Cart is empty Close mini cart

Your cart is empty

Browse our services

How to Shop for Sustainable Jewelry (And Why You Should)

Written by Anna Currell
April 18, 2023

Jewelry can be more than just an accessory to express your style; it also reflects your personal values. As sustainability becomes an increasingly important movement in fashion, its implications have extended to jewelry too. Shopping for sustainable jewelry is a great way to support eco-friendly practices, reduce your carbon footprint, and contribute to a healthier planet. In this article, we’ll look at what sustainable jewelry is, why shopping for sustainable jewelry is important, and how to approach your eco-friendly jewelry purchases. 

What is Sustainable Jewelry?

Sustainable jewelry refers to jewelry that is produced with minimal negative impact on the environment and society. This can include using eco-friendly materials, implementing ethical labor practices, reducing waste and carbon emissions, and supporting local communities at any stage of the jewelry making process. Buying sustainable jewelry is a way for jewelry lovers to support environmentally responsible and socially conscious business practices while still enjoying beautiful and meaningful pieces.

Why Shop for Sustainable Jewelry?

Shopping for sustainable jewelry is an easy way to contribute to a more sustainable future. The jewelry industry has historically earned a reputation for its negative environmental impact, from the extraction of precious metals and gemstones to the waste generated from packaging and shipping. But by choosing sustainable jewelry, you can reduce your personal carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier planet. When you shop for sustainable jewelry you're voting with your dollars — you're sending a message to the entire industry that they should be investing in sustainable products and practices if they want to earn your business. 

Sustainable jewelry brands also tend to prioritize ethical practices, such as fair trade and ethical sourcing. When you support these brands, you can ensure that communities are treated fairly and safely, and that workers are paid a living wage. Finally, sustainable jewelry tends to be better quality and longer lasting than low-cost, fast fashion jewelry. Investing in high-quality, timeless jewelry pieces reduces the need for frequent replacements, ultimately reducing waste and shrinking the environmental impact of your purchase.


How to Shop for Sustainable Jewelry

Now that you know why sustainability is so important, here are some tips for how to shop for sustainable jewelry:

Research the brand's values

Before purchasing jewelry either in-person or online, it's essential to do your research on the brand you’re buying from. You should be able to find this information easily; if a brand doesn’t publish details about their practices and promises for protecting the environment, you might consider it a red flag. Many sustainable jewelry brands have a strong commitment to ethical sourcing, fair trade, and environmental responsibility, and will say so on their website and social media. But when in doubt, ask! Some companies exercise discretion, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're uncaring.

Look for recycled metals and ethically-sourced gemstones

Jewelry production often involves the extraction of precious metals and gemstones, which produces carbon emissions. These emissions contribute to global warming, making a significant impact on the environment and communities. Opt to shop from sustainable jewelry brands that use recycled metals, lab-created gemstones, or ethically sourced gemstones, which have less impact on the environment and avoid mistreating or exploiting anyone.

Know the metals used in the jewelry

Understanding the different metals used in jewelry production can help you make more sustainable purchasing decisions. Gold and silver mining can have a significant impact on the environment, so choosing recycled gold or silver is a more sustainable option. Other metals like copper, brass, and bronze also have a lower environmental impact. 

Consider the packaging

Packaging is an overlooked aspect of making sustainable shopping choices. Look for brands that use eco-friendly packaging materials such as biodegradable or recycled paper products. Similarly, look for brands that use minimal packaging to avoid unnecessary waste. Then do your part by recycling or reusing the packaging your jewelry comes in to reduce waste even further.

Support local and small businesses

Buying from small, local businesses is an excellent way to support sustainability in the jewelry industry. These businesses often prioritize ethical and sustainable practices, and they’re able to focus their attention on each piece instead of having to manage huge shipments and bulk orders. Shopping small and local instead of ordering from large corporate brands will reduce your carbon footprint too, because you’ll be helping to avoid the emissions associated with international cargo shipping.

Check certifications and labels

Many sustainable jewelry brands have official certifications that indicate their commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. Some of the most common certifications include Fair Trade, the Responsible Jewellery Council, and the Kimberley Process. Brands that carry these third-party certifications have been thoroughly audited and proven to meet recognized ethics and sustainability standards, so you can be confident you’re buying from an earth-conscious company. 


Shopping for sustainable jewelry is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint, contribute to a healthier planet, and look stylish doing it. Just follow the tips above and you’ll be on your way to more sustainable purchases while contributing to a more sustainable future for our planet. You can also create your own sustainable jewelry; use lab-grown gemstones to upgrade your favorite ring, or create an entirely new custom piece using all recycled materials. The team behind Quick Jewelry Repairs is committed to sustainability at every level of the custom design process, and we can help you to find the right materials that you’ll feel good about wearing.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments