7 Upcycled Jewelry Initiatives to Discover [LIST]

Turning unwanted junk into decorative pieces of beauty is what these jewelry makers do best.

Nov 10, 2014

StayGoldMaryRose beautiful tea cup bracelets. [Image from StayGoldMaryRose's Facebook page]

Paper scraps, bullet casings, old keyboards and broken bicycle chains – what do all these have in common? They are all discarded materials that have been transformed into funky handcrafted jewelry. Mixing creativity and nimble fingers, these seven jewelry makers have taken the upcycling trend to a new level by creating wearable and original designs from leftover scraps.

1. HIPCYCLE

The online retailer is a mecca for upcycled goods, and partners with small businesses to sell their products.
RADICAL TRANSFORMATION: Hipcycle offers a variety of cool jewelry like necklaces made from Coke bottles, bracelets made from old vinyl records and earrings out of bike chains.

Upcycled bracelet made from a vinyl record

Bracelet made from a vinyl record. [Screenshot from Hipcycle]

2. RAVEN + LILY

Founded by two best friends who wanted to merge fashion with good doing, Raven + Lily is a platform that employs original designs by marginalized women in India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cambodia, Pakistan and the USA.
RADICAL TRANSFORMATION: The Ethiopian collection features exquisite beads that are made out of artillery shells. From India, discarded army tents, newspapers and denim jeans are turned into recycled paper, handcrafted by female artisans.

Jewelry made from artillery shells by Ethiopian women.

The Ethiopian collection. [Screenshot from Raven + Lily]

3. TECHCYCLED

Self-described geeks Jessie and Megan came up with the idea for Techcyled while working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
RADICAL TRANSFORMATION: Earrings, necklaces, rings and cufflinks are made from discarded computer parts like cablescircuit boards and microchips.  

Heart necklace made from a circuit board

Heart necklace made from a circuit board. [Screenshot of Techcycled]

4. RECYCLED SKATEBOARDS INTERNATIONAL [RSI]

As the name suggests, discarded skateboards are the raw materials sourced to make fashionable creations.
RADICAL TRANSFORMATION: RSI partners with skateboard shops across the US to keep old skateboards out of local landfills. Handmade necklaces, earrings, rings and belt buckles are created from castoff skateboard decks.

Necklace made from an old skateboard

Necklace made from an old skateboard. [Screenshot from Recycled Skateboards International]

5. STAY GOLD MARY ROSE

British accessory designer Abigail Mary Rose Clark has a thing for porcelain, using bone china to create trend-setting accessories.  
RADICAL TRANSFORMATION: Her chunky teacup bracelets and pendants are made from unwanted and damaged goods from UK’s largest China manufacturer.

Delicate pendants made from vintage tea cups

Delicate pendants made from vintage tea cups. [Image from StayGoldMaryRose's Facebook page]

6. SAAKO DESIGN

The Barcelona-based brand repurposed fabric accessories are quite popular and sold in over 200 stores in 20 countries throughout the world.
RADICAL TRANSFORMATION: Excess and unwanted fabric collected from Spanish garment factories is used to make stylish handmade necklaces, bracelets, scarves, totes and headbands.

Handmade fabric necklace.

Handmade fabric necklace. [Image from Saako Design's Facebook page]

7. PURPLE BUDDHA PROJECT

Currently fundraising on Kickstarter, this up-and-coming jewelry business is looking to reclaim historical artifacts to be the basis of their line. The products will be produced by Cambodian artisans for fair wages.
RADICAL TRANSFORMATION: Pieces of the Berlin Wall, meteorites, coins from the British East India Company and old weapons of conflict from Cambodia will be used to make chic necklaces and bracelets.

Necklace made from a British East India Company coin. [Screenshot from Kickstarter]

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