The rebellion against fast-fashion brands is in full force. With big online retailers like ASOS getting involved, it’s clear this is no passing fad. However, jewellery seems to slip under the radar. While it’s well-known that gold and diamonds can come from ethically dubious sources, less expensive accessories carry their own environmental debt. Tracing back the origin of materials or the sustainability of manufacturing processes can be challenging, with the carbon footprint generated by air-miles posing another concern. But there are hidden gems out there ready for even the thriftiest of buyers.
We’re quick to praise luxury clothing brands offering eco-friendly, sustainable style, but student budgeting often makes them unattainable. With the Christmas season coming up, December gift-buying stretches our wallets past their max before even considering earth-friendly options. It doesn’t have to be that way — this article presents four Edinburgh-local sources of planet-kind glitz and glam that won’t max out your overdraft.
For fans of bright, colourful, and chunky pieces, look no further than montanita. Handcrafted in Edinburgh, montanita’s pieces are an eclectic rainbow of swirls and splotches. Playing with geometric forms, asymmetric shapes and pop art inspirations, these bold statement pieces are made from polymer clay and resin – so no need to worry about the ethics of metal mining. A personal favourite are the Warhol earrings — perfect for the art-lover in your life, and right on budget at £21.50.
Check out montanita on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/montanita_jewelry/
Stockbridge boutique Lily Luna sources jewellery from independent, up-and-coming UK and European designers. According to their website, they “passionately believe in creating and finding treasured pieces that are crafted with a conscience”. While a little on the pricey side, they are currently holding an online sale, with pieces starting around £10. The boutique stock various styles from bridal, to high-end, to everyday fashion, with a thread of the dainty, cute and whimsical running throughout. This Sterling silver and gold-plating Magic Mushroom Necklace, reduced to £40.60, would make a perfect gift for an Alice in Wonderland fan.
Check out Lily Luna on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilylunauk/
Using primarily certified 925 recycled Ecosilver, Akvile’s stunning pieces are handcrafted in her Edinburgh studio. Starting at £15 for a set of six mix-and-match stud earrings, this brand is treasure trove for those with high-end taste on a low-end budget. Akvile’s Instagram bio heralds their focus on gender neutrality, sustainability and handmade products, making them not only an eco-friendly choice, but socially conscious and thought-provoking too. Akvile champions the androgonous; their edgy pieces combine chunky chain links, understated minimalism and asymmetry. This might be one to reserve for your own Christmas list!
Check out Akvile on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suakvile/
There’s no need to tell students that Edinburgh boasts rich pickings when it comes to charity clothes shops. Most also have a wealth of jewellery and accessories on display, both brand new, used, and even vintage. Nicolson Street is by far the best place to start on your quest for pre-loved treasure – with Barnardos, Oxfam, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research and Shelter shops all within 100 metres of each other, you’re bound to bag a bargain while supporting a good cause. And if that doesn’t motivate you to brave the winter chill for a sustainable shopping spree, you can now hunt for eco-friendly treasure online on the Oxfam website too!
Turns out the search for alternatives when it comes to fast fashion accessories need not look so far. These Edinburgh brands continue to prove to us that the best things come in recyclable boxes.
Image: Free-Photos via Pixabay