Please Buy These Statement Earrings Before I Do

✨ Brought to you by Alixandra Barron Designs, a jewelry brand with an emphasis on environmental stewardship. ✨

In this week's episode of “S.O.S. My Bank Account Needs You,” we’ll be exploring my unabashed love of the statement earring — more specifically, the dangle and drop variety. To prove that I am an authority on this esteemed subject, I offer this piece of evidence: this summer, I got my hair cut into a bob for the sole purpose of better showing off my collection. Unfortunately, the vintage earring game where I live (save for here and here) is very weak, leaving me to my own devices on the world wide web. Like any good magpie, I mean curator, I am constantly bookmarking pairs to eat up the rest of my rainy day funds.

Now, I pass the torch onto you — partly for my own benefit, sure, but also because I recognize that finding great secondhand or sustainable earrings can be a little bit tricky. The key? The right search terms and parameters. But first, let’s begin with the easy stuff.

Sustainable Retailers

If I’m short on patience or time, I’ll go straight for an easy win with these eco-conscious brands:

  • Alixandra Barron Designs: You know we stan a biking babe — well, these ingenious, eco-friendly dangles are inspired by designer Alixandra Barron Klein’s travels, with an emphasis on stewardship for our planet by reducing, reusing, and recycling materials like bicycle inner tubes. They can be found online or in retailers across the country.

  • THE ART OF FATE: If I want to channel my best Elizabeth Taylor, this Boston-based brand is an excellent choice. They curate quality, classic deadstock pieces — like the ruby drop earrings above. Check out our interview with founder Jackie Dacanay for the DL here.

  • Mercedes Salazar: This retailer is a perfect dupe for Moda Operandi, one of my most coveted unsustainable marketplaces (I just browse, promise!). Their large pieces meet at the intersection of kitsch and elegance (my favorite) and feature trendy themes like fruit, birds, florals, and even crabs. Yes, crabs were trendin’ in the retail space for a hot minute.

  • Lele Bombe: Seed beaded wares have also been trending this past season but in my heart, they are forever. This conscious brand partners with Colombian artisans to make sustainable (and affordable) pieces with bright themes — a welcome diversion from all of the gold and white we see in the eco-conscious space when it comes to jewelry.

Etsy

This is the number one place for secondhand earrings on the web, don’t @ me. Trust me, Etsy runs circles around eBay and Depop in the bling department. You also have to worry less about dubious, cheap merchandise falling into the mix somehow — ahem, eBay. To ensure that everything I see is previously owned, I click the Filter button (on the app) and check Vintage under Item Type. I also check United States under Item Location to save on shipping and, generally, make sure my price search caps at $15. Etsy is pretty forgiving when it comes to search terms, allowing you to look for ‘fruit’ and ‘statement’ earrings with much luck. Here are the top items on my wishlist right now:

ThredUp

ThredUp is kind of a dark horse in the thrift-o-sphere. It boasts a large catalog, which is unfortunately overshadowed by how it’s sorted. It seems, to this frequent thrifter, that ThredUp only uses a handful of keywords for each item, mostly suited for the operation of the app and not the benefit of the user. For this reason, I really only recommend that you use the terms Dangle and Drop or Chandelier, with the occasional word added (like gold). Note that you can also narrow your search by several colors, too.

Thankfully, on the app, you can scroll at lightning speed and favorite anything that catches your eye. The true benefit of ThredUp is its large offering of mint condition pieces, pristine product photography, and the ability to hold an item for 24 hours while you decide whether you want to pull the trigger or not. Here are the pieces I vow not to put on hold while you scoop them up in my place: