Artisan jewelry is a type of jewelry that is crafted by skilled artisans using traditional techniques and local materials. It often features unique designs that may even tell a story. While many artisan small business jewelry brands share ethical values with fair trade jewelry, they may be too small to afford official certification.
To ensure the working behind the jewelry is just as sparkly as the final product, it is important to look for fair trade practices rather than just certifications. Sustainable Jungle independently researches and recommends brands that sell good quality jewelry that is also ethically handcrafted. They test products on an as-needed basis to avoid waste and disclose that their post contains affiliate links.
A First Look At Our Favorite Fair Trade Handmade Jewelry
SOKO is a Certified B Corp from Nairobi, Kenya, that provides a platform for small artisans to sell their handmade fair trade jewelry to a global market. Their unique geometric Sura Ear Cuffs are perfect for any occasion. SOKO uses brass, which is one of the best materials for jewelry since around 90% of it available today is recycled. They also use other materials found locally, such as Ankole Longhorn cattle horns and bones repurposed from the food industry. In addition, they use teak offcuts from sustainable sources in South Sudan and handmade beads made by a fair trade women’s collective in Kenya. SOKO’s workshops work to limit energy, chemical, and water use, and they have “Environmental Champions” that educate their artisans to protect the planet. SOKO partners with the United Nations Trust Fund to end violence against women.
Catbird is a fair trade brand that delivers sustainable practices and responsibly sourced materials. They have a large selection of conscious jewelry, including recycled or lab-grown stones and diamonds (i.e., conflict-free), freshwater pearls, and recycled or fair trade gold. Catbird gets their pearls from a third-generation farm in China that engages in clean water practices. They only use recycled and/or ethically sourced gold. Besides providing a safe working environment, they employ a small trustworthy team who receive healthcare, a retirement plan, and fun perks. After building their HQ, in the historic and LEED-certified Brooklyn Navy Yard, all of their production is done in-house, reducing their carbon footprint. Catbird has a section for jewelry under $200, making fair trade jewelry accessible to more people. Your purchase will support the Catbird Giving Fund, which allocates 1% of sales (sales, not just profits) to equality-centered nonprofits.
3. Josiah Eidmann Studios
Josiah Eidmann Studios’ work combines natural materials with intricate inlays. He uses fine metals, varying between rose gold, surgical steel, sterling silver, yellow gold fill, and more, made using recycled materials. The wood grains vary, making each piece one of a kind. Josiah self-crafts all of these beautiful artisan handmade jewelry pieces in his own studio. When purchased through Etsy, these fair trade earrings, rings, and necklaces ship carbon-neutral.
Adorness is a Black-owned jewelry shop that creates colorful, handcrafted, and responsible jewelry pieces. The founder’s Afro-Caribbean heritage inspires the designs. Geometric leather earrings are her forte, like the fiercely fun Retba Earrings, but you’ll also find rings (boucles) and necklaces (parure collier). Adorness uses genuine leather and gold-plated metal in many pieces, although some are made with other recycled materials, like leather, brass, and African-print fabric.
5. Tumble & Rose
Tumble & Rose is an artisan jewelry brand that creates unique designs with a focus on sustainability. They use recycled metals, ethically sourced gemstones, and conflict-free diamonds. The brand’s signature style is a mix of bohemian and modern, with pieces that are versatile and stylish. Tumble & Rose also offers made-to-order pieces, allowing customers to create their own unique jewelry collection.
6. Kind Karma
Kind Karma is a Toronto-based jewelry brand that employs at-risk and homeless youth to handcraft their jewelry. They focus on creating meaningful and stylish pieces that give back to the community. Kind Karma uses recycled materials and ethically sourced gemstones to create their jewelry. They also offer made-to-order pieces and a wide selection of bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.
7. Melissa Joy Manning
Melissa Joy Manning is an artisan jewelry brand that creates unique and sustainable pieces. They use recycled metals and ethically sourced gemstones to create their jewelry. The brand’s signature style is a mix of modern and organic, with pieces that are both stylish and timeless. Melissa Joy Manning also offers made-to-order pieces, allowing customers to create their own unique jewelry collection.
8. Rover & Kin
Rover & Kin is an artisan jewelry brand that creates unique and stylish pieces. They use recycled metals and ethically sourced gemstones to create their jewelry. The brand’s signature style is a mix of bohemian and modern, with pieces that are both versatile and stylish. Rover & Kin also offers made-to-order pieces, allowing customers to create their own unique jewelry collection.
9. L.Greenwalt Jewelry
L.Greenwalt Jewelry is an artisan jewelry brand that creates unique and stylish pieces. They use recycled metals and ethically sourced gemstones to create their jewelry. The brand’s signature style is a mix of modern and organic, with pieces that are both stylish and
Did You Know We Have a Newsletter?
Stay up-to-date with the latest in sustainable living, fashion, zero waste, beauty, travel, finance, and more. Our newsletter is the perfect way to stay informed and save money. Don’t miss out on affordable deals and sales during the holiday season. Subscribe now!
How We Found The Best Fair Trade Handmade Jewelry Brands
When searching for the best fair trade handmade jewelry brands, there are several criteria to consider. This section will explore the key factors that were taken into account when selecting the top brands.
The materials used in jewelry production are a crucial consideration when it comes to sustainability and ethical sourcing. The best fair trade jewelry brands prioritize the use of recycled metals and repurposed materials, along with ethically sourced or lab-created diamonds and gemstones. This ensures that the materials were sourced conflict-free, without supporting dangerous mining activities. Brands that have certifications such as Kimberley Process, No Dirty Gold, Responsible Jewellery Council, Fairmined, and Fair Gold are also preferred.
Supply Chain & Labor Practices
The supply chain and labor practices of artisan jewelry brands are another important factor to consider. When buying artisan jewelry online, it is comforting to see specific details on living wages, working conditions, and efforts that support artisans and their communities in ways that go beyond fair wages. Fair trade jewelry companies prioritize empowering women and marginalized communities through education opportunities, outreach programs, and healthcare initiatives. Brands that have certifications such as Fair Trade and B Corporation (B Corp) are preferred, as they provide third-party checks and balances.
Carbon Commitments & Green Practices
While fair trade practices and ethical sourcing are the main focus of this article, it is also important to note the carbon commitments and green practices of the brands. Many of the top fair trade jewelry brands use energy-efficient practices and small supply chains to reduce their carbon footprint. Handcrafted artisan jewelry pieces also reduce overall energy consumption, making them a sustainable option.
Community & Charitable Giving
The best fair trade jewelry brands also prioritize giving back to their communities and supporting charitable organizations. Brands that give back to environmental organizations or support social causes are preferred. By purchasing jewelry from these brands, consumers can support a world that glimmers with all that’s good.
Final Thoughts On Artisanal & Unique Jewelry Brands
In conclusion, artisan and fair trade jewelry brands offer a sustainable and ethical alternative to the traditional jewelry industry. By prioritizing fair wages, empowering women and marginalized communities, and supporting environmental and social causes, these brands are making a positive impact. When searching for the best fair trade handmade jewelry brands, consumers should consider the materials used, supply chain and labor practices, carbon commitments and green practices, and community and charitable giving. By choosing these brands, consumers can adorn themselves with artisanal ethical jewelry accessories that support a better world.