The Ultimate Vegan Jewelry Guide (of 2021)

Many vegans look to make ethical choices in as many areas of their lifestyle as possible. That includes not only their diet, clothing and footwear, but also the jewelry they choose to wear.

But isn't all jewelry vegan, you ask? You may be surprised to learn about all the non-vegan materials used to make jewelry.

But fear not. Ethical jewelers and activists are creating sustainable, cruelty-free alternatives to conventional non-vegan jewelry, while raising awareness of the vegan lifestyle.

In this detailed guide we cover all the basics of vegan jewelry. Read on to learn more…

Vegan Jewelry Contents

  • What is vegan jewelry?
  • How green is vegan jewelry? (coming soon)
  • How can you maintain vegan jewelry (coming soon)
  • Buying vegan jewelry (coming soon)

What is it?

What is vegan jewelry? 

Vegan jewelry is made with 100 per cent cruelty-free, vegan materials. The tools used to make the jewelry are also vegan, as are all substances used in the manufacturing process. This attention to the supply chain and each stage of the jewelry-making process ensures that animals are not harmed.

Vegan jewelry is not only cruelty-free but also ethical and eco-friendly because its production process limits environmental damage and pollution.

raise your first to vegan jewelry

What is not vegan jewelry?

You may be shocked to find out that many materials used to make conventional jewelry are not vegan. Animal-derived materials commonly used to make jewelry include leather, pearls, shells, bones, ivory, silk, coral, hair, fur, teeth and feathers.

Beeswax and glue are other materials used in the jewelry-making process which are not vegan. Products used for polishing are often made of animal fat, and eggs are utilised to create a patina effect. Shellac and pigments are also animal derivatives. 

Then there are non-vegan jewelry-making tools, such as rawhide mallets and leather sandbags, and other tools made of animal bones or horns. Brushes and felt buffing wheels used to polish jewelry often contain animal hair.

Precious metals and gemstones which are mined are not considered cruelty-free because of the environmental damage this causes to ecosystems and animal habitats.

What is vegan-themed jewelry? 

If you hear someone mention vegan jewelry, they could also mean custom-made vegan-themed jewelry. These include bracelets, necklaces, pendants and rings embossed or stamped with vegan symbols, messages and quotes. Earrings, tie bars and cuff links are other vegan jewelry options.

Some of the most popular vegan symbols and messages include: V or the Ⓥ tag, vegan, V for vegan, cruelty-free, vegan is love, all life matters, friends not food, go vegan, vegan for the animals, until every cage is empty, fuck fur, until every animal is free, eat plants not animals, be kind to animals, plant-powered, and live kindly, to name a few.

Another cool option is to have the date of your veganniversary embossed on a piece of jewelry. If you don't remember the exact date, just choose an approximate one.

Why choose vegan jewelry?

A good reason to choose vegan jewelry is simply because you can be sure it isn't made of any kind of animal product and was crafted in a cruelty-free way at each stage of the manufacturing process.

By wearing a vegan piece of jewelry, you're also making a statement. It represents your commitment to veganism and your solidarity to animals. It also sends a strong message that may spark a conversation and inspire others to consider embracing the cruelty-free lifestyle.

What materials is vegan jewelry made from?

Recycled silver and gold

Precious metals like silver and gold are mined: we know that this practice has a serious environmental impact that harms animals and causes pollution. The good news is that silver and gold can easily be recycled and reused to craft vegan jewelry.

The handmade jewelry crafted by Tines for Change is made from recycled sterling silver forks.

Lab-grown diamonds

By growing diamonds in a lab, the destruction of diamond mining can be avoided. Also called 'engineered' or 'cultured' diamonds, these man-made diamonds are entirely vegan and just as sparkly as the real thing.

Vegan leather 

Vegan leather can be made from a surprising number of natural plant-based sources. Many of these are also eco-friendly and biodegradable. A popular vegan material used for plant-based leather is cork. Others include pineapple and cactus leaves, coffee grounds, and even apple peels! 

Hemp twine

Made of the hemp plant, this entirely plant-based material is used to make cords and threads perfect for vegan jewelry-making.

Waxed linen

Waxed linen is another natural material spun into twines and threads for vegan jewelry.

Black rubber

Black rubber is an eco-friendly alternative to leather used to make bands and necklaces. 


Watch this space for more vegan jewelry content coming soon!