Designer Todd Reed on His Passion for Sustainably Made Jewelry

Reed aims to make an impact, both socially and environmentally, through his one-of-a-kind creations.

When Todd Reed began crafting jewelry 26 years ago, the conversations around sustainability and responsibly sourced materials in the industry were not the hot topic they are today. Over the last few decades, the Boulder, Colo.–based designer has become a key player in the realm of conscientious consumerism. Today, his efforts within and beyond his brand bring focus to the people and resources behind the craft.

For Reed, the turning point occurred when a friend shared the concept of “right relationship,” a Quaker principle that emphasizes partnerships within a community that help create a positive environment for all. “The themes of civic and social responsibility and environmental stewardship all fell under the umbrella of fine jewelry design for me, and it felt right to operate from that standpoint,” says Reed. Today, his supply chain limits waste, manages natural resource consumption, and ensures fair treatment to those involved.

Reed’s appreciation for responsibly sourced materials and diamonds has always been at the core of the brand along with designs that bring an edge of individuality to traditional diamond jewelry. Reed’s clients have long been fans of his conscientious approach. “It feels great to be in alignment with clients and to have people appreciate my work, not just for the design but for the ethos behind the work.”

Reed’s signature rough-hewn stones set within textured metals radiate a distinct wildness. His Zero Waste–certified headquarters in Boulder are a stunning representation of his creative vision. Outfitted with a waterfall wall feature, reclaimed wood and steel, and fresh ivy and rosemary, the space evokes creativity and surrender, as Todd describes it. His attention to his surroundings—from animals and rock formations to the shift of seasons—all inspire his elegantly undone creations. Reed’s pieces range in price from $5,000 and $50,000 to upward of $200,000 for bespoke designs. These artisanal treasures include a variety of necklaces, earrings, cuffs, and wedding rings for both men and women that utilize recycled metals and raw and fancy-cut diamonds. Among his standout designs are a one-of-a-kind pair of hand-shaped, blackened-gold-and-silver cuffs that glitter with diamonds, which Reed scattered like stars onto its surface.

In 2017, the brand unveiled its Forged as One campaign, a concept that has been brewing within Reed for over a decade. In it, all 15 of his master jewelers forge their distinct monogram signature onto pieces they complete (Reed’s own signature looks like a diamond). These markings add a level of tangible humanity to each design and further emphasize its handcraftedness. Where many other brands outsource their manufacturing, Reed has a hand in the process from material sourcing to design to execution. This year, Reed is moving away from seasonal collections and instead focusing on the one-off pieces that set him apart. “I know that we do better when we are celebrating our uniqueness as a brand,” says Reed. “We are bringing an oddness to a sane world.”

Todd Reed raw diamond necklace

One of a kind pendant necklace with raw diamond macles (23.02ctw) and raw diamond cubes (12.50ctw) in 18k yellow gold and sterling silver with patina. 24″ chain length ($65,010)  Photo: Todd Reed Jewelry

In recent years, in accord with the “right responsibility” mentality, Reed has been growing the brand’s philanthropic engagement. The brand has contributed financially to There with Care, Big Green, and local art museums in the Boulder and Denver area. Reed has also provided mentorship programs to students at local metalsmithing schools—staying tuned in to the artisan community remains a priority for the designer. “I was working alone in a lot of ways, but inside a society of people making things by hand,” says Reed. “Being a part of this community’s well-being became a very exciting opportunity. We are making things of great value, and that should be shared.”

Between his dazzling designs and forward-thinking acts of philanthropy, Reed is proving that conscientious creating and consuming is itself a work of art.

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