Lottie Franklin explores ethical and sustainable jewellery
We are intimately linked to our jewellery, both physically and emotionally. Not only does jewellery sit so close to our skin, as something we often wear day after day, it also becomes an intrinsic part of our style, and our sense of identity. It’s time to start thinking responsibly when purchasing our jewellery. Knowing where our jewellery has been made, where the materials have been sourced and who has been a part of that process should all inform our jewellery-buying choices. All of the designers in this sustainable jewellery edit have crafted their collections with real thought and care, considering their impact upon the planet and the people who have made the jewellery. Let’s recognise this sense of oneness between the earth and its materials, jewellery and us as consumers, and become more mindful about the jewellery we choose to wear.
“It’s not enough anymore to claim you are an ‘ethical brand’ – prove it.”
Francesca Kippax, Anuka Founder
ANUKA founder Francesca Kippax roots transparency and authenticity into the very core of her brand. After living in South Vietnam for three years, witnessing dramatic levels of plastic pollution on the beaches and in the oceans, Francesca questioned her own potential impact on the environment as a business owner and was determined to design and make jewellery that was as ethical and sustainable as possible. From using 100% recycled silver to supporting Fairmined gold, and the livelihoods of those reliant on the mining sector (fully traceable with fair working practices and minimal environmental impact), Francesca has put a lot of care into her ethical credentials, striking an important balance. The fluidity of Francesca’s designs is particularly eye-catching, with elegant twists and turns. They are versatile pieces to wear everyday, and for every piece that you purchase, you’ll be able to discover the jewellery’s journey from source to your wardrobe.
Based in London’s Hatton Garden, but inspired by a love for India, and the stories and jewellery-making skills collected on travels there, Natalie Perry Jewellery has an exquisite aesthetic. Capturing the allure of ancient palaces, now disintegrating and fading, designs are interchangeable and delicately fragmented. For her latest Floral Fragments Collection, picture the Rani Mahal palace in Rajasthan adorned with ancient floral paintings, its decaying murals once the epitome of grandeur, and the mandala symbol, representing strength, completeness and femininity. With treasures of women who once lived there in mind, Natalie has created jewellery inspired by bygone beauty for the modern woman. Delicate gold filigree, sparkling diamond accents, recycled gold and silver, with ethically-sourced gemstones, Natalie celebrates the fragmented beauty of natural imperfections and disintegrations with striking hand-rendered artistry.
Founded in 2010 by two old friends Fredrik Nathorst and Jacob Skragge, All Blues is a Stockholm based jewellery brand with intrinsically cool and understated Scandi-design. Challenging excess consumerism and wastage, all of their pieces are hand-crafted from recycled fine metals in a third-generation goldsmith studio. For sleek chain bracelets and necklaces, All Blues is your responsible choice. A favourite has to be the straw earrings and ear cuffs, showcasing playful, but contemporary style.
Bar jewellery stands out for its bold and minimal aesthetic, with 1950s modernist influences and sculptural works (looking to artists Constantin Brâncusi and Jean Arp) inspiring the beautiful abstract shapes. The principles behind the brand are just as clear cut, with no harm to the environment or the people in the supply chain for every design. Founder and designer Sophie Mckay creates each prototype by hand in her brand’s East London studio, using 100% recycled silver and brass. The pieces are then either locally cast and hand finished in London or with a partner factory in Bali, which prides itself on ethical practice, training, and enriching the local community.
Vanda Jacintho draws upon a vibrant Brazilian upbringing, intrinsic creative flair and artistic influences to bring her designs to life. These collections fuse natural earthy materials and sculptural artistry, with designs that are tactile and embody a sense of Brazil’s lush and evocative environment. Vanda uses a lot of wood to make these architectural pieces, working with inventive processes to create more sustainably. For example to form the green earrings, Vanda uses environmentally-friendly oxidisation through vinegar and potato chips which creates an amazing sense of colour and patina. Vanda sources their hand-carved mahogany from a sustainable plantation in the Philippines that is ethically grown, while artisans in Brazil hand-carve and hand-paint the reusable resins. Working with the environment closely in mind, Vanda’s creations playfully jostle between nature and design.
CLED’s inventive, and beautiful, use of glass is particularly striking – indicative of their honest and transparent approach to designing jewellery. The brand has a naturally clear and minimalistic aesthetic, and glass the perfect sustainable solution. A resource that is easy to come by from local businesses, glass can be recycled endlessly with no loss of quality, durability or purity, unlike other materials. Using discarded and cruelty-free materials such as this allows CLED to repurpose and up-cycle to create their designs, transforming high-quality existing materials into new treasured objects.
With a refined and elegant sensibility, Kinraden jewellery is hand-crafted in pre-used gold and recycled silver, embedded with signature Mpingo diamonds from sustainable WWF-protected woods. Their name comes from the 13th century form of ‘kindred’, with a founding philosophy seeing us and the planet as deeply connected, with aims of progressing forward with kinder and gentler steps. Inspired by Japanese design traditions, avant-garde art and fashion, classic Danish architecture and furniture design, founder Sarah Müllertz captures a sense of timeless elegance in the lustrous aesthetic of her jewellery.