Trendy And Eco-Friendly: DIY Recycled Jewelry Projects

Today, I’ll share the latest fashion trends and I’m excited to impart information about trendy and eco-friendly recycled jewelry. I salute and support individuals, organizations, and brands who care about Mother Earth and practices sustainability and global responsibility.

And in this article, I’ll share all things related to recycled jewelry, how to make it, what eco-friendly jewelry is, and what are the brands who took a stand in contributing to sustainable fashion.

Recycled Jewelry: Fashionable and Sustainable

Recycled jewelry is a piece made from repurposed materials such as used metals, gemstones, stainless steel, pearl, shell, animal bone or hair, seeds or nuts, wood, and stone. Creative artisans and jewelers are repurposing these materials in order to create pieces that are fashionable and eco-friendly. 

The process of reusing, reducing, and recycling plays an integral part in using old materials in creating something beautiful, sustainable, and new. We’re currently living in a world that is negatively impacted by global warming and climate change, hence, these creators took a step on how they can lessen carbon footprint and help in protecting and caring for the environment.

Here are some examples of trendy and eco-friendly “DIY” recycled jewelry:

Recycled Patriotic Pepsi Can Earrings

Recycled Patriotic Pepsi Can Earrings

Recycled Jewelry using Nail Polish

Recycled Jewelry using Nail Polish

Fabric Wrapped Bangles

Fabric Wrapped Bangles

Recycled Button bracelet

Recycled Button bracelet

Recycled Paper Jewelry by Paper Melon 

Recycled Paper Jewelry by Paper Melon 

DIY recycled plastic bottle scraps

DIY recycled plastic bottle scraps

Charming DIY headband

Charming DIY headband

Plastic Bottle Jewelry Stand

Plastic Bottle Jewelry Stand

Repurposed and upcycled vintage jewelry

Repurposed and upcycled vintage jewelry

Clutch embellished with broken or old jewelry

Clutch embellished with broken or old jewelry

DIY Hair Comb

DIY Hair Comb

Recycled Felt Earrings

Recycled Felt Earrings

Ways on how to make recycle jewelry

There are several ways on how creative individuals make each of their recycled jewelry. I compiled a list of the most commonly used processes in producing trendy and eco-friendly jewelry: 

1) Assembled Jewelry Making 

2) Fabricated Jewelry 

In this process of making pieces, jewelers utilize jewelry bench skills and metalsmithing techniques. A jeweler may solder or weld different components together in order to create stunning and intricately made recycled jewelry. Based on individual properties and functionality, materials used may range from cages, heads, prongs needed for setting gemstones, clutches, clasps, and earring posts. 

3) Hand Stamped/Engraved Jewelry 

Engraving or hand-stamping is one of the most popular processes used in making handmade jewelry. This process allows the jeweler to produce customized and personalized jewelry per the client’s request.

In hand-stamping, jewelers need the following: (1) aluminum or copper blanks,  (2) jewelry findings, (3) hammer, and (4) pre-made stamps that are readily available and can be bought in the market.

In engraving, higher skills are required or a jeweler may opt to buy a laser engraving tool that has software that allows it to engrave a pre-designed pattern onto the “blank” jewelry. 

4)  Wire Wrapped Jewelry 

Wire wrapping is an ancient process and a popular method used in generating sustainable jewelry. This process is labor-intensive and requires extreme focus. Jewelers use a variety of wires depending on the design, stones, crystals, beads, or other charms. 

5) Enameled Jewelry

To create beautiful enameled jewelry, colored powdered glass is fused to a metal substrate (can be a ring, pendant, bangle, etc) at an extremely high temperature. Enamels can also be applied to ceramics, metals, and glass. One of the commonly used methods in applying enamel on handmade jewelry is torch-firing.

6) Beaded Jewelry

Beads made from gemstone, clay, wood, crystal, and natural materials are used in the process of beadwork. Beaded jewelry is one of the simplest and most intricately created pieces in the jewelry industry. Some jewelers use letters, numbers, or uniquely designed beads in order to produce one-of-a-kind jewelry that is highly sustainable and fashionable altogether.

What is eco-friendly jewelry?

Eco-friendly or sustainable jewelry is produced using the following: 1) transparent and responsible sourcing, 2) fair trade and safe working environment 3) reusable, recyclable and conflict-free materials. This is a closed-loop system that aims to eradicate unnecessary waste materials that end up in landfills or pollute the environment. 

With that being said, companies are able to hold true to their core values of protecting and caring for our planet. These companies or brands are always updating or improving their processes to ensure that the products they produce are highly sustainable, trendy, and made responsibly at all times. 

Brands who are frontrunners in eco-friendly Jewelry Production

There are several well-known jewelry brands that specialize in recycling materials and observe and implement sustainability and global responsibility. We have come up with some of the famous brands and one sample of their product: 

Washed Ashore gold and pearl drop earrings

1) Washed Ashore

Born in Thailand, owner and founder Larada Lamsam of Washed Ashore believes that her exposure to the powerful and vibrant culture of Southeast Asia has influenced her to study art history and archeology. Lamsam has established multiple techniques and approaches that are used in creating her jewelry. 

She aims to achieve sustainability from every angle. In one of her previous interviews, Lamsam stated that Mother Earth heals and provides for us and in turn, she hopes that we will be inspired to continue to protect and heal Mother Earth. 

