Tropical Vibes: La Luna Rose Crafts Ethical and Sustainable Jewelry for the Wanderlust at Heart

Verdant green terraced rice fields flanked by the rolling azure waves of the Indian Ocean on one side, and the shadow of a sleeping volcano on the other - the natural beauty on the island of Bali has long served as endless inspiration for artists and makers.

Steeped in a vibrant, never-ending summer, Rosie Shelton, founder of Bali-based ethical and sustainable jewelry brand La Luna Rose, is one of those makers who crafts her collections in homage to the colorful, sunlit landscapes around her. Think: collectible shell, palm tree, and tropical fruit charms that can be stacked, layered on necklaces, or mixed-and-matched; signets, and delicate beach-inspired rings evocative of warm summer holidays.

Rosie Shelton in her Bali studio | PC: La Luna Rose

Rosie Shelton in her Bali studio | PC: La Luna Rose

Hailing from New Zealand, her original island home, Rosie has always been a free spirit with a flair for design and a fondness for travel and exploration. After studying fashion design in New Zealand, she spent a couple years traveling until she finally settled in Australia to work for a large fashion retailer.

Disenchanted with the waste and excess of the fashion industry, Rosie ultimately decided it was time for a change.

She says, “From the very beginning when I was studying Fashion Design I always struggled to grasp the concept of  designing and producing a product that would all eventually end up in landfill. My work at a large international global retailer -while an amazing and interesting experience- really highlighted this, seeing the incredible amount of returns, seconds, samples etc. It just didn’t sit right with me and I was constantly trying to ask them to use natural fabrics over cheaper Nylons / Polyester.”

Rosie pulled up the roots she had planted in Australia and made the trip a few short hours north to Bali, where she laid the framework for her fledgling jewelry brand which would grow and flourish to what it is today, six years later.

Meant to inspire joy and capture the carefree bliss of a tropical summer holiday, La Luna Rose jewelry pieces are whimsical and light-hearted.

PC: La Luna Rose

PC: La Luna Rose

PC: La Luna Rose

PC: La Luna Rose

Necklaces from the  Santa Chiara  collection and Palm charm earring | PC: La Luna Rose

Necklaces from the Santa Chiara collection and Palm charm earring | PC: La Luna Rose

And while the brand is casual and relaxed, Rosie takes the ethics and sustainability in producing her line rather seriously.

Sustainability

“I come from a very crafty family, my mum often made our clothes, always mended items when they were broken or had a hole. No food went wasted, showers were always short to keep our water usage down…. This was just our way of living and my conscious upbringing,” says Rosie.

There was no question that she would Incorporate those same values into her own brand.

The La Luna Rose studio works in a closed-loop system, ensuring that nothing goes to waste.

“We melt down old jewellery and items that perhaps haven’t sold or are faulty and re-melt them into our new collections. It’s so awesome, I love that when we create new jewellery designs and pieces that I know will never be headed for a landfill.”

The sustainability of the materials is also a critical element for Rosie, who utilizes 100% recycled material in her sterling silver collections. Rosie was initially drawn to sterling silver for its strength and durability - unlike other materials, sterling silver can be reused and reused in perpetuity.

The raw recycled silver they use originates in Thailand. The silver, which is extracted from old computer parts, old phones, discarded jewelry etc at a processing plant, is melted, purified, and processed into raw sterling silver material that is used in La Luna Rose designs.

Rosie explains, “ We also recycled old jewellery in-house with our silversmiths who are able to carry out this process for us with our old jewellery that we no longer require. It’s a lengthy process and not the cheapest option but it’s non-negotiable! Why mine the worlds finite materials where they are already available in our economy to use?”

Rosie is currently working on sourcing a supplier of recycled gold, which she is hoping to nail down some time this year.

Ethics

Social responsibility and transparency are also of paramount importance to the La Luna Rose ethos.

With a team of four artisans, production is small-scale and intimate. Having worked together with the same artisans since the brand launched in 2013, the La Luna Rose team is a tightly knit one. Care is taken to ensure that employees happy, comfortable, and are, of course, paid fair wages. The La Luna Rose website goes into great detail to stress the importance of ethical production - readers can even learn about the process of producing a collection from design to packaging.

Santa Chiara Collection


One of their most recent ranges, Santa Chiara, is a refreshing departure from the brands’ traditionally beachy aesthetic.

Necklace pendants offered in gold or recycled silver portray several patron saints.

The collection developed organically from the first design, St. Gerard, Patron saint of Motherhood, which Rosie made as a gift. “I wanted to gift something to my Balinese ‘Mum’ who is just such an incredible human. So the collection kind of evolved from there.”

Model is wearing necklaces and scarf from the Santa Chiara necklace | PC: La Luna Rose

Model is wearing necklaces and scarf from the Santa Chiara necklace | PC: La Luna Rose

I am not a religious person, but I’ve always been drawn to religious art and lore, particularly patron saints, so I was excited when Rosie gifted* me one of the necklaces from the collection. As a lifelong animal lover and champion for the environment, it seemed like St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment, would be the most pertinent fit for me!

The necklace has quickly become one of my every day pieces, and looks lovely layered with my Communion by Joy pendant - I actually really like how the variation in gold in each necklace looks layered together. *

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St. Francis of Assisi necklace PC: La Luna Rose

St. Francis of Assisi necklace PC: La Luna Rose

La Luna Rose x Earth Day

Committed to giving back to the planet year-round, La Luna Rose is a member of 1% For the planet. As a 1% For the Planet partner, La Luna Rose donates a percentage of their profits to two organizations doing work to better improve and protect the environment - Bye Bye Plastic Bags in Bali, and Sustainable Coastlines in New Zealand.

As an extension of this commitment, La Luna Rose will be celebrating Earth Day by donating 100% of all online proceeds sold on that day to Sustainable Coastlines in New Zealand.

Rosie at work in her studio | PC: La Luna Rose

Rosie at work in her studio | PC: La Luna Rose

It’s exciting to see the success of small, environmentally and socially conscious, women-run brands like La Luna Rose who are proudly embrace and educate their customers on the importance of environmental and social responsibility. You can see more of La Luna Rose designs here.


*Although this post is not sponsored, I did receive a necklace as a gift from the brand. As always, all opinions and words are my own and I only feature on my blog brands and organizations that I like and support.