We’re both fans of charity shop jewellery bargains, and there are plenty of them to be had around here (more on this in a different post!) but the idea of charity based jewellery itself is interesting.
The most obvious one of course is the famous poppy, we pin them to our coats annually and whether you go for the good old pin and paper (how do you get those to work?!), the more modern pin badges or the stunning brooches or other jewellery offered on the poppy shop online (this being a personal favourite) that isn’t all there is to it.
Charity wristbands have been around for a while now, and admittedly they’re not quite the fashionable accessory they once were (you don’t see many people stacking them up any more) they are still a common sight out and about, and still very easy to get hold of. The big question is, are they jewellery?
On the face of it yes, they are an item worn about the wrist as an accessory, in the same way that you might wear any other bracelet or bangles. But people presumably don’t purchase these wristbands for the purpose of wearing them as a fashion accessory. For example I have a Help the Heroes wristband not because it matches an outfit, or looks good, in fact I’ve never worn it. I bought it because it was a way of supporting the charity and not too expensive…alright and also because my cat likes to play with wristbands so I try to buy them from organisations that I genuinely support.
There have been other examples in the past, such as pin badges, where accessories have been used to demonstrate personal or political messages, so perhaps this is just a follow on from that. It’s interesting that whereas most of the time people will carefully select jewellery to reflect a piece of their personality or a preference for a certain style, the key thing about an item of jewellery is how it looks. As far as I can gather the only thing that people are generally demonstrating with their wristbands is their own good nature in purchasing it, and a highlighting of a particular charity, presumably one personal to them. This makes it quite a unique type of jewellery as it’s one worn not for how it looks but for what it represents.
That said I wonder whether there are people out there scouring charities for a wristband just the right shade of blue to match that bag…let’s hope not, but some people will do anything to stay “in the loupe!” Either way our closing thoughts on the matter are that whatever the purpose behind the purchase the charity still gets the cash and the wearer raises awareness, whatever their motive.