They’re natural, beautiful and cool. Get ready to rock these ethical summer jewelry trends!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Great news! The hottest ethical jewelry trends for this summer reflect overall trends: they’re focused on sustainability.
In fact, natural materials like shell, stone, glass, straw and wood are trumping mined gems and metals now more than ever before
Of course, jewelry trends aren’t as changeable as fashion trends – we can have jewelry for decades that always looks chic. I mean, ‘diamonds are forever’, right?
But sometimes, you want a bit of fun. Some costume jewelry that updates an outfit you’ve had for years. (Yes, that’s the other benefit of jewelry – why buy a whole new outfit when a touch of adornment to an old one will do?)
This summer, body jewelry is trending -again. It was seen in the collections at Gabriela Hearst and Cult Gaia, for example. Prada and Simone Rocha demonstrated that gems aren’t needed to make jewelry shine: the former showed wooden brooches at Miu Miu, while the latter created necklaces from raffia.
The tennis bracelet is making a comeback, as
But no matter where you look, the point is this: designers are elevating raw, natural materials into beautiful accessories for the season.
Image credit below and main image here.
Sustainable Summer Jewelry Trends 2022
1. Tennis Bracelets
You might be wondering how the tennis bracelet got its name. Well apparently, back in 1978, world champion Chris Evert was wearing just such a bracelet, in diamonds and gold, at the U.S. Open. When the bracelet fell off her wrist, she stopped the match cold until her tennis bracelet turned up.
This classic style is making a comeback as an ethical jewelry trend this summer. And we love those made by Brilliant Earth. Theirs are classic and modern all at once, and feature lab-grown diamonds.
2. Shelled Anklets
This is one of those ethical summer jewelry trends that just won’t fade away! These anklets were made super popular by the brand Ecogypsy after a swarm of Victoria’s Secret models discovered them in Bali, where they are ethically made, and started snapping pics of themselves wearing them.
After that, sales exploded, and today, they’re one of the most coveted beach accessories in Bali and beyond.
3. Colorful Crystal Bracelets
Wear your spirituality on your sleeve, literally! This is one of those ethical summer jewelry trends that’s quite meaningful. For example, you could choose a crystal that offers protection, healing, or luck. Or, you could choose one that represents your birth month.
We love JIA JIA’s crystal collections. She uses multiple crystals in each bracelet. All are ethically sourced and selected by hand for their unique natural beauty and symbolism.
Alternatively, for a simpler (and cheaper) bracelet, choose one with a single crystal, like this one below, by Lola Bean.
Price: From $25
4. Fine, Reclaimed Gold Necklaces
Gold evokes the festival season, but sourcing it isn’t always ethical. Luckily, you don’t need to give up on wearing this precious metal – just make sure your accessories come from reclaimed gold!
Loads of brands are now using recycled metals – including gold – in their collections. Akind, below, does, and so does KBH Jewels. Both brands are bang-on-trend with the size of their jewelry. It should be fine, feminine and stackable. Choose plain chains, or ones studded with pearls or crystals, if you want to follow this ethical summer jewelry trend.
Price: From $750
5. Polished Shell Jewelry
Who needs gems when shells can be just as brilliant, and just as beautiful?
Take a look at this ring by Pippa Small, for example. The shell she uses in her 18 karat gold ring is as shiny and shimmery as a full moon’s reflection on the sea.
We also love that Pippa Small employs the skilled and steady hands of local artisans around the world to make her fine jewelry.
Price: Around $2000
6. Light Raffia Earrings
The elegant, natural fiber that comes from these sustainable leaves has been popularised in fashion accessories such as handbags. But now, you can see how gorgeous raffia looks in jewelry too!
The Royal Raffia Earrings from the Noonday Collection provide a great example of what I’m talking about. They give a posh nonchalance to any woman wearing them.
This is one of my favorite ethical summer jewelry trends, because these earrings are super light on the lobes, too! And why not match your earrings to your handbag, with an ethical straw bag?
Price: From $44 and up
7. Belly Chains
This female ornament has quite a long history (it can be traced back around 4000 years in India). Today, most people associate it with the seductive belly dancers of the Middle East.
However, belly chains haven’t often trended in the Western world – until now, that is! This is one of the hottest ethical summer jewelry trends this year. Worn with shorts and crop tops or bikinis, belly chains really enhance a woman’s feminine curves.
Though you can find them made from multiple materials, we recommend all natural ones, like these handmade waist beads crafted in Africa, below.
Looking for a simpler, more delicate – yet still sustainable – belly chain? Check these out!
8. Delicate, Color Pop Bracelets
Show off your tan with a pop of color on your wrist!
There are loads of options to rock this trend. But we particularly love Octavia Elizabeth’s ‘Nesting Gem’ collection. This ‘Parachute’ bracelet is part of that. It’s simple and understated, making it easy for layering.
Handmade from start to finish in LA, its satin cord is punctuated with a 18-karat recycled gold pendant that’s studded with a lab-grown diamond.
Spotted on Gigi Hadid and Jessica Alba, the dainty styles are designed with elegance, wearability and timelessness in mind.
9. Macramé Earrings
Once a hip staple in the 1970’s, macramé is back, big time! Not only for ethical summer jewelry trends, but in homewear, too (think: plant holders and wall hangings).
The charm of macramé lies in its simplicity. It’s made by knotting strings, usually made from cotton. Of course, we prefer ours to be organic cotton! This summer, we’re going to be spoiled for choice when it comes to macramé earrings.
Take a look here to see what’s on offer!
Prices: Start around $25
10. Tiny Lab-grown Diamond Rings
Diamonds are so lovely in summer! They shine brilliantly in the sun, and are so durable, no amount of sand or chlorine can destroy them. However, they’re usually far from ethical – we all know about blood diamonds, right?
The best choice for ethical diamonds are those grown in labs. That way, you know for sure no mines were opened, scarring the Earth, and no humans were exploited for their creation.
This summer, once again, the trend is for tiny, stackable pieces – and diamonds are no exception!
Wear several delicate diamond rings, one on each finger, or stack a few on one digit instead for a truly beautiful adornment. One excellent sustainable diamond brand we love is AKIND, which is making waves with its gorgeous collections, seen below.
Price: From $175 up
Which is your favourite ethical summer jewelry trends for 2022? Let us know in the comments, below!
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