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Ethical guides

5 ethical jewellery brands we think you’ll love

In the world of jewellery, some not-so-sparkly truths are lurking beneath the surface. The industry has its fair share of ethical issues, from conflict diamonds to unfair wages and environmental damage. But thankfully it isn’t all doom and gloom! Ethical jewellery brands are on a mission to change that narrative. They’re all about fair trade, conflict-free materials, and being transparent about where their bling comes from. So, next time you’re shopping for jewellery, why not choose pieces that shine with integrity and kindness instead of mass production and exploitation?

As an advocate for sustainable living and fair trade practices, I am thrilled to share my top picks with you, each representing a unique blend of craftsmanship, culture, and conscience. From jewellery created from recycled bomb casing in Cambodia to life-changing empowerment cycles in Uganda, these brands are trying to rewrite the narrative of jewellery-making. From one of exploitation to one of hope.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a standout piece to jazz up your outfit or a heartfelt gift that really says something, let’s take this journey together and discover the brilliance of ethical jewellery.

Karakorum’s Favourite ethical jewellery brands.

  • Just Trade

    Just Trade collaborates with artisans around the world to create handmade jewellery and accessories. Founded in 2006 by jewellery designer Laura Cave, Just Trade is a collaborative, innovative brand.

    Born out of the recognition that for small Fair Trade projects to be sustainable, they need a long-term route to market for their goods. Just Trade now works closely with 12 groups of artisan makers in PeruEcuador,  India Indonesia and Vietnam.

    Combining traditional craft skills and materials with expert knowledge of contemporary jewellery and accessories, they have developed a range of unique, characterful pieces. From exquisite crocheted silverwork to beautifully carved tagua pendants, their distinctive products are made with care and skill from locally sourced and ethical materials where possible.

VOICE empowers women artisans in Uganda through a unique empowerment cycle, having a huge impact on their artisans while crafting luxury sustainable products.

At Voice International, artisans embark on an empowering journey designed to ignite their entrepreneurial spirits. Upon joining, each artisan is encouraged to pen down their dreams, which are then locked in a box, symbolizing the beginning of their journey towards realizing those aspirations. Over the course of 12 months, artisans undergo a high standard of training in jewellery design and manufacturing, alongside classes in business studies, financial management, and IT skills, equipping them with the tools they need to launch their own ventures.

Throughout this transformative process, artisans receive an above-average salary, along with holiday allowances and other benefits, ensuring their well-being and stability as they pursue their dreams. As they begin to achieve their goals, Voice International continues the cycle, welcoming new artisans and guiding them along their own paths to success.

Seven prong recycled sterling silver sun ray pendant on a chain with match stud earrings.

Founded by Alex Angel-Benscher with a vision to make a positive impact, Vurchoo supports communities worldwide by donating a portion of profits to charities. Crafted with creativity and care, their jewellery pieces reflect a commitment to timeless design and social responsibility.

A great example of the impact that Vurchoo is having is the Studs of Hope collection. Inspired by the remarkable story of Bless, a 13-year-old pupil from their new school partner in South Africa. Bless tragically lost her parents in June 2023 and found herself navigating a new path in life. Belonging to a project in the school called ‘Rising Stars’, aimed at raising funds to support their own education, Bless became a symbol of resilience. The school’s decision to share the project’s proceeds with Bless for essential provisions such as groceries and quality clothing embodies the essence of Vurchoo’s mission. The new Rising Stars earrings have the power to change the future for Bless and children just like her.

The Studs of Hope collection from Vurchoo Jewellery
Part of the Studs of Hope collection

Lost in Samsara was founded in 2015 with the idea that small actions count and small actions multiplied by millions can change the world.

Along with some seriously cool bags, they have started a new range of ethical jewellery. This range is crafted in Cambodia from upcycled, recycled and natural materials, including recycled bullet casings, to make truly unique pieces.

They also plant a tree for every sale they make, contributing to environmental conservation.

Ethically made double hoop brass earrings hand crafted out of recycled bullet casing that are collected in the Cambodian countryside.
Lost in Samsara’s Upcycled Bullet Case Double Hoop Studs

Along with having one of the best names I have ever come across, Women of the Cloud Forest boasts a captivating collection of jewellery, ranging from whimsical balsa wood earrings (which are incredibly light and easy to wear) to pieces adorned with sustainably collected butterfly wings.

Founded by Amy and Michael in 2000, Women of the Cloud Forest has expanded its reach by collaborating with artisans in Nicaragua, Nepal, Peru, and Ecuador, distributing fair trade products to over 500 stores in the US and Canada. They also have a range of home decor items which we stock in our store such as these wonderfully unique salt cellars.

Though currently only available in the US, we hope to introduce a curated selection soon! So please message us if you are interested.

Quirky and colourful Macaw earrings that have been hand carved from Balsa Wood.
Quirky and colourful Macaw earrings that have been hand-carved from Balsa Wood.

Conclusion

These ethical jewellery brands embody the spirit of ethical jewellery, weaving together stories of craftsmanship, community empowerment, and environmental stewardship. As you explore their collections, remember that every purchase is not just a piece of jewellery but a step towards a more sustainable and equitable world.

 

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About Karakorum

Based in the beautiful Cotswolds, Karakorum is an ethical home decor brand that focuses on creating social change one fair trade item at a time.

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