Jewelry is one fashion statement that is completely personal. Some folks look for high-end classics, others are interested more in exotic materials that aren’t often seen in jewelry, yet others look to repurpose old household items. But if you’re interested in environmental sustainability, you’re working off a whole different set of rules. You still want to look fashionable and have beautiful things, but you’re just not willing to do it at the expense of our planet. Coral bracelets take advantage of endangered reefs. Gold and silver are mined using slave labor and unsustainable techniques. And diamond production destroys the earth and actually starts wars. So what options do you have left? Luckily, with a bit of ingenuity you can locate beautiful, affordable eco friendly jewelry that you’ll love forever. Or you can even make your own. Here’s a quick look at some of the materials used to make eco friendly jewelry.
If you’re in the market for a pendant, there’s simply no reason to choose unsustainable materials. If you want the look of stone in your pendant, you can actually shape it out of different colored clay. The natural look is the key, and nothing could be better than repurposed wood. People often find driftwood or ancient, fossilized wood to incorporate in their pendants, to stunning results.
When it comes to bracelets, ignore pearls or gemstones for other natural materials or repurposed metals. Some people make bracelets out of seeds strung together. Any seed will do, but you can also find seeds that naturally occur in striking colors. For the precious metal look, consider using recycled coins or chain. You can even make bracelets out of pieces of vinyl record. Really, anything will work. The key is to find a unique material you can recycle, giving it a use no one would expect.
Fans of technology will have lots to choose from when it comes to pins. Head to the recycling center and look through the scrapped computers. Rip one open and you’ll find an incredible array of raw materials. Microchips, RAM, processing units, or even parts taken from broken clocks will all make impressive, unique pieces of jewelry with an art deco flare.
Necklaces are a bit more complicated, but it’s not impossible to come up with some eco friendly alternatives. You’ll need a bit of ingenuity and a seriously creative mind, but you can make a stunning necklace from recycled bottles. Go back to your record collection to find images you can use in other pieces. Basically, anything vintage can be repurposed into a necklace, from board game pieces to plastic shells. Just remember that it’s not what it costs, but the artistry that goes into it. And working with sustainable materials will give you a great conversation starter when looking to spread the message.
Earrings are another great opportunity to show off your green innovation. Anything metal or plastic you can cut into the perfect size and shape for your needs. Recycled glass is also a great choice for earrings. Found objects of the right size will work well regardless of what they’re made of, if you can finish them off with a bit of a polish. And none of these pieces will need Omega battery replacement like that very unsustainable gold watch the person next to you at the coffee shop is wearing.