Student’s Corner

Eco-Friendly Accessory Ideas 

Whether it is rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or hair clips, jewelry is often worn as a way to express yourself, complete an outfit, or add some interest to your appearance. Your accessories may even feel like an extension of yourself. 

When shopping for accessories, it is important to consider not only the price and appearance but the environmental impact as well. Some companies produce jewelry with different metals and gemstones that are mined from different areas around the world. These extraction processes have the potential to seriously harm the environment. Mining can cause many issues like inducing loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and contamination of surface water, groundwater, and soil.

This is not to say we need to stop accessorizing. Adding decorative pieces to our bodies is a practice that has been around for years. Traditionally, jewelry, whether it is made from animal bones, shells, precious jewels, or metals, has been worn by our ancestors since the time they were living in caves. Although jewelry has historically been a symbol of wealth and power that was reserved for the elite members of society, this is no longer the case. All types of jewelry at different price ranges have become available and accessible to the average consumer. This means purchasing jewelry (or creating your own!) that reflects your personal style has become easier than ever. 

Here are some things to consider when you decide to purchase a new accessory.

  • Do you already have a collection of jewelry or hairpieces? Try reusing them or mixing them up to give yourself a new look each time. 
  • Tired of an accessory? If you are not interested in a certain item anymore, see if you can trade for a different one with someone else. Maybe your best friend really likes your necklace that you don’t tend to reach for anymore. 
  • If you are looking to purchase something new, try researching about the brand that you intend to buy from. Check to see what the company’s values are and if they are using sustainable materials. Remember, the rarer the materials, the more likely they require a higher environmental impact. 


Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022

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