happy to learn more!