Wednesday, 26 July 2017

how ethical is your jewellery?


Well hello there, I seem to have had an unplanned two weeks break from blogging. I can assure you it was unplanned because I have so many posts that are just waiting to be written up yet I just haven't had the opportunity to due to NCS. For those of you who aren't aware yet have been following my slightly lesser absence on social media I've been doing NCS which is the National Citizen Service run by the government in the UK at the end of Year 11 for four weeks to learn skills, meet new friends and give something back to the community. For the first two weeks (only weekdays) you're camping. The first week was in Croyde where I magically transformed into a surfer babe (Baywatch watch out I could become your new employee) and the second was camping in safari tents that had beds and I was shook how well I slept. With work on Saturday I have only had Sunday to write and I just couldn't bring myself to put words on paper or type words onto a keyboard. You could say I had a case of writer's block.

Nevertheless, today's post is about ethical jewellery. What would you consider to be ethical jewellery? Is there a set definition? I also have a few ethical jewellery brands that I absolutely adore that I can't wait to share with you.

Jewellery to me has always been more sentimental than clothing and pieces that we wear. From a young age and rummaging through craft fair stalls brimming with little trinkets and rings to receiving a Daniel Wellington watch for my sixteenth birthday; the jewellery that we wear always has a memory attached to it. I suppose that is the way in which I make me jewellery ethical, the memories and sentimental value of the pieces will carry me through adulthood and I cannot imagine getting rid of any of the special pieces of jewellery I've bought because they have such potent origins.


Although, just because the sentimental pieces of these jewellery hold great significance, it doesn't mean that where I've bought them from is ethical. If you're a newbie ethical fashion fan then jewellery is the perfect thing to buy ethically as it is so accessible, in fact you might even be buying it without realising. From independent retailers and shops there is an abundance of  jewellery that has been independently hand made from a range of materials. In fact, I bought my first piece of 'proper' jewellery at a craft fair in my town a few years ago from a lovely lady selling her own silver jewellery. Over the moon to find a ring that was small enough to fit my noodle fingers I bought it and it hasn't been off my fingers since (and is still as silver as when I bought it). Since then I have pledged to only buy from independent designers or craftsmen because there is such a story behind their products.

That being said, I do own two rings from Pandora. I have heard from some people that Pandora is more ethical than other high street jewellery brands so I delved into the depths of the internet in order to find a bit more on the matter. Their website states that they are: 'committed to developing and manufacturing products in a responsible manner; to providing a great environment for our people; and to working towards minimizing our environmental impact on the planet' and this is expanded on further on other webpages branching detailing how they are a responsible jewellery brand. 

The ethical sourcing of its jewellery materials is something that Pandora takes very seriously. For Pandora, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a marketing gimmick or 'greenwashing'; it is a linchpin of the company as encapsulated in its CSR and compliance programme, Pandora Ethics. An internal CSR committee ensures that Pandora lives up to the strictest ethical standards. In fact, the more I looked into Pandora's ethics the more I think that the work they're doing behind the scenes is great and if I was to buy jewellery from a mainstream brand then perhaps I wouldn't be so skeptical about Pandora. I would love to know your thoughts on the brand though, would you consider it ethical? 

If you are however on the hunt for some new jewellery brands then you've come to the right place, there are plenty of independent jewellery brands scattered over Instagram and in independent boutiques in almost any place you go - artisans of the jewellery trade are in abundance and like I said previously if you did want to ease into ethical fashion, start with jewellery because a lot of the things that you already own may be ethical and yet you didn't realise it.

photos are taken from Made's website and edited by me

You may remember my interview with Made Jewellery that was my first in the #anewageinspiration series. I still love their jewellery and they're not too expensive as well. Investing in quality pieces of jewellery is great and I will continue to do, a small but special collection of jewellery is absolutely perfect for me but if you do want a little treat then Made will be perfect as they are pretty affordable. My mum absolutely loves the brand as well and they stock them in a few retailers and online so they are fairly accessible.

