We already know that Australia is swimming with exceptional local talent, creating some of the world’s most spectacular fashion—from luxury to swim, and of course, jewellery. But while you might have your go-to brands, let us introduce you to one such emerging local label that might not yet have crossed your radar: JL. Fine. The Byron Bay-based conscious jewellery brand was passionately created and designed by Julia Bills and Libby Bickley, who have expertly crafted a brand with integrity and quality at its heart.
The designer duo met while working for Spell, one of Australia’s leaders in sustainable fashion, where they connected over a love of “style, creativity, and the female form”, as well as, relatably, a “mutual appreciation for a fantastic vino!”
When the pair travelled to LA together for work, they found themselves spending their evenings comparing notes on what they loved, new designers and cool inspiration from global labels. It wasn’t until the pandemic gave the pair the ability to “sit still” in their busy lives that they both agreed—“Let’s do this!”
Months later, JL. Fine was born.
“We started small and slow,” says Bills. “Our aim is to deliver a collection of beautiful products that puts sustainability and ethical practices at the forefront of our business. We also wish to show that shopping consciously doesn’t compromise style or come with a huge price tag.”
Their brand succeeds exactly that, creating stunning, exceptionally made pieces built to last. On top of its Collection 1 offering, filled with both gold and silver treasures, the label has recently launched its latest capsule, titled ‘SEA’, which sees the designers move into more playful colours and textures fit for the warmer months ahead.
“We channelled an inner Summer Goddess for this collection and designed around key pieces to adorn her. Each pearl that we use represents a beautiful element of nature, in varying sizes. This collection is designed to easily transition from day to night. Gold link chains represent the change of season as we step into summer with that perfect gold embellishment, fresh from seaside dips on a crisp Summer’s Eve.”
One such piece demanding attention from the label’s latest offering is the label’s Ocean Deity Jade Necklace, a statement-making design that’s hard to miss, and no doubt headed for the necks of style stars everywhere this season.”
“We wanted a pop of colour for SEA as we traditionally style in gold and silver only, and jade was our standout colour tying back to our Summer Goddess inspiration, the blue-green jade really evokes the colour of the Amalfi Coastline, on the freshest day with clear blue skies. We then worked back to incorporate our ever-central freshwater pearl, so that she can be styled back with pearl pieces or worn on her own.”
While the brand’s core collection features everyday treasures, meant to elevate a classically chic and understated wardrobe, the pair have effortlessly taken JL. Fine to the next level, offering both traditional and statement-making designs for every occasion. For the designers, their SEA collection is about a “relaxed confidence” that works “paired back with tangled ocean hair and salty evenings.”
Another designer favourite from the newly released collection is the Link Chain necklace, with Bills and Bickley saying they love the “simplicity” of the piece. “It’s a simple chic piece that takes any outfit from a little bit basic to a little bit bougee.”
JL. Fine’s pieces are undeniably stunning, but it’s the brand’s commitment to both ethical and sustainable practices that really sets them apart.
“JL is driven by a conscious approach to design and business operations, with a focus on progress, not perfection, when it comes to sustainability practices,” Bills explains.
That includes across all areas of the business, from the production of its products (the label utilises recycled silver as their base metal wherever they can), right through to packaging and shipping.
In keeping with that ethos, JL. Fine partnered with SEDEX certified supplies, who handmake all of their designs, as well as with Noissue Eco Alliance to contribute to Global Reforestation. Not to mention, the brand ships every order with Sendle, Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral shipping service. Basically, you can shop knowing your purchase is making a real difference.
“We look at JL with a long-term approach, and I think this has really helped us to make the best decisions we can, both environmentally and sustainably for the brand,” says Bills. “However, we constantly strive to build on our sustainability process so we can work better to be better, and always encourage education and feedback in this area to help push us forward!”
It’s this “slow, conscious approach” to design that the pair believe has helped grow their business, as it’s what consumers are looking for when adding to their wardrobe.
That commitment to be the best they can be resonates with the designer’s loyal customers, who regularly come back to add to their collections—something the pair says “drives them” even further to create quality pieces.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a stranger wearing one of your styles,” says the designer. “Our community is growing each day and we love interacting with people, hearing about what they are loving and how they are styling our pieces. We have a solid repeat customer base, so we know we must be doing something right!”
JL. Fine has even more exciting things planned for the future, with the pair already having started on their next capsule, which pulls inspiration from vintage jewellery design, focused on bold colours, and mixed materials and textures.
“We are in LOVE with our mood board and cannot wait to see it and our drawings come to life.”