January is perhaps one of the most reflective months and, after the year we've all had, maybe even more so in 2021. With plenty of new years' resolutions already in action, you may have pledged to spend this year being more conscious of your purchases, and focussing on building a more sustainable lifestyle. While you may have already made some changes, have you ever thought about overhauling your accessories to create a capsule, eco-friendly collection?
In this blog post, we will be sharing some of our top tips for buying jewellery that will make up a selection that you can treasure forever — and that goes with everything! So, if you're interested in finding out more, just read on.
1. Shop pre-owned and vintage pieces
As consumers are starting to become more aware of the impact their purchases are having on the environment, more brands have started creating sustainable product lines. However, to truly reduce your carbon footprint, it's a better idea to shop vintage or pre-owned jewellery, rather than contributing to the demand for new products.
While the pandemic has forced many shops to close temporarily, or even permanently, there are still plenty of online retailers that stock pre-owned jewellery. Whether you're into rings, necklaces, bracelets, or brooches, these collections are sure to offer classic items that you can cherish for years to come. Plus, as all jewellery accepted by these reputable retailers will be thoroughly inspected for damage, you can guarantee anything you buy will be in great condition — and any faults will be disclosed in the descriptions!
As well as protecting the planet, you are sure to find something unique when shopping pre-owned or vintage, meaning anything you pick will get heads turning. And, if you ever feel like you don't want these accessories anymore, passing them down to kids, friends and family, or selling them online will be a more eco-conscious decision than throwing them out.
2. Consider the quality before buying
Whether you plan to buy pre-owned or are interested in a brand's new range of sustainable products, you'll want to take the quality of the pieces into consideration. In order to be as environmentally friendly as possible, ensure you only buy items you can see lasting a long time.
While bracelets made from yarn or other natural materials might look good and seem like the most sustainable options, they are likely to fray and ruin quicker than quality metal pieces would be. Similarly, picking items with diamantes or embellishments that are likely to fall off, rather than selecting gemstones that are welded into the jewellery, wouldn't be a particularly smart decision. Even though the price might be higher for the more durable option, in the long run it'll cost you less as you won't have to replace it — plus, the purchase won't come at the cost of the planet, either.
3. Choose timeless pieces
The primary aim of creating a capsule collection is to buy pieces that aren't trend-led, and instead are timeless in design. So, while mismatched earrings are a big 2021 jewellery trend, it's unlikely that they'll remain that way for years to come, so you're best off selecting a pair of plain, simple stud earrings that you can wear with any of your outfits.
Similarly, when it comes to necklaces, rather than going with chokers which have dipped in and out of the spotlight for the past couple of years, choosing dainty chains in a variety of different lengths will mean you can layer your necklaces in various ways to create many looks from the same couple of pieces.
If you want to add some rings, you might want to stick with simple solitaire or trilogy designs. Diamond rings are always a classic and can even be passed down to future generations as engagement rings, so they're always worth the investment. Be aware that if you plan to buy diamonds, it's always best to go with pre-owned versions, as the diamond-mining process itself can be particularly straining on the environment, so it's important to limit the demand for this.
4. Make sure each piece fits with the others
As well as paying attention to individual pieces, you will also need to think about your jewellery collection as a whole. When choosing the pieces to make up your selection, you'll need to ensure they all fit together and can be worn in many different combinations.
For example, there's not much point getting a statement turquoise gemstone ring that clashes with the rest of your jewellery. That's not to say you can't invest in some statement pieces, such as drop earrings, but make sure they go with the majority of your jewellery collection. Some bold earrings can be paired with simple bangles and brooches to create a sophisticated look you'll love to wear.
5. Think about investing in multi-functional jewellery
To ensure your capsule collection is as sustainable as possible, you might also want to consider multi-functional jewellery that can be worn in a number of ways. This will increase the amount of wear you can get from it and means you should always have an accessory to go with any outfit you wear.
For example, if your collection includes a few plain chain necklaces, why not thread a plain ring or two onto it to mimic a charm necklace? Similarly, investing in bracelets that are made with adjustable lobster clasps means you also have a stunning anklet. You could even attach brooches onto claw clips or ribbons to make unique hair pieces. The more creative you are, the better!
Make sure your sustainable habits extend to your jewellery collection with our five top tips for building a capsule selection. Here at Ramsdens Jewellery, we specialise in pre-owned jewellery that is unique, high-quality, and a great alternative to buying brand new pieces.
We have plenty of jewellery guides to help you with your purchase decisions, as well as inspiration and tips on our blog. For all enquiries, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team on 01642 579957.