The 2020 Conscious Jewelry Trends Report

Discover the 2020 Sustainable Jewelry & Ethical Jewelry brands through the ExJewel’s trend report

Sustainability has rightly become a hot topic in the jewelry industry. It has inspired sustainable jewelry and ethical jewelry brands to launch new initiatives, share more information with their customers, and set new targets to do better. This report is written by ExJewel, a start-up who has developed the industry’s first digital appraisal tool.

Over the last 6 months, Exjewel has gone through over 5.24 million jewelry, diamond and gemstone data points online and 35,000 jewelry products uploaded onto its appraisal platform. To analyse how shifts in this industry are affecting customer behaviour, we looked at the numbers. We looked at global ExJewel and Google search data, active browsing page views and conversion rates, sales data, as well as global media coverage and social media mentions generated in 2020.

Our research shows that, for some customers, we are seeing a shift towards searching and shopping in a more conscious way. In this report, we focus on the jewelry brands and designers that advocate for responsible practices, breaking down the signals that we have seen by product category.

Bracelet jewelry
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jewelry pieces appraised
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data our algorithm analyse
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monthly jewelry searches

What does sustainable jewelry mean?

Sustainable jewelry is one that incorporates the future of our planet and its people during design, manufacturing, and use. This includes carefully managing resource use to reduce waste and impact on climate, protecting the welfare of wildlife, and ensuring the safety and fair treatment of workers all the way down the supply chain including.

Empowering shoppers to know the impact of brands will have a huge impact on the sustainability of jewelry, fashion and luxury as a whole. Discover the Sustainable trend report.

Lab-grown diamonds using renewable energy

Ethically sourced gems (traceability friendly)

Recycled or ethical metals or ecological gold

Second lives: vintage / secondhand pieces

Ethical employment through the supply chain

Preservation of craftsmanship

The Ethical Jewelry Trend Report

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Ethical Diamond
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Lab grown Diamond
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Ethical Gold

Precious Materials

Searches for “ethical jewelry” or “ethical diamond” have increased by 75% year-on-year, while those for “lab grown diamond” have increased 83%. Meanwhile, searches for “buy diamond” (without qualifiers) remain constant, suggesting that customers increasingly pursue ethical purchasing behaviours.

Demand for “eco-friendly diamonds” has also been increasing over the past year, showing that luxury shoppers are becoming conscious that not all diamond options are equally sustainable. Meanwhile, searches for “diamond” have decreased by 7.3% year-on-year, pointing to a drop in overall demand (some of it may be Covid-19 related).

Since November 2019, searches for “recyclable gold” have risen by 35%, while “ethical gold” has seen a 73% rise in interest since January of this year. Demand for the new Cartier recycled gold ring has been notably high, resulting in a 204% increase in page views for the brand’s ring. 

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Sustainable Engagement Ring
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Art Nouveau Jewelry
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Personalised bracelet
Mene sustainable jewelry

Product Categories

Averaging over 1,000 monthly searches, “Art Deco jewelry” are trending alongside “Art Nouveau jewelry.” Searches for the latter are at an all time high, having increased 113% year-on-year. “Choker” is another popular category, 2 out of the most wanted eco-conscious products being coats. Searches for bracelets have increased 13% since November, with “personalised bracelet” and “charms” being the most commonly searched terms. 

Sustainable engagement ring” is a fast-growing category: searches are up 65% year-on-year. Demand for environmentally-friendly solitaires and bands is increasing in the UK, as well as in the US and France.

However, while fast-fashion brands such as Cartier and DeBeers are seeing a rise in interest for their engagement ring made of recycled precious materials, the main collections remain at the top of customers’ shopping lists. The most wanted engagement ring websites, such as Taylor & Hart, Brilliant Earth and Blue Nile, have shown continued promise, even amidst the crisis. They are starting to feature products made from recyclable materials, such as recycled gold and lab grown diamonds.

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Second-hand or pre-owned
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Slow Fashion


Since the beginning of 2020, ExJewel has registered a 47% increase in searches for sustainability-related keywords, with the average monthly searches increasing from 30,000 in 2019 to over 54,000 year to date (80% increase). Over the past three months, searches for “upcycled jewelry” have grown 47% and searches for “ethical jewelry” have grown 43%. 

Meanwhile, demand for “second-hand”, “jewelry resale” and “pre-owned” jewelry pieces has increased by 30% since November. Rings, bracelets and earrings are the most searched for categories alongside those keywords.

According to the Lyst conscious fashion report, over the past 12 months, the term “slow fashion” has been responsible for over 90 million social impressions, suggesting the beginning of a shift in shopping behaviours. 

Top 10 Ethical jewelry brand

ExJewel’s selection of top 10 jewelry brands, startups and initiatives in the ethical and sustainable jewelry industry. This rating is based on worldwide Google search as well as press coverage. Discover the Conscious trend report.

100% Sustainable Jewelry

ExJewel’s selection of 100% sustainable jewelry and ethical jewelry collections. The jewelry report is not sponsored by any sustainable organism or establishment. Discover the Conscious trend report.

Chopard sustainable

Happy Heart Wings necklace in rose gold, diamonds, and mother of pearl, 2,250 euros, Chopard

Courbet diamond jewelry

Pont des Arts ring in yellow gold and diamonds, 4, 200 euros, Courbet

Pomellato jewelry

Nuvola ring in rose gold and diamonds, 6 900 euros, Pomellato

Mené bracelet modèle Mesh en or pur 24 karats. Prix sur demande

Mesh bracelet in 24-karat pure gold, Mené

JEM jewellery ethical

Etreintes bracelet in yellow gold, 5, 200 euros, JEM

Sustainable jewelry

Mineraux collection white trillion rose cut diamond ring with white diamond pavé and recycled platinum (43,520 euros), Monique Péan

ethical jewelry

The “Arpana” diamond ring (1,973 to 2,411 euros), Bario Neal

Tiffany sustainable jewelry

T Square ring in 18k gold (1,500 euros), Tiffany & Co.

An interview with ExJewel's founder, Stephane

How are shopping habits evolving? Do you think that brands are changing their behaviours?

An ever increasing number of jewelry, diamonds and gemstones companies are becoming aware of the issues that face the industry and are demanding change. Accordingly, brands are finally making a move – surveying their social and environmental impact, and setting short and long term targets to do better and more than before. Discover the Ethical jewelry trend report.

Significantly, they are discussing it openly with their customers as well, publishing more environmental reports about their practices and promoting more sustainable collections. The brands that don’t follow this trend risk losing market share during the upcoming years.

Over the next three years, how do you think sustainability will shape the fashion industry?

The present disposable culture in jewelry design is impractical and needs immediate change. Innovation pioneers are now redesigning business models and reinventing “waste management” for the industry, in view of newly feasible standards. They are also educating customers on how to care for, reuse and recycle their possessions over the long run.

At ExJewel, we are building a future where people can find out the impact of the brands they want to buy just as easily as they can see the price or materials of a piece. They are then ready to use their purchasing power to make more conscious brands. This includes the ExJewel jewelry ecosystem, which will become increasingly transparent over time. We are committed to sustainability through the value chain.

Various consultants, managers, consulting firms, organisations, foundations and startups specialised in sustainable development contact ExJewel regularly in order to better understand the sustainable switch process. 

Read for FREE one of our trend report

The trend forecasting tool is currently in BETA version. We are constantly working on improving our services. ExJewel’s artificial intelligence-powered platform analyses millions of jewelry data in real-time to forecast trend for you.