What do you look for when buying earrings and other jewellery? Is Australian-made top of the list? Perhaps it should be, because talented and innovative Australian jewellery designers are embracing the philosophy of ethical, sustainable, and locally-made to help us all do our bit towards a more sustainable community.
And while it's relatively easy to find fashion or clothing brands that are committed to the made-in-Australia ethos, from the well-known Cue and Bianca Spender, whose clothes are worn by celebrities, to more niche labels such as EDITION and par moi; information about designer jewellery such as original handmade necklaces and earrings, is not so readily available.
It's time to change that!
Let's talk about the accessories you choose to enhance your outfits and your mood whether you're spending the day in meeting rooms or the night out on the town.
Australian jewellery fashion brands
Soft and Sensuous
When you imagine a sensuous pair of earrings, is leather the first thing that comes to mind? This lightweight, sustainable material is being used by innovative designers who specialise in brilliant Australian-made earrings. Caroline Carruthers in Noosa is leading the way with the Deccoangel label. She uses a combination of processes to minimise waste, and creates unique pieces (with a nod to femininity) that are designed to make the wearer feel special. Imagine how these ones will capture the light as you turn your head.
The Frank Ideas collection created by designer Rowan Shaw comprises unique, sculptural fashion accessories that are made by hand in Australia from quality new, recycled, upcycled, and non-conventional materials. You'll see style icons wearing these tactile masterpieces, and you'll find them in art gallery gift shops and specialist boutiques. Another fantastic designer making Australian-made earrings from surprising materials.
Leela Fernandez from Solart creates gorgeous wearable art from her original ink paintings. Her jewellery is made in Melbourne using sustainably sourced hoop pine. Leela believes Mother Earth needs our love and that we can all help by going local and embracing sustainably sourced materials and recycling.
Gunditjmara woman Laura Thompson, founder of The Koori Circle and Clothing the Gaps, combines a love of fashion earrings with Aboriginal culture in her accessory brand, The Koorie Circle. Her designs, which feature Aboriginal art, cultural items, and native animals, are an ideal way to help the wider community learn about and respect Aboriginal culture. Wood was her first material of choice, and her company has now incorporated other eco-friendly materials, such as bamboo, into its range of Australian-made earrings.
Bold and Memorable
There's a good chance you've seen Sophie Cooper's earrings, necklaces, and brooches in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, or Byron Bay because they are bold, memorable, and designed to compliment every wardrobe. Her brand, Scoops Design, crafts all its products in Australia from sustainably-sourced wood. Obviously the lightweight variety. The range is loved in the fashion industry and it is not only for women; Scoops has a men's collection as well.
None of this ethical Australian-made jewellery is produced in a factory. Rather, manufacturing is small-scale and production is often done by hand. The supply chain is contained, with raw materials being sourced from the local community. Companies that embrace sustainability are also known for using packaging made from post-consumer waste (recycled) materials. Some use fabric jewellery bags made from textile waste, while others use recycled card boxes and compostable mailer bags for online deliveries.
Moreover, many artisans and designers who are committed to using sustainable and ethical production methods, include recycled and upcycled materials in their practice, and take care to minimise waste.
The benefits of sustainable Australian-made
- Australian-made designer products and handcrafted items are made with premium materials and attention to detail, resulting in products that will last. Years of craftsmanship and skill go into these products, ensuring they are of the highest quality.
- Sustainably made jewellery is often unique and one-of-a-kind, with each piece having its own story. This is especially true for handmade items, as each is crafted by an individual artisan and is unlikely to be identical to any other.
- Australian-made designer products and handcrafted items draw on local and regional cultural traditions, providing a sense of connection to the history and heritage of the country. This is especially the case with First Nations art and craft, which frequently embodies thousands of years of cultural knowledge.
Once you start to look, it is surprising how many fabulous Australian-made designer products can be found.
Overall, Australia's designers and artisans excel at creating products that are unique, beautiful, and functional, drawing on the country's natural beauty, multicultural heritage, and rich cultural traditions, to create pieces that you will love for a long time. And finally, a commitment seeking out local and ethical products is an important way that each of us can demonstate that we care about the community.
We've made a start for you by putting together this collection. Take a look now at the rest of the range at O Gosh Shop.