Some of my favorite pieces of jewelry are neither new nor recycled — they’re unique, upcycled pieces handcrafted by green designers out of “trash.” And while some upcycled objects make environmentalism look ugly, successful DIYers make wearing trash look good. Here are three of my favorite pairs you may see me wearing around Los Angeles — or in New York City this week, where I am for the Blogher ’10 conference!
Leather Feather earrings by Fahmina (above): Non-vegans will be happy to know reclaimed and pre-consumer factory leather scraps are being put to beautiful use by Fahmina Tsunami, who uses the bits and pieces to create beautiful, colorful jewelry. Each pair costs $22 to $130+, depending on the design, at Fahmina’s online store and select fashion boutiques.
Pop Rock & Roll earrings by Miss Courageous: Music lovers can wear their love of old vinyl records on their ears! These pretty pieces are hand cut by one Millie Hilgert, who says we should support upcycled fashions “because you can’t find anything mass produced that has as much heart or character in it as something that was handmade. We need to support independent artists and reduce what’s entering the landfills.”
The earrings are more beautiful when worn than in the picture, because the vinyl takes on a slightly translucent, luminous quality when both sides are exposed to light. Shop from Millie’s Etsy store Miss Courageous, or find a bigger selection of Millie’s earrings at eco-boutique BTC Elements. Each pair costs $15–$18.
Double drop earrings by Anna Built: Made by Anna Johansson in Brooklyn, N.Y., these earrings are crafted from cans and tins. “Most are recycled from the trash, some are found at thrift stores and some are bought in grocery stores,” writes Anna on her website. Each unique pair costs $26-$30 at Anna’s Etsy store, Anna Built.