5 Designers Making Stunning Jewelry From Recycled Metals

Metal Cut Offs

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The right accessories can make every piece in your closet do double-duty, taking those jeans from Saturday at the farmers market to Saturday night at your favorite restaurant, turning a simple dress from wedding chic to date-appropriate, and giving a sleek sweater a brand new look.

But just because jewelry can make your clothes look new doesn't mean it needs to be made of new materials: Add pieces from these designers to your collection and -- whether you like chunky bracelets or delicate necklaces, heavy rings or simple stud earrings -- you'll up your style cred instantly.

1. Ute Decker

German artist Ute Decker makes structured jewelry, like this "Silk Folds arm sculpture."

The piece is inspired by the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, which she describes this way: "As the silence between notes in music is vital, so does the harmony between the created form and the empty space within magnify the intensity of expression."

Each of her pieces is one-of-a-kind, made from sustainable materials including Fair Trade gold, recycled silver, and sunflower-derived bio-resins, and she wraps the finished product in recycled packaging.

2. Andrea Bonelli

andrea bonelli rings photo
Andrea Bonelli

California-based metalsmith Andrea Bonelli creates her delicate metal-and-gem pieces using recycled silver and gold from Hoover and Strong, ethically-mined gemstones, and by-hand processing.

Choose from wedding-worthy wide silver and gold bands, petite stacking rings (like the ones shown here), sparkly stud and hoop earrings, engagement-ready moissanite solitaires, and pretty pendant necklaces.

3. John Hardy and Angela Lindvall

Hijau Dua 18K Gold photo
Hijau Dua/John Hardy

Supermodel Angela Lindvall teamed up with jewelry designer John Hardy for the high-end Hijua Dua collection of cuff bracelets, chunky necklaces, and other statement pieces -- all made from recycled sterling silver or gold.

The striking pieces are also part of "Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo," a program that promises bamboo seedlings in Bali with each sale. And as Emma pointed out when the line launched, if the luxury prices are out of your budget, the $65 cotton cord bracelet with a recycled silver circle is a less expensive way to support the cause.

4. Ash Hilton

ash hilton earrings photo

Etsy is full of sellers who use reclaimed and upcycled metals for necklaces, rings, and bracelets to match any personal style, but seller Ash Hilton uses recycled and sustainably-mined metals, like the sterling silver in these drop earrings.

Hilton, whose work is sold in galleries in New Zealand, is also developing a technique for turning "washed-up gold" from the country's beaches into a fully fabricated metal that can become new jewelry made in a closed-loop system.

5. Jane Hollinger

Jane Hollinger necklace photo
Jane Hollinger Jewelry

Jane Hollinger started her jewelry line, she says, because she couldn't find pieces she wanted to wear in stores. Lucky for you, you'll want to wear these, too: Each is handmade from recycled -- not mined -- metals, and the company is careful to recycle all of its scraps.

The pieces themselves are sweet and feminine: Tiny hearts suspended on silver chains, careful geometric circle and rectangle pendants, lacy drop earrings, and wide chain bracelets are all part of the collection.