10 Tips for starting an ethical jewelry brand

Transform the gem-empire into a social enterprise

Have you been thinking of starting a jewelry brand and you want it to be ethical? This is all you need to know to make it fair trade and sustainable

The ethical and fair trade revolution is in full swing as companies everywhere are looking to get with the times, make smarter decisions that promote a sustainable culture and gain the approval of the public. Even some larger brands that haven’t been well-known for their sustainable practices are now slowly changing their standards. 

Almost every type of company can contribute to this global cause, even a jewelry brand. Whether you are already running a jewellery-making business, or want to start a new brand, here are a few tips for promoting ethical practices.

Create an ethical mission & vision

One of the first steps in starting any business is creating your mission and vision statement. Your statement will summarize what your company’s goals are, what products or services you aim to provide, and what values are important to you. An ethical business should state why and how they are ethical in their business operations and within the community. The mission and vision should also be plainly visible on your website for potential customers to read.


One of the simplest ways to make an ethical difference is to donate to and promote charities. There are many charities out there that promote ethical and fair trade practices. For example, Green America works towards a ‘socially just and environmentally sustainable society’. The brand ME&EM is a good example, which was born to raise funds for pediatric cancer. Backing an organization of your choice will help promote your brand and its fair practices. 

The 4 business models to start your ethical brand or social enterprise

Fair Trade Gems and Materials

Fair-trade means that people in developing countries are paid a fair price for their goods or services that is adequate to provide them with the things they need to thrive, like education, food, healthcare, and community programs. When sourcing your ethical gems and jewelry supplies, look for wholesale companies that promote fair trade practices.

Who Controls the Fair Trade Clothing Industry and How is it Governed?


Reuse Scrap Metals and Materials 

Reusing scrap metals is an excellent way to save money and reuse resources instead of buying new materials that need to be mined, processed, and shipped. This is a practice that every knowledgeable jewelry making business follows. Even some cracked and broken gemstones can be repurposed if you can get creative enough.

tips start ethical jewelry brand

Fairmined Gold

When you do need to buy new metals, it’s best to use ethical and fair trade sources. Fairmined is a label that ensures the metals are mined by responsible operations that follow good environmental practices. They don’t damage waterways, they return the land to its previous state, and replant trees where needed. Fairmined gold is often run by small operations and is completely traceable. 

Gemifique, the eco-friendly lab-grown diamonds as the most ethical alternative


Conserve Resources In Business Operations

Reducing waste in your daily business operations is also a good first step towards running an ethical company. Aside from reusing materials, if you don’t yet have a place of operation, consider setting up shop in your home, garage, basement, or shed. You will be reducing your carbon footprint by not having to drive to work on a daily basis. Or, choose a location that is near enough for you to ride a bicycle to and from work. 


Recycling may sound simple, but so many businesses today still don’t recycle simple things like the cardboard that supplies are shipped in. Some businesses collect recycling in the public view and then dump it in the trash that’s headed for the landfill. Be responsible and find a way to fit the recycling of cardboard, paper, glass, and plastic into your daily operations.

Cut Down on Packaging Materials

When starting your ethical jewelry business, you will likely build a website where people can view your items and buy online. This means you need to consider what type of packaging your products will be sent in. You’ve likely had an experience where you’ve ordered something small online and it arrives in a ridiculous amount of shipping materials. Keep your packages small and try to source recycled shipping materials.

The Guide for Eco-Friendly Packaging Ideas


Pack the Kiln

Depending on what types of jewelry you plan to make, you may need the use of a kiln. Kilns eat up a ton of power every time they are run, and this can be pricey after many uses. Packing your kiln with as many of your projects as it can hold will help save you money and energy in the long run. 

Use Renewable Energy

If possible, use renewable energy sources to run your business operations. Solar panels are a popular example of the energy that replenishes itself. Also, look for energy companies that use windmills, as they are also a source of renewable energy.

Starting a new jewelry business takes a lot of work. But, by choosing to be ethical in your mission and operations, you will help promote a better future and attract like-minded customers. Start by making your business plan and including all the ways you plan to help enhance communities and our environment worldwide. 

How can Four ppineapples guide you to start your ethical brand?

Advice & Mentoring

You want to create an ethical brand that is also sustainable, implementing all the goodness right in your business model. They will explore together potential opportunities to become a social entrepreneur, and we will define the best formula that gives back to a community. Also, they will help you to craft a story and communicate your impact right from the beginning. A key to success.

Marketing services

At Four ppineapples they dive into your brand with a 360º angle, find what’s raw and make it sweet! Check out in more detail all the services here!

This post has been written by the guest blogger Tess di Napoli with the help of the team of editors at Ourgoodbrands.

Other articles you’ll love:

    1. Gemifique, the eco-friendly lab-grown diamonds as the most ethical alternative
    2. Behind-scenes: the cleaning oceans bracelet
    3. ME & EM give-back jewellery, raising for paediatric cancer
    4. Zero waste wedding guide: Say ‘I do’ to sustainability 
    5. Upcycled seaglass jewellery for mermaids

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Tess DiNapoli

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, who has worked with fashion brands, such as Velvet Heart Boutique. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about the latest trends and wellness.

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One Comment

  1. Warning: stristr() expects parameter 1 to be string, object given in /home/customer/www/ourgoodbrands.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/jannah-child/functions.php on line 85
    Ross Knowles says:

    Thanks for the great article Tess – much appreciated.

    Another helpful strategy for jewelry businesses is to use Government funded business mentors to help them grow their business at no cost.

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