Fair Fashion

Kevia Jewelry: Inspired by Endangered Species (and Helping Them Too)

Miakoda Detail Crop

Kevia two-tone horn earring with carnelian center-jewel from the mosaic collection; I love wearing these pieces everywhere!  

You know those go-to pieces of jewelry that you reach for over-and-over again? That seem to go with almost every outfit and just work with a huge variety of colors? That versatility is what my my Kevia collection pieces are all about. Portland, Oregon-based designer Kevia Jeffrey-West finds inspiration in the natural world for her pieces (as you can see), and told the Huffington Post “I’m an organic gardener, so the natural world is definitely a common theme in my collections.”

Kevia Necklaces Crop

Two Kevia collection necklaces: a recycled gold plate version with leaves that tinkle gently as I move, and a buffalo horn disc that stands on its own or pairs beautifully with it. 

Why Buffalo Horn? “We work with a female-owned factory in Vietnam for our water buffalo pieces because the country has a long history of horn carving and the factory has a commitment to sustainable practices,” says Kevia.

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In addition to using natural and recycled materials, Kevia donates proceeds from some collections to benefit wildlife organizations, and do tree planting too. “I was armed with an education and work experience in environmental policy, but I had to learn how to apply those principles to a fashion business,” says Kevia in a Q&A on her site.

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Species preservation work is important to me, so for my Ecologica collection I started with the idea of designing pieces inspired by endangered species from different parts of the world. The pieces embody the natural world’s beauty and serve as a reminder of what we stand to lose without environmental conservation. I am donating 15% of the net proceeds to national and international conservation efforts that work to preserve habitat for the species featured in the collection, says Kevia.

Kevia Necklace

You can find Kevia collection jewelry on the brand’s site, and on Gilt.

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Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.