True Luxury = The Journey

For the second in our True Luxury= series, and in anticipation of next week’s Observer Ethical Awards (aka ‘the green Oscars’), I decided to start the festivities early by featuring a jewellery collaboration that can more than hold its own on the red carpet.

Decadence is not a word you often find associated with 'ethical', 'sustainable', or even 'green' for that matter (unless you are referring to ‘emeralds’ or ‘envy’). But here’s the exception. Launched at Cannes this year by Chopard, Eco-Age GCC (Green Carpet Challenge) and Livia Firth, the Green Carpet Collection is a triumph of decadent design and sustainable sourcing. It also marks the start of 'The Journey’, Chopard’s deepened commitment to supply chain transparency and ethical sourcing. 

Chopard Green Carpet Collection bracelet

There is much to celebrate in this collaboration. Not only is this the first time a luxury jeweller has partnered with the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) but the Green Carpet Collection is also the first jewellery to be given the GCC Brand Mark. Chopard are in fact only the second brand to be recognised in this way by Eco-Age, who launched the GCC Brand Mark in March 2013 when they unveiled “the world’s first zero deforestation certified bags from Amazon leather” with Gucci. GCC co-founder and Eco-Age Creative Director Livia Firth acknowledges that their latest groundbreaking project is an exciting and significant step in the luxury jewellery industry:

“The launch of The Journey in Cannes marks the beginning of an incredible future for Chopard and our partnership with them. By putting sustainability at the very heart of the brand, they are showing themselves to be leaders and a company that truly wants to make a difference to the world of luxury jewellery.”

Caroline Scheufele from Chopard with Livia Firth

Whilst Chopard have been a member of the RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) since 2010, The Journey really is the beginning of a new way of working, as Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and artistic director of Chopard explains:

“As a century old, family-run business, we are very aware of our responsibilities as we strive to create sustainable luxury. It is not easy, but it is right and The Journey is the start of a very exciting new multi-year programme that will ensure we are working towards our goal of sustainable jewellery. One of the first steps is our partnership with ARM, which will support the families and communities of the artisanal miners in South America.”

Chopard gold-miner Ernesto

In a nutshell, Chopard have made a firm pledge to source “from businesses that are demonstrably committed to responsible, ethical, social and environmental practices”. Through their development of The Journey, they not only aim to reduce any negative impact in their supply chain, but they will also make a positive contribution to the mining communities and artisans they work with. In practical terms this means they will support miners in the process of achieving their FairMined gold certification, enable them to earn a fair wage through regular orders, and help protect the natural resources that the mining communities rely on. 

Working the 18ct white gold body of Chopard's Green Carpet Collection bracelet

This is an exciting development in the high-end jewellery industry - one which I see paving the way for other jewellers to take a more ethical approach to their sourcing. The beauty and craftsmanship of the collection speaks for itself and I hope it will serve to highlight to consumers the importance of a traceable and fair supply chain. Afterall, who could argue that you can't go green on the red carpet having set eyes on Chopard's latest 'High Jewellery' collection?

For more in the True Luxury= series, (and to ogle the bracelet that sent Emily into a spin) have a read of last week's blog True Luxury= Heaven

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Founder and Director of The Good Wardrobe. Lover of charity shops and mending stuff. New to Bristol. Follow on Twitter

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