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Made By Hand: Jewellery

I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to fashion. Half of me is a total shopaholic, desperate to own more beautiful dresses and shoes than I will ever need. The other half is eco-conscious, and thinks of how wasteful this kind of overconsumption is…

It’s a battle, but the latter half always wins. As much as I love a new handbag, all this talk of waste and carbon footprints has put me firmly in the camp of green living. A few years ago I decided to become more eco-friendly, and realised that a few simple changes to my purchasing habits could actually make a huge difference to the world. I am now a shopaholic with a conscience: revamping old items into something new and exciting; choosing organic cotton; buying vintage and handmade pieces – being green is easier than I thought.

Buying handmade items from independent designers is one of my favourite ways to shop. It’s so satisfying finding something special that you can’t get on the highstreet, and being a bit of a magpie, jewellery is a favourite of mine. I love quirky pieces that make a statement, and with handmade items, you know you’re getting something really unique. Handmade avoids the guilty horrors of mass production, as each and every piece is made with love and care.

‘Vintage style’ jewellery is really popular right now, and highstreet stores have been happily cashing in on the trend. While you can easily pick up an unusual pendant necklace that looks a few decades old, it loses its charm when you seen dozens of other women sporting the same design. Not quite worth the inflated prices.

Here are five of the best online boutiques for handmade jewellery – all guilt-free ways to treat yourself!

Penny Masquerade
Jewellery designer Sarah Bratley has given her Penny Masquerade collection a beautiful antique feel. With designs inspired by fairytales and afternoon tea, this whimsical collection is perfect for vintage lovers. Try this stunning Alice in Wonderland necklace, £25, for a real statement piece.


This Charming Girl
Scottish designer Jacqueline Currie uses recycled vintage pieces to create limited edition jewellery at This Charming Girl. This ‘Love Predictor’ necklace is a bargain at £8.50.



Love Hearts and Crosses
Online boutique Love Hearts and Crosses features a wide range of vintage and handmade designs, influenced by fairytales and childhood memories. This stunning gold swallow ring costs £12.



Hannah Zakari
The Hannah Zakari online boutique sells unusual pieces by a number of independent designers. With so many styles and inspirations, there’s sure to be something for every taste. This pink butterfly charm bracelet is made of a variety of vintage charms – £72 and worth every penny!



Temporary Secretary
Teapots, cupcakes, icecreams and bicycles… Temporary Secretary offers super cute jewellery pieces that will take you right back to your childhood. These kitsch clock earrings are described as ‘antique chic’ – just £5.95.



About the author
Nikki Walker is a freelance writer from South Wales, and considers herself a ‘shopaholic with a conscience’. While she loves filling her home and wardrobe with lots of pretty things, she never lets this affect her desire to be green. In her monthly eco column, Nikki shares the very best in handmade items, from fashion and accessories to home decorations. Mass production has never looked so unattractive!

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