5 Ways to Purchase Ethical Jewellery – from Rings to Necklaces and Everything Inbetween!

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how to purchase ethical jewellery - 5 tips


With Christmas around the corner, we’re thinking about gifts people commonly give and receive, along with ways to make our choices more ethical.

Jewellery is a popular gift for everyone from young children to friends to couples celebrating decades together! Sadly, a lot of high street jewellery comes at considerable cost – and I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about child labour and damage to the environment.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to purchase beautiful items that are respectful to the environment and those that make it.

Buy pre loved

There’s something magical about a piece of pre loved jewellery and it’s easy to get hold of. Auction houses and charity shops will come up trumps with heaps of choice. And part of the excitement is you never know what you will find – go with an open mind and expect the unexpected! You could even try a swishing party – while most are centred around clothing, you’ll find that some include accessories and jewellery. If you want to know what you’re buying beforehand and have plenty of un-hurried time to browse, you might prefer to buy online. In that case, vintage diamond brooches, could be just what you’re looking for. Brooches add some drama and quirk to an outfit and are often a conversation piece!


antique or pre loved jewellery preserves resources


Choosing fairtrade means miners are provided with a safe working environment and paid a fair wage. The local community benefits too, with a percentage of profits going to develop community projects. It’s a feel good purchase.

fairtrade jewellery means fair wages and good working conditions



One of the principles I adhere to in my zero waste lifestyle is repairing things that other might throw away. Whether it’s a vacuum cleaner or shower head, we always try and repair before buying new. One company I’ve come across, AU-Rate, offer repairs on all jewellery sold for life – this includes recycled gold rings, necklaces, earrings – in fact anything from their collections.

repair jewellery to reduce environmental impact


Commission something

By commissioning a bespoke item from an independent designer you can buy exactly what you want and you’ll know the precise process that takes place. It’s also a lovely idea to incorporate a piece of existing jewellery – a family heirloom, perhaps, or a way to restyle something you own that doesn’t quite hit the mark. At the same time you’re helping benefit the local economy.

restyle old jewellery - family heirloom

Upcycle and recycle

Some jewellery designers work with reclaimed materials. This is a wonderful way to reduce the impact of mining for new materials and helps close the loop in a sector that can be very wasteful. Unlike recycling paper, plastic or cardboard, there is no degredation of material when you recycle precious metals so it really is the gift that keeps on giving!

What about you – how do you reduce the environmental and social impact of jewellery?

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