The term ethical refers to products that are traded in ways that avoid any social, environmental, or economic harm. When your product is ethically made, it means that:
- It uses materials you can trace back to the source, to ensure they’ve been produced in an ethical way.
- It is made from recycled or sustainable materials.
- It does not use child labour and ensures fair wages and working hours.
- It does not use practices that pollute or impact the environment in a negative way.
The Ytao Connect platform is always looking for ethical brands that care about the environment and the society and that are always happy to show what’s behind their product’s journey.
This time we want to highlight the amazing work that these 7 Ethical Australian Jewellery brands have been doing, by caring about ethics and about creating high-quality products that truly make a positive impact on the environment and society through a genuine philosophy.
1. S-kin Studio Jewellery
S-kin (pronounced skin) Studio Jewellery is a fine jewellery brand located in Melbourne, Australia, that focuses on high-quality everyday jewelries that do not hurt your skin.
Inspired by country Victoria and natural Australian landscapes, these designs are timeless and essential, simple yet sophisticated, and endearing yet bold in its ways.
S-kin was created when Chi, her founder, realised that retailers in the industry were promoting jewelries that wouldn’t stand the test of time, i.e. fashion, costume jewelries that are plated, then thrown away after little use due to poor durability, and became the waste that the fashion industry is notorious for.
The materials she uses are high quality and never plated, nickel free which makes them hypoallergenic and skin friendly. She uses synthetic cubic zircons and freshwater pearls that are locally sourced from WA, Australia and don’t use diamonds unless they are ethically mined
S-kin Studio Jewellery is Proudly a 1% For The Planet Member, which means they give 1% of all sales to non-profits that work to protect our earth, and tackle challenges relating to land, water, climate, wildlife, and food.
“Our hope is, in the near future, for businesses around the world to give more than we take. Our philosophy is to take the smallest step, one after another, because that means it’s all very possible.”
2. Sofia Maria
Sofia Maria is a jewellery designer and maker with an intimate focus on craftsmanship and fine metals. Inspired by and with a deep appreciation of organic lines, natural textures and imperfect forms, she chooses to work only with locally sourced recycled metals.
One of her greatest influences is the Japanese philosophy wabi sabi. A concept derived from the buddhist teaching which centres around the acceptance and admiration for something that is imperfect, finding beauty in imperfection. Characteristics of wabi sabi include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, integrity and the appreciation of natural objects and processes.
In her own words Sofia describes her designs as ‘effortlessly elegant’ heirlooms with a minimalist earthy aesthetic.
‘A lot of detailed work goes into each and every one of my pieces, but the result is simple, natural and elegant.’
All the materials she uses to handcraft her pieces are selected with special care and consideration and are locally sourced — recycled or mined in Australia.
3. Momoko Hatano
Sydney-based Japanese-born jeweller and designer, Momoko Hatano crafts fine pieces with a contemporary influence. She draws upon her experiences travelling for inspiration, plus looks to everyday objects and the simplistic nature of Japanese aesthetics in addition to the free-spirited nature of Australian culture.
She designs and makes every piece in her Sydney studio using Australian and recycled precious metals where ever possible, and sources all conflict-free diamonds from the Argyle mines in WA.
She believes that jewellery should be designed to last a life time. When she designs she always keeps in mind a few key questions to know if the pieces are sustainable, the ones that don’t meet these requirements are not made, and the ones that do must always be made in small batches or to order to minimise waste and over production.
4. Pip Stent
Melbourne jeweller and designer Pip Stent handmakes every individual piece in her studio. Since she spends hours sifting through pearls and stones to find those worth treasuring, shoppers can rest assured they’re purchasing a truly one-of-a-kind piece that transcends the trends and will last a lifetime.
In addition, Stent sources diamonds ethically “because they sparkle better that way”, she says, and will happily accept commissions to bring your own visions for your jewellery to life.
“Working with responsibly sourced coloured gemstones, diamonds and precious metals, Pip uses her hands to translate your personal milestones and innate values into something more tangible. Want to give vintage or heirloom gemstones a new life? Pip is happy to merge your old treasures into your new ones,” her site reads.
Self-expression melts into the recycled metals that make up Pip’s sustainable design. She uses her two hands to translate moments into something more tangible. Gold and silversmithing them into pieces that last longer than the season they’re created in. Although Pip believes trends are worth observing, transcending them interests her more; experimenting in form, in colour, in balance.
5. Natalie Marie Jewellery
Natalie Marie Jewellery was born out of a passion for the craft. At the core of what they do is a dedication to traditional, superior craftsmanship; a focus on sustainability and high-quality materials; and a commitment to your own unique style.
She makes each piece to order, by hand, in her Sydney studio — a conscious decision that allows her to minimise the footprint on the environment and gives her the opportunity to connect with clients on a deeply personal level.
Natalie Marie offers a non traditional jewellery experience, creating a relaxed, comfortable, holistic approach with a focus on sentiment and connection.
Crafting jewellery for Natalie is more than just creating an object, it’s the opportunity to create something that is symbolic and significant — “wearable treasures that act as tangible expressions of love or sentiment”, she says.
Natalie’s deep and personal belief that everything and everyone is connected by love is evident within the brand, the handcrafted jewels she makes and the culture she has created within her team. She hopes that those who purchase NMJ have “a deeply connective experience which satisfies the experience of storytelling and craftmanship”.
6. Holly Ryan
Holly Ryan founded her eponymous label on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland in 2010, after completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She has always been passionate about sustainability, sourcing recycled metals and ethical stones for her designs.
As an artist and maker, Holly Ryan’s practice is ever evolving — but her commitment to producing responsible, meaningful objects is staunchly resolute.
She believes the concepts behind a piece of jewellery ultimately inform its lasting impact on people and planet. For this reason, she hand-makes her pieces to order and also invites bespoke designs, so customers can personalise their product.
Between the Sydney and Sunshine Coast studios, she minimises her environmental impact by using sustainable materials, low or zero waste processes and by recycling and upcycling materials when making the jewellery. (She buys all the metal already recycled and also melts it down to reuse for new designs.) All the stones are sourced as ethically as possible, either through Fairtrade in India, or directly through local Australian suppliers.
She encourages people to curate a collection of pieces they will wear forever and renew or rework those they no longer do. So to extend the lifecycle of their jewellery, she invites customers to repair or recycle their Holly Ryan pieces with her directly in exchange for store credit or to be redesigned by Holly.
7. Sarah & Sebastian
Sarah & Sebastian is an ever-evolving body of work by collaborators Sarah Gittoes and Robert Sebastian Grynkofki. In a relentless pursuit to push design innovation with respect for traditional craftsmanship, the pair create directional jewellery of longevity and sentiment.
Grynkofki’s passion lies in local manufacturing and working closely with master artisans to develop their craft. At the studio, a sun-drenched converted warehouse in Sydney, each piece is handcrafted using traditional goldsmith techniques, refined to create the brand’s signature silhouettes.
Sarah & Sebastian is committed to being a responsible brand; conscious and transparent of their environmental and social impact, decisions and potential. They have consciously chosen to minimise their impact by using recycled metals, ethically sourced stones and by locally manufacturing on a made-to-order basis to avoid unnecessary waste.
Their most recent collection SIREN is a celebration of the ocean’s beauty and a signal alerting to damage being caused to reefs and marine life by ghost nets.
Be part of a movement to build a more sustainable future by using your passion for the planet to support brands that are doing good and your voice to spread awareness about causes that matter to you.