I've recently decided to make some changes to the way I shop, and from now on I'll be avoiding cheap, mass-produced goods and only buying handmade - at least jewellery to start off with. This is partly because I've been considering a more responsible approach to shopping, and also because I've always felt jewellery is like a keepsake, something personal and treasured, and not to be churned out in its thousands halfway across the world.
There are so many beautiful and affordable handmade pieces you can find online, and add to that the fact that the jewellery is unique and environmentally friendly, it's a great alternative to high street tat! Etsy, or it's UK counterpart Folksy are great places to start browsing thousands of online handmade shops which sell everything from jewellery to soap to home furnishings. Here are just a few of my favourite picks: