We all love jewelry—trendy pieces we can wear when we’re out with friends, glittering gems for date night, simple chains for just grabbing a bite to eat—but how much of what we own is ethically sourced? Do our cocktail rings do more than just add something shiny to our fingertips? Personally, we love jewelry that can say something about our style and our persona, and Philadelphia jeweler Bario-Neal is making that happen. Creating a line of fashion and fine jewelry, the brand is proving that handcrafted pieces can be beautiful while staying ethically and environmentally conscious.
Started in 2007 by designers Anna Bario and Paige Neal, Bario-Neal was created as a way to blend traditional jewelry making and responsible materials into one beautiful collection. The pieces range from hair accessories to engagement rings, and are all handmade in their Philadelphia open workshop on Jeweler’s Row—an area famous for its retailers and craftsmen. They also create custom designs, working with clients to recreate heirloom jewelry, or compose their own wedding rings.
Bario-Neal uses reclaimed metals, ethically-sourced stones and low-impact manufacturing methods so as to leave a smaller footprint. While some may not feel too guilty about tossing a coke can in the garbage every once in a while, Bario-Neal is ever vigilant about where their materials come from and how sustainable they are. Metals are used from recycled jewelry or industrial refuse; diamonds are sourced from Canadian mines, recycled pieces or Namibia; and colored gemstones are selected through the Tanzania Women Miner’s Association, a group that works to improve both the environment and standards of living for female miners.
Most of the costume jewelry available for purchase has a handmade, rustic quality to it, while the finer pieces offer a smoother, more finished appearance, showcasing the spectrum of their work. We love the Dalmatian Shield Pendant and the fact that any piece can be customized as everything is made to order. Bracelets and rings come in braided metals, hammered textures and colorful resins, offering different styles and color options, and many of their pieces are perfect for layering. We don’t suggest swapping out your entire collection of jewelry for greener pieces, but grabbing a few of their recycled bangles for your next girl’s night out couldn’t hurt.
Bario-Neal is available online and priced from $36-$27,710.