photos are taken from Tribe of Lamb's website and edited by me

Alongside Made, Tribe of Lambs is such a gorgeous jewellery store. Tribe of Lambs partner with Indian NGO’s and homes which work solely for the care, education & rights of children that are either infected or affected by the HIV virus. In simple terms, the products they sell help fund the projects that the NGO's support and in turn they can make a huge impact on children that are affected by HIV. 584 children have been reached and over $20,000 for compassion projects (these figures were correct at time of publishing) this just shows that even jewellery brands can have an impact on the lives of people, something you don't necessarily think about when adorning your new fashion accessory. Naturally, I'm always drawn to the rings and I think they have some really unique pieces at again an affordable price. So like I said if you wanted to start buying ethically this could the place to start! 
both photos are taken from Birdsong's website and edited by me
I couldn't do this post without mentioning Birdsong, I've been eyeing up a few pieces on their website because they are also not too expensive (see a theme coming along here?) and the above rings are made from recycled magazine waste - pretty cool if I do say so myself. 

I also couldn't do this post without mentioning Lily Flo Jewellery. I was going to buy a necklace for my prom but Lily Flo is a little more expensive and unfortunately my funds didn't come through (or at least I spent most of the money I have over the past month on food instead of things that will actually last - A* eater right here *smiles smugly*). I do want to make a conscious effort to save for a necklace from the brand though, the materials are all sourced from small businesses and all the jewellery is made in Diana's studio in London (Diana is the founder of Lily Flo), they are just all so beautiful and delicate and I have a huge range of other superlatives to describe her pieces but I think her jewellery says it all. 


Jewellery is such a constant aspect of fashion and despite trends coming and going it is easier to buy and pick out pieces that will last a long time, the sentimentality of each piece running deeply through - there is always something special about buying jewellery and it isn't hard to make a conscious choice on what you buy. Small artisans, charity shops and brands like the ones in this post are all proof that it doesn't have to cost the earth. 

I apologise for my unexpected absence but life happens ya know and I will promise I'll step up my blogging game soon because I have so many posts I'm bursting to write, the writers block has finally surpassed I think! Let me know your jewellery recommendations, do you have any pieces of jewellery that is close to your heart and what is your favourite piece of jewellery you own? 

lots of love, Eleanor xx
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14 comments

  1. Lovely post! My favourite piece of jewellery is a pair of earrings from a shop called Scarlett Jewellery!
    Libby x
    Www.paisleyinprint.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much! I must check them out and see what they sell :) x

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  2. Noodle finger buddies! Thanks for the reccomendations, currently on the hunt for some more jewellery pieces! :)

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    1. That's okay! Seriously love finding new fab jewellery finds x

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  3. This was such a thought provoking post! I don't often buy jewellery, so even though I'm trying to make my wardrobe as ethical as possible, this isn't even something I've really thought about. If I do buy jewellery I usually use Etsy or Pandora, so I guess it could be a lot worse.

    Bethany | Curly and Wordy

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    1. Thank you so much Bethany, I've never really thought about etsy for jewellery before but I would say it is ethical because they're all small boutiques :)

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  4. Very interesting post. I actually heard the opposite about Pandora and have sworn off them ever since!
    www.lottiegibbons.com

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  5. Your photography in this is unreal 😍

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  6. Though I wear little jewellery, I like this idea of ethical jewellery. Lovely post xx

    Sophie's Spot

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  7. I do not wear much jewellery. I am always on my bike and would be too afraid to lose rings and bangles. I do have some though that are mostly made in France and South Korea. I don't know much else but I hope they've been made fairly xx corinne

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  8. I've never thought about whether my jewellery ia ethical before but your post has really given me food for thought. I definitely agree with you that the memories and sentimental value means something and buying from independent shops is a great way to get jewellery with a 'story'! xx

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  9. Wow very thought provoking. I've only wore what has been gifted to me from my boyfriend but I'll be sure to make him read this!

    Jessica & James | www.foodandbaker.co.uk / www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

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  10. I'm really intrigued with your concept of ethical jewellery! I must admit that it's not something I've thought much about before! I have one sentimental necklace that I was given as a gift that was purchased from Debenhams, and a pair of earrings that I wear daily (also a gift) but otherwise, I don't wear all that much! I will definitely be checking out independent shops more when I am tempted to pick out new pieces!

    Abbey 👑 www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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  11. Reading this post has made me want to get new jewellery even though I'm not a massive jewellery wearer. Fab post! Xxx

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