By Andrea Feick and Chere Di Boscio
As the sculptor of the Palme d’Or, or Golden Palm, trophy for the festival’s winners, jewellery giant Chopard is inextricably linked to the Cannes Film Festival, and has been for years. At that star-studded event, the Swiss fine jewellery brand plans to announce something even more stunning than their jewels: a partnership with the Alliance for Responsible Mining, or ARM, an organization that works to repair environments damaged by gold mining and helps small-scale miners sell their metal through a fair-trade certification program.
This partnership, as well as their recent certification from the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), elevates Chopard into the ‘ethical jewellers’ category we so adore at Eluxe.
Raffaella Rossiello, the international communication director for Chopard, stated that the certification journey had been both a challenge and quite complex. However, she said certification, as well as a focused corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, is a necessary step to adding value to luxury brands.
Chopard will soon source all its gold from small, closely monitored mines in Colombia and Ecuador. Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard, aims to make its gold supply chain as transparent as the origin of its diamonds (which have been certified as conflict-free for years), by regularly visiting the mines herself.
“It’s important that people know where their jewels come from, so let’s start at the source,” she said.
Clearly, VIPs at Chopard have paid attention to the positive results that Livia Firth had on fashion with her Green Carpet Challenge, which throws the eco-gauntlet down to the stars, encouraging them to choose sustainable outfits on the red carpet. Using such media-saturated events as the Oscars to make her point, Ms Firth’s impact on ‘green’ fashion has been enormous, with stars ranging from Brad Pitt to Penelope Cruz donning eco-friendly evening wear at major events.
Chopard’s Cannes announcement will surely make the same waves in the jewellery industry–indeed, many large brands, such as Boucheron and Cartier, have been ensuring the ethics of their gems and metals for years, and most recently, Faberge has paired up with Gemfields to secure ethically sourced gems for their collections. Movie star Mila Kunis is their enthusiastic ambassador.
The high jewellery collection that Chopard is showing at Cannes this year is dedicated to the theme of love, to compliment the “In Love With Cinema” photo exhibition at the Hotel Martinez, which features iconic film kisses that have been seen over the years at the Cannes Film Festival. We love being reminded of the sexy smooches of Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in “Notorious” and Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas in “Basic Instinct”, and adore how the Palme d’Or trophy itself holds a small heart at its base this year. But what we love the most, of course, is the new, proudly ethical direction Chopard is taking.