In light of fashion’s ongoing waste problem, sustainability has risen to the top of every smart shopper’s list in recent years. And with monumental steps being taken every day to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of clothes and bags (we’re looking at you, used pages), a key component of our daily outfit has somehow seemingly been overlooked: jewellery.
Fortunately, there is a sizable market available for those seeking sustainable earrings, rings, bracelets, you name it for almost any occasion. With many companies creating ethically sourced or lab-grown diamonds, rare gems, recycled gold, etc., you can also buy beautiful, brand new jewelry that won’t make you feel the slightest bit guilty.
If you think it can’t get any better, think again! All of these jewelry stores were founded by women, for women (or men—we don’t discriminate!) and continue to have them at the helm as CEOs. And because there really is never a bad time to support women, do good for the planet, and come out the other side drowning in diamonds, get to shopping our favorite brands below.
Founded by Shilpa Yarlagadda when she was a sophomore at a little-known school called Harvard, Shiffon started with the intention of being a company with the ability to fund other women-led businesses, and it became just that, but also much more. It’s not hard to understand how such a green company was able to skyrocket to success when you see jewelry, ethical diamonds and all.
While Shiffon also sells beautifully understated hoop earrings, as well as an upcoming tennis collection in collaboration with another female-led company, Break the Love, the true star of the show is the Duet Pinky Ring. Among others such as Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama and Serena Williams, the ring has become most famous and most frequently worn by none other than Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Markle often has the combination of yellow gold and diamond, but Shiffon also offers the band in sterling silver, rose gold and white gold in various carats, and the decoration in diamond, black diamond and white sapphire.
Yarlagadda, named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2020, has some advice for the budding female entrepreneur: “Just get started,” she says. “Perfection really can be the enemy of good. We can overthink every single thing the process requires to stop us, yet we learn so much as we build, and nothing I’ve built has ever been perfect. At the same time way we improve ourselves every single day, startups are about version one, two and three.”
Handcrafted by goldsmiths in Los Angeles and designed by the eponymous founder, Logan Hollowell’s magical designs take form as necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings and cuffs, as well as custom pieces. Her jewelry is proud to be made from 14k and 18k recycled gold and ethically sourced gemstones. The most popular design, she says, is by far its Constellation collection, of which the necklaces are the star (no pun intended). Available in both classic and zodiac constellations, the necklaces have been worn by Markle, as well as supermodels Candice Swanepoel and Elsa Hosk. Fun fact: fellow model Josephine Skriver also gave each of her bridesmaids a necklace from the collection as a gift. The use and specificity of Logan Hollowell pieces make it a standout brand for those gift shopping, or simply looking for a unique individual piece to add to their collection.
With lab-grown gemstones and a direct-to-consumer system, Dorsey has been a fixture in the ethical jewelry world since its humble beginnings in 2019. In fact, CEO Meg Strachan started it as a vintage jewelry retailer before venturing into the world of original pieces .
The aforementioned staples are all classically inspired, such as the popular and often sold out ones Riviere Collection, reminiscent of the timeless tennis bracelet style, but at a much lower price point and in many different colors. The company has also reached the silver screen, with art deco Leela earrings worn by none other than Taylor Swift in her debut and Oscar-worthy short film Too Good (Taylor’s Version). Other celebrities who have worn Dorsey include Lily James, Alexandra Daddario, and Emily Ratajkowski, just to name a few. It’s no wonder Dorsey designs often sell out—their ethical practices combined with varieties reminiscent of another era are enough to make any jewelry shopper’s heart skip a beat.
Adornmonde is very different from the understated nature of previously mentioned brands, although that’s not to say it’s any less amazing. Helmed by Niki Allworth, Adornmode prides itself on fun colors and mixed metals, offering a decidedly youthful aesthetic to its customers, regardless of age.
Especially the two-tone Dallas necklace— one of Adornmonde’s most popular designs — brings together the delicacy of gold and the slight edge of silver to create a versatile chain that has the uncanny ability to dress up any outfit. That Fidel braces is another remarkable creation, available in both gold and silver, and again is the perfect addition to any look. The chunky, crystal-encrusted Blamey ring in gold, although it also comes in silver, is a favorite of our cover star Adele, and it’s not hard to see why! The brand also counts Laura Harrier and Shay Mitchell as fans.
Stone and Beach
Stone and Strand, founded by Nadine Kahan and designed by Brooke Magnaghi in New York City, prides itself on using real gold and ethical gemstones to create original designs perfect for yourself and any lucky jewelry wearer in your life.
With diamond studded pieces available for under $500, it’s easy to believe they would be loved by celebrities, influencers and consumers alike. Jamie Chung counts herself as a brand follower, wearing a stack of Stone and Strand necklaces on several occasions, most notably the Bubble Tea Initial Necklace. Another customer favorite? That Pave Diamond original charm necklace. On the collection side, Stone and Strand’s zodiac, piercing and pearl collections are also top sellers on the brand’s website. Did we mention that too Tinx– approved? Your move, rich moms.
Toulmin Jahncke is a digital editorial intern at ELLE.com. She is currently studying literature and drama at Bennington College. When not writing, she enjoys reading, baking, vintage shopping and re-watching episodes Flea bag. After bingeing The Queen’s Gambitshe started learning Russian, because why not?