Sustainably Chic

10 Ethical Fine Jewelry Designers Every Woman Should Know

Conscious ListsNatalie Kay

a more sustainable sparkle

{updated October 2018}

It's a question I get a lot - 'where can I find fine jewelry that is either responsibly-made or fair trade?'. It's easy to find your everyday {ethical} statement jewelry, but a timeless piece with those same values made from some of the finest materials our planet has to offer can be a bit more difficult to come across. Whether you are looking for wedding rings or a piece to keep with you a lifetime, these 10 collections are sure to bring you some major heart eyes. 

photo by Julian Calo of the  Pastel Project

photo by Julian Calo of the Pastel Project

1. Rebecca Mir Grady

When I first laid eyes on this line, I said to myself - 'yes, PLEASE!'. Before even getting into the material or how it was made, I was completely drawn in by every single piece. I don't think this collection has anything I wouldn't be excited to wear. Rebecca Mir Grady's designs are timeless yet contemporary, and the minimalistic use of metals and stones is full of character. I've always been one for beauty in the imperfect, and Rebecca Mir Grady accomplishes this so perfectly in many of her pieces, including the lovely Odessa Ruby Necklace I'm wearing here. The ruby stone is centered in a sterling silver carved disk with a 14k yellow gold ring, and the uneven edges & indentations within the pendant give it so much charm! You can bet I'll be wearing this a ton for years to come.

A little more about the designer behind this gorgeous line - Rebecca Mir Grady lives in Chicago, Illinois where she studied sculpture & ceramics at the School of Art Institute {makes sense, right?!}. After SAIC, she attended University of Illinois at Chicago and received a MFA in Visual Arts. Rebecca believes in sustainable practices when creating; therefore, all of her jewelry is made by hand from reclaimed precious metals and ethically-sourced stones. She is also a member of the wonderful organization dedicated to social and environmental responsibility called Ethical Metalsmiths. Aren't you glad to hear this exists?!

Click - here - to shop the entire collection & make sure to stay up-to-date with all new designs on Instagram

ethical jewelry

2. Devi Arts Collective

This one might be very obvious, but the aesthetic of this jewelry collection is lovely. It really is meant to be worn everyday with anything you have in your closet. The simplicity is what your capsule wardrobe is calling for! When designing, Bayoush is inspired by her Ethiopian heritage where she has learned beauty dances between the simple and the complex. She is also inspired by the natural world, and uses texturing and manipulation techniques to mimic nature. You can easily see this portrayed in some of the materials she chooses like birch bark and feathers. 

3. Fernweh

Traveling to remote regions to partner with local designers and artisans, women-team Amelia Tonelli and Rachel Widmark are truly bringing us something special for our conscious jewelry boxes. Besides wanting to share stunning traditional crafts with us, Fernweh gives back to the countries they work with through micro-loans for the local women. For both the Pakistan and the Mexico Collection, 2.5% of sales are reinvested into these loans.

4. Aglaia Jewelry

Created by Italian designer Elisa Finoli, Aglaia Jewelry is handcrafted in a NY studio. The line is inspired by Elisa's Italian roots and her life experiences within India & Nicaragua, as well as the Japanese 'Wabi-Sabi' philosophy where one searches for beauty in the imperfect. You can definitely sense Elisa's background in photography and design - she even has experience in architecture! 


5. Sharon Z Jewelry

The designer, Sharon Zimmerman, loves to create modern jewelry unique in its understatement. Describing her designs as, "clean and simple, yet distinctive and playful", I find it the perfect fit for a capsule & minimalist wardrobe. Her attention to detail, quality & sustainability, are setting her apart from the rest. Oh & did I mention she is a member of Ethical Metalsmiths?! 

6. Simply Wood Rings

If there ever was a line of rings made for the earth lover, this would be it. While we don't typically associate wood with fine jewelry, Simply Wood Rings is sure to make you re-think the term. From the birthwood rings to the engagements rings, you will find something truly unique to take with you a lifetime. Plus, they use salvaged and sustainable materials that are always responsibly-sourced. 


7. Stockholm Rose Designs

Created by Sophie Butler, Stockholm Rose Designs has the environment in its heart - after all, she does have a degree in Wildlife Conservation! For the recycled silver, Sophie chose to go with Argentium since it is hypoallergenic, bright than white gold,  purer than sterling silver & easy to care for. 


8. Puck Wanderlust

Created by two London girls - Ranelle & Hannah, Puck Wanderlust is bringing us the finest stone and artisan quality jewelry made with the planet in mind. Designs for every piece are created in London, and produced in Jaipur, India. Fun Name Fact: PUCK is a mischievous fairy in English folklore  & WANDERLUST is a strong desire for adventure. 


9. Tribe Alive

Tribe Alive has partnered with talented artisans in Guatemala, Haiti, India, Honduras, and Fort Worth, Texas to employ at-risk women with fair wages. Besides offering a reliable wage, they provide them a safe working environment and the power to choose their own future. Their entire new collection of jewelry is absolutely beautiful and is inspired by Tribe Alive’s love of clean lines.

10. Ananda Soul

Founded by artist & yogi Christina Zipperlen, Ananda Soul’s jewelry line is conscious from start to finish. Their transparency throughout the entire process is something to look up to -  from their gemstones to their silversmiths, you can feel confident that each piece is made with a lot of love and respect for the environment and people.