Photo: Washed Ashore gold and pearl drop earrings

Alighieri initial spark earrings

2) Alighieri  

Rosh Mahtani created Alighieri to get past a difficult period. Each jewelry is made from recycled bronze or silver and then plated with gold and cast represents heirlooms.

Mahtani is passionate about celebrating the beauty of vulnerability and the imperfection of humanity. Each of her pieces ought to deliver its own stories which would bring people closer together by embarking on adventures and unlocking new chapters in life. 

Photo: Alighieri’s initial spark earrings

Katkim Charlie Rose Gold Ear Pin

3) Kat Kim 

KATKIM is dedicated to using recycled gold when and wherever possible. The designer, Katherine Kim, is passionate about being transparent in the manufacturing processes and selections used by the company. Her founding pillars are sustainability and global responsibility. 

Photo: Katkim Charlie Rose Gold Ear Pin

Zoe Chicco starbust diamond stud earrings

4) Zoë Chicco

Zoë Chicco has an exceptional ability to make classic, personal, and versatile pieces.  All of the products of Zoë Chicco are made from conflict-free diamonds and the rest of the jewelry is made from 14-karat gold that is 100% recycled.

Photo: Zoe Chicco starbust diamond stud earrings

Akola necklace 

5) Akola  

Brittany Merrill Underwood founded Akola based on her vision – (1) to be able to establish and spread women empowerment in the workplace and (2) to let women become active contributors to the economic development in Africa.

In making Akola’s products, local techniques are used and the materials are also sustainably sourced. African women pour their handcrafting skills using sustainable materials such as raffia which is sourced from palm leaves, up-cycled cow horn, and sisal which comes from the agave plant. 

Photo: Akola necklace 

Wolf Circus pearl and glass necklace 

6) Wolf Circus 

Fiona Morrison is Wolf Circus’ designer and founder. Her brand offers handmade “demi-fine jewelry” using either recycled bronze or recycled sterling silver.

With a mission to create a perfect balance between style and sustainability, Morrison made well-thought and crafted jewelry from recycled hypoallergenic sterling silver.

Photo: Wolf Circus pearl and glass necklace 

Laura Lombardi spiral hoop earrings

7) Laura Lombardi  

In 2010, Laura Lombardi founded her namesake jewelry – Laura Lombardi. On her travels, Lombardi finds a mix of new, recycled, and reclaimed metals. The materials she finds are then used to create her handcrafted and sustainable jewelry products.

The brand seeks to maintain an accessible price point and continue to use efficient and sustainable processes in its jewelry production.

Photo: Laura Lombardi spiral hoop earrings 

Meadowlark amulet earring 

8) Meadowlark

Meadowlark founders Claire Hammon and Greg Fromont are passionate about the long-term commitment to using sustainable practices all throughout their jewelry-making process. Hammon and Fromont believe that it is a must to utilize the full potential of recyclable materials so nothing ends up in a landfill.

In a magical process of alchemy, they were able to create pieces combined from the purest of metals and a dazzling array of gemstones.

Photo:   Meadowlark amulet earring 

SVNR pastel rainbow necklace 

9) SVNR 

On a rainy summer weekend of 2018, Christina Tung founded SVNR. Tung’s brand vision revolves around the “union of ethics and aesthetics”.

She makes the jewelry pieces by herself. She loves fashion and believes in its transformative power. Her jewelry collections are made from reused, upcycled, and natural found materials. 

Photo: SVNR pastel rainbow necklace 

Bagatiba silver pearl bracelet

10) Bagatiba

Jessie Andrews founded Bagatiba in 2012. Andrews’ hard work paid off as Bagatiba became the frontrunner in the jewelry industry who has sustainability initiatives and closed-loop upcycling. All timeless handcrafted jewelry in Bagatiba is made responsibly, sustainably, and ethically. 

Photo: Bagatiba silver pearl bracelet

Poppy Finch pearl spiral ring

11) Poppy Finch 

In 2014, Amanda He founded Poppy Finch with the mission to reinvent the jewelry we use in our day-to-day life. The brand strives to minimize or eradicate its environmental footprint by making up-to-date, sustainable, and efficient business and operational practices.

She assures clients that all the materials used to produce her jewelry are sourced from trusted suppliers who are able to provide conflict-free diamonds and responsibly sourced gemstones.

Photo: Poppy Finch pearl spiral ring

Grace Lee resin globe ring 

12) Grace Lee  

Grace Lee was founded by Grace Lee herself last 2008. Grace Lee first opened its doors in Los Angeles. All the pieces designed by Grace are meant to be layered and stacked together.

The brand only uses recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds. 

Photo: Grace Lee resin globe ring 

AGMES silver mix-match hoops 

13)  AGMES  

In 2016, sisters Morgan and Jaclyn Solomon founded AGMES in New York. AGMES handcrafted jewelry is made from recycled metals and if any scrap metal is generated, it is also melted down to be reused.

Some finest materials used in their operations are 18-karat gold vermeil, 14-karat gold, freshwater pearls, and 925 sterling silver which are all sublime and sustainable. 

Photo: AGMES silver mix-match hoops 

We strive to spread awareness and information to the women out there on how we can all take an active role in protecting and caring for our precious planet. A graceful reminder, let’s live every day – trendy and eco-friendly in every way.