It’s no secret that we are living in a politically charged time. Many of us are getting sucked into echo chambers on social media, cutting ourselves off from those with different ideas and opinions. But we need to have conversations with others to challenge misconceptions and misinformation.
With that goal in mind, one legendary jewelry designer has decided to take her anger and do something about it.
Sandi Burrows is a jewelry industry veteran who has been designing pieces for more than a half-century. She started out working as an in-house jeweler for names like Yves Saint Lauren, Ralph Lauren, and Valentino. Then, in 1974, she began working on her own line that included fine jewelry and custom commissions.
In 2020, Burrows’ focus changed when she found inspiration for her work from her political beliefs. She created and launched a unique line of low-priced jewelry called Passionate Protest, which allows you to literally wear your activism on your sleeve.
The Passionate Protest project is based out of Burrows’ Upper East Side Studio in New York City. She believes the Big Apple is essentially its “own country” and proof “that millions of people can live together in a dirty, noisy, crowded, expensive city and we get along.”
The mission of Burrows’ latest jewelry line is for her customers to wear their “bold” social and political ideas on their sleeve and start conversations. Her pieces include a heart-shaped brooch that reads “anger into action,” a globe-shaped pin splashed with the words “nothing matters more,” and a medallion that reads “civil rights are birthrights.”
You can layer any and all Passionate Protest pieces to show off your individual personality. For example, she has bangle bracelets you can stack to read “resist.” You can also wear multiple versions of Burrows’ pendants as a charm necklace or attach the pieces to handbags.
Her pieces have themes of environmentalism, humanitarianism, and voting. But lately, she has focused on the patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Which she believes is the root of most issues.
For Burrows, the point of this jewelry line is to draw attention and get people to comment on it. But, she warns that it’s not for the “faint of heart.”
“I wanted it to be provocative,” she told Vogue. “‘Massacre misogyny’ huge on your chest? It’s not that quiet.”