The Surprising Success of Jerarda Lake Ethical Jewelry

By Arwa Lodhi

“I believe that we all need to care for the environment as much as possible because this earth is immensely precious and in need of pro-active mindfulness.”  

So begins our interview with Mexican based eco jewellery designer Jerarda Lake.

Lake’s brand, which offers both costume and fine ethical jewelry pieces,  is deeply committed to sustainability – all of her materials are ethically treated and sourced, and almost all the metals she uses are based on recycled materials. In addition, her handmade production is local, and she treats any waste materials with a strong sense of environmental awareness.

These are all great qualities: but what is it that led to the sharp rise of this new ethical jewelry designer’s success?

After all, Lake only launched her eponymous brand  in February 2014, but already, her chunky, raw, bold pieces have already been featured on a New York Fashion Week runway, and on the catwalks of Mexico Fashion Week and in top magazines as well.  

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Mayan Design & Organic Forms

Perhaps it’s because Lake knows how to make metal truly come alive. Taking inspiration from Mayan design, as well as Indian and South American tribal styles, Lake states that she believes that beyond personality, the components of her jewelry practically have a soul: “each piece possesses a life of their own and a deep desire to exist and come forth” she says.

Indeed, what we see in her designs are organic forms like rope, weeds and bark, made metallic and enduring. There’s nothing more beautiful that the shapes nature creates, and Lake seems to understand this, capturing them forever in metallic enclosures.

While the Mexico City native values Fairmined gold in her creations, she prefers to repurpose metals from her client’s older pieces, upcycling them into new, modern and edgy ones. In addition, lovebirds can request GIA certified gemstones and diamonds be used in custom creations.

“My engagement ring designs include matching wedding bands that are custom-made for the couple. Quite often, they will bring in antique jewelry and request that it be transformed into something new for their union,” says Jerarda Lake.

Jerarda Lake ethical jewelry Jerarda Lake ethical jewelry

Antique Inspiration

And speaking of being inspired by older objects, the designer says she can feel the stories in these pieces, and aims to draw them out. In fact, she grew up in a home that was packed with gorgeous colonial objects, and this definitely made an impact one her:  “I have an undeniable passion, admiration, respect, and gravitational pull towards the lines, textures, and shades of the antiques that are embedded in my memory from my childhood,” she states.

Today though, her aim is to enter an artistic space where she can really understand the materials and the clients in order to best realise the forms she believes already somehow inhabit that natural resources she works with. She explains that “the process of creating jewelry is intimately personal – introspective and intuitive, as I suppose it is with any creator. And as with most creators, I also find much inspiration in nature.”

That natural inspiration can be seen in the form of the claws, horns, rocks, sea shells, tree trunks and branches that the designer finds worthy of becoming translated into a form of jewelry. These shapes and themes seem to strike a primal chord with her clients, too – maybe it’s that resonance that  has led to her being up for several prestigious awards.

In any case, such quick success has come as a bit of a happy shock to her, but her response is modest: “I am honestly blown away by the heartfelt response my jewelry is having,” she says with a grin.

Long may it continue.



For more information on Jerarda Lake, please click here.

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