Unlocked Hoops: Ethical Jewelry & Joy
The shrinking of my world due to the pandemic has left a vacuum of opportunities to experience the highs of joy. I’ve cried more – and more regularly – than ever before. But without outdoor excursions, social events, and random run-ins in the hallways, scrounging up elation is more difficult. Pair that with few excuses to wear the clothing I love or accessorize an outfit (just doesn’t make sense if I’m in sweats all day) and things can feel rather…disappointing.
So this week, I decided to wear my funkiest winter items and a pair of tiny golden hoops. What was the occasion? A trip to the library book drop. But it didn’t matter. I got to play some (understated) dress-up, breathe in some fresh air, and practice joy with a few selfies after my errand was done.
This sweater is one of the most worn items in my closet – an old H&M piece from the days when I thought H&M was ethical. Even though it’s made of polyester, the teddy bear/shag carpet look is delightful to me, and so soft. The boots are Doc Martens. They’re the warmest boots I have. And the earrings are from an ethical brand called Unlocked.
You may remember Unlocked from my Hoops You Can Wear with a Mask post.
Unlocked jewelry is crafted using recycled metals by makers transitioning out of housing insecurity. Unlocked provides “transitional housing, career and life counseling, and financial training” to ensure that their makers can move forward with greater security and a robust skillset, in most cases within 6-12 months of starting the program. Learn more about Unlocked’s mission and business model here.
Unlocked offers jewelry in 14K Gold Vermeil and Sterling Silver, which are both hypoallergenic. In addition to earrings, they offer simple necklaces and rings. I’m wearing the Joy Huggers in these photos. The Peace Huggers are shown below.
Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.