5 Luxury Ethical Earrings To Invest In, That Are Actually Affordable

Olivia Burton

When purchasing jewelry, especially expensive pieces, you would be forgiven for mistakenly thinking that they are well made or produced ethically.

This is a common misconception that luxury equals ethically or produced with high-quality materials.

The mining of gold and diamonds are riddled with environmental and social controversy, for example, child workers handling toxic mercury to mine for gold in Mozambique and Tanzania.

Responsible textiles have been a big talking point in the last few years; it’s now time to focus on responsible jewelry. In the luxury designer sector, ethical jewelry is just starting to turn with Chopard (with pieces in the $3-50k range), announcing the use of 100% ethical gold.

ethical jewelry

Below is a curated list of luxury pieces to last you a lifetime, both environmentally and socially conscious, minus the $50,000 price tag.  

ethical jewelry

1. Holly Ryan

HR X The Undone Picasso Hoops Gold, $360.00

Holly Ryan creates beautiful, unique and minimalist pieces, hand-sculpted from her studios in Sydney. Her supply chain is transparent and straightforward from start to finish, using locally sourced and sustainability produced materials. Holly also focuses on a closed loop system, encouraging recycling and waste reduction schemes such as buy-back and repair services.

‘After all, there is nothing more modern than something that lasts forever’

The Picasso Hoops are handcrafted with solid sterling silver with 18ct gold plating, inspired by Picasso’s terracotta tile series. The earrings are made to order to minimize waste and will last you a lifetime if cared for correctly.

ethical earrings

2. Danica Moorcroft

Yellow Gold Fan Earrings, price on request (around $180)

Danica has recently started based in Sydney, focusing on timeless pieces in silver. Her line of ethically produced jewelry is focused on organic texture and geometric shapes, using natural tools such as coral. The drop fan earrings are one of the most popular items, available in silver, rose gold or yellow gold.

Danica Moorcroft’s website is currently still in production; she can be contacted through the below channels or found at Paddington Markets in Sydney every Saturday:

Instagram @danicamoorcroft  and email [email protected]

Ethical Earrings

3. Emma Aitchison

Wave Crest, from $87 approx

This London-based conscious jewelry brand started in 2016 and is an all-round winner. The collections are inspired by the natural world, aiming to ignite conversations around climate change. Each piece is handmade by Emma Aitchinson herself, using recycled silver and gold, fairtrade materials and no toxic chemicals. Emma also donates 1% of her business profit to 1% Of The Planet.

The Wave Crest earrings are small, simple and elegant, inspired by waves of the ocean and handmade in recycled brass. They can be purchased in small or large online, and take up to 2-3 weeks to produce by hand from London.

Ethical Earrings

4. Odette New York

Pivot Earrings, $198

Designer Jennifer Sarkilahti has been making Odette pieces from her craft studio in New York since 2006. Her collections have since expanded in popularity since being featured in the likes of Vogue and Marie Claire, while still being manufactured by local artisans in New York. Jennifer aims to keep her supply chain minimal, using recycled silver and gold where possible.

The pivot earrings are made from Sterling Silver and Brass, with a beautifully unique and stylish design. As always, they are crafted in New York City.

ethical earrings

5. Otiumberg

Single Saint-Raphael Hoop, from $140 approx

Otiumberg is for those that want luxury, timeless pieces that are elegant and conscious. Two London based sisters, Christie, and Rosanna Wollenberg, founded the brand in 2014, with a focus on ethics and quality. The brand offers warranty and easy repairs to ensure products last.

The Single Saint-Raphael Hoop is currently in pre-order, made from two hoops, which can be worn separately to mix and match. The earrings are made from ethically sourced gold vermeil on sterling silver and come in planet-friendly packaging.

‘I look for pieces with meaning and purpose that will stay with me for years to come. The versatility of this hoop means it will become a true staple in my collection.’

Olivia Burton

Olivia is an eco-writer, producer, science graduate & ocean enthusiast. After moving from London to Sydney, she found her love for the outdoors and recycled textiles, which led her to start writing about science and sustainable fashion. Olivia is really passionate about brands using fashion for good and innovation in the industry. She now splits her time between several not-for-profit organisations in communication roles. Olivia is also a Centre for Sustainability Leadership alumni and sits on the Fashion Revolution committee for Australia & New Zealand.