We share a lot of pretty things here on our blog, like most working in the wedding industry. The wedding industry is big business and with that there can come a price, a price that we may not always consider. When we are investing so much money into certain aspects of our wedding day it can be worth taking a minute to open our eyes (and hearts) to the reality behind the items we purchase. Most of us are aware of issues that have arisen from diamond trade but have we ever considered the cost of gold?
In 2013 our friend and jewellery designer April Doubleday visited one of the few fairtrade/eco gold mines in Colombia. She took her son Jon and filmed their adventure, producing this 9 minute long film.
Where do your wedding rings come from?
Everyone should watch this short film before before buying your wedding rings. Let’s be open and honest about where these precious and symbolic love tokens come from. That means considering who mined the gold, how it was removed from the land, and the state the environment is left in.
In your next tea break we’d love you to watch April’s film and gaining an insight into the lives of those who mine the gold for our jewellery.
“Fairtrade and its standards offer miners a better choice and a way out of poverty” – April Doubleday.
With Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve less than two months away what better time for a round-up of our favourite 16 ethical engagement rings. With those two days the most popular days in the whole year to get engaged, I imagine there are a lot of (slightly anxious) men and women out there with rings on their mind.
Why choose an ethical engagement ring?
There are all kinds of ways to propose these days, but it has never been easier to choose an ethical engagement ring. What do we mean by ‘ethical’? We are talking about engagement rings made from fair trade gold and silver, recycled gold and silver, and ethically sourced diamonds and other precious gems. In addition to this, many of our recommended wedding ring suppliers are offering more unusual creations using sea glass, lab grown eco diamonds, and sustainable wood (more on those below).
Whatever you choose, do not underestimate the impact made by your choice to propose with an ethical engagement ring. Now onto our top 16 of the most beautiful and unique ethical engagement rings, all available to buy from our recommended suppliers collections.
Modern Ethical Engagement Rings
The teardrop shape of this ethical solitaire diamond engagement ring gives it an interesting twist that will set you apart from the usual diamond engagement ring. Designed by Glasswing Jewellery on a dainty recycled gold band, this is one of my favourites. Buy it here.
Slade Fine Jewellery always come out with some beautiful designs, part modern but with a liberal sprinkling of Tolkein-esque elvish magic. We were particularly captured by this grey rosecut diamond set against that earthy yellow gold, which in this case is recycled eco gold. Buy it here.
The warmth from the rose gold and the ‘rubover’ setting of this solitaire ethical engagement ring from long-time fair trade gold and silver champions CRED Jewellery, create a modern but romantic feeling ring. Buy it here.
Best eco-chic and ethical engagement and wedding rings
For many the Christmas and New Year’s period will have been a particularly exciting one, having got engaged, and so whilst many of you may already have an engagement ring, we thought it a good moment to introduce the jewellery businesses we work with, all who have a strong ethical and eco-friendly commitment.
The above ring, from April Doubleday, has particular caught my eye, with its chic white enamel band, set with glittering Cubic Zironias. It is elegant and modern, but still retains that ‘hewn from the earth’ natural feel – I could almost believe it came from an oyster shell in a mermaid kingdom…
My main conclusion is that I don’t quite know how you’ll ever choose just one! You can find all our wedding ring suppliers in the Rings section of our directory.
Mahailia Jewellery Design
Bespoke wedding and engagement rings from the romantic, windswept Scottish coast (find out more).
Slade Fine Jewellery
Handmade engagement & wedding rings from 100% eco gold and silver (find out more).
Beautiful diamond & gemstone set antique and estate rings (find out more).
This morning I got totally wrapped up reading the new Reverie Magazine, and was particularly excited because the River Cottage wedding (that featured on the TV series) with the edible bouquet was featured. Not only was it lovely to see photos from this wedding because it was exceptionally beautiful and captures everything I love about natural weddings, but it also featured two of the businesses featured in the directory.
The wedding jewellery was all ethical and Fair Trade, with some of it coming from April Doubleday, who features in our directory. In addition to the wedding, there was a page called ‘Get the Look’ and this featured April Doubleday again and also The Vintage Wedding Dress Company (with my favourite Edwardian inspired wedding dress). Do take a look at these two fabulous businesses and also have a read of Reverie Magazine to see the River Cottage wedding (page 112 if you’re wondering!).