By Diane Small
What’s the relationship between The King’s Speech and fine jewellery going a bit greener? Well, when actor Colin Firth visited Los Angeles to accept his Oscar for his role in the film, his wife—Eco Age Creative Director and Green Carpet Challenge founder Livia Firth–met with Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, the Co-President of the prestigious jewellery brand, Chopard. After that meeting, sparked by the Oscar-winning film, these two determined women decided on how to make Chopard a more sustainable company.
The result was the Chopard Green Carpet Collection, a line of fine jewellery made with Fairmined-certified gold from mines approved by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), and diamonds strictly sourced according to Kimberly Process certification, which includes a guarantee of transparency and traceability. Gruosi-Scheufele has stated that Chopard will also be sourcing its coloured stones according to strict ethical guidelines in the near future.
While Chopard isn’t the first big-jewellery brand to take some green steps (most follow the Kimberly Process, and some, including Faberge, use coloured stones sourced from Gemfields, the ethical gemstone miner), the Green Carpet Collection is important in that it sends a clear message to other big brands: if an industry giant like Chopard, so well established in its supply chain, can take measures to ensure it’s more eco-friendly, then anyone can.
It also allows stars to make a statement about their love of sustainability—by choosing to wear Chopard’s Green Carpet Collection, as Cate Blanchett, Leahaksks Sedodiddi and Emily Blunt have, they send a message to their fans that ethics is as important as luxurious, glamorous design.
This year, actress Marion Cotillard has gone a step further and designed her own eco-friendly jewellery for Chopard. The French actress, who sported Chopard’s Green Carpet Collection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 – revealed her design for Chopard would be an art-deco-inspired, multirow bracelet set with opals and diamonds connected by a delicate chain to a black opal ring. We’re suckers for opals, but knowing they’re all sustainably sourced makes this creation sound even more beautiful.
But it’s not just all of us here at Eluxe that are demanding our jewellery be more sustainable; people around the world are increasingly appalled when they learn their brilliant diamonds may be funding wars (in which children usually do the killing and dying), that their precious emeralds may have been mined by boys under the age of 10, who often die trying to source them, or that the process of getting the gold into their rings has poisoned not only whole communities, but entire ecosystems. Enough!
It’s a message that the organisers of the Cannes Film Festival have heard, loud and clear; from last year, their Golden Palm trophies have been made from Fairmined Gold, and there is increasingly positive press given to those who are choosing to wear vintage or sustainable jewellery on the red carpet; an award-winning idea, indeed, and one we hope the Oscars, Golden Globes and other prestigious awards will soon follow.