Special Guest Writer: Tania McNab, Founder of La Maison Couture
At La Maison Couture, we aim to build an awareness of responsible jewellery production and encourage our customers to ‘buy better’. By promoting luxury brands that use ethically sourced materials and have a positive impact on social and environmental change, we hope to play a part in changing the jewellery industry for the better.
When sourcing brands, we seek out the best in cutting-edge design, contemporary fine jewellery, and responsible jewellery makers – most of whom our customers will never have seen anywhere else before.
Each Brand is selected for its individual ‘stand-out’ appeal. Exceptional quality is a must, but it is pioneering design, creativity, extraordinary story-telling and jewellery with a conscience that we are looking for above all else at LMC.
Many of the pieces we feature are as much exquisite works of art, or sculpture, as they are items of jewellery. Some are timeless, collectable pieces and future heirlooms to be handed down through generations. And others, represent the powerful stories of inspiring women using jewellery making to change lives.
Earlier this year we launched a dedicated Responsible Jewellery space on our site and we are honoured to introduce brands such as Eden Diodati, Golpira, Kaligarh, Luca Jouel and Vieri to name a few. Whilst all these brands are committed to using ethically sourced materials, some are also involved in humanitarian causes and have extraordinary stories to tell.
It is these stories that resonate with me the most.
I am in awe of women like Jennifer Ewah, founder of luxury fashion jewellery brand Eden Diodati, who I discovered by chance through a friend. Jennifer works with a social cooperative of women who survived the genocide in Rwanda to create stunning, luxury jewellery pieces for the modern woman.
The cooperative provides work for over 5,000 women survivors, teaching them exceptional hand beading skills and giving them courage and faith. When you wear a piece of Eden Diodati jewellery, aside from its aesthetic beauty, it gives you a sense of empowerment and strength.
I was equally fascinated to discover contemporary jewellery brand Kaligarh (meaning ‘artisan’ in Nepali). An elegant and edgy collection of sterling silver jewellery, everything is comfortable and easy enough to wear every day. Founded by Jyoti Upadhyay in Nepal following the devastating 2015 Earthquake that destroyed the lives of almost one million people, Kaligarh promotes the work of Himalayan artisans, creating employment for local craftsmen and helping them rebuild their lives.
I am also extremely proud to be working with Vieri, a high-end luxury fine jewellery brand which was inherited by Guya Merkle after her father’s sudden death in 2007. Re-defining the brand philosophy, Vieri is made entirely from ethical gold and designed to reflect the diversity of the modern woman.
As founder of the Earthbeat Foundation, Guya has made it her life’s work to raise awareness of responsibly mined gold through the supply chain to the consumer. Through her encouragement of manufacturers to be more transparent in their production and consumers to be more demanding, she is an inspiration to us all.
One of our most precious Responsible Jewellery brands at La Maison Couture is Luca Jouel, an Australian fine jewellery brand that creates sophisticated heirloom pieces and is committed to using ethically sourced materials of the highest quality. Founder and Designer, Tereena Lucas, has exacting standards and every piece is exquisitely crafted by expert jewellery makers using special hand-finishing touches. Tereena ensures that all her diamonds and precious materials are conflict free and will only work with like-minded suppliers who share her passion. Luca Jouel pieces are intended to serve as talismans and are the perfect timeless gift.
I particularly love our selection of fine gold jewellery pieces from Golpira– No Dirty Gold. The brand name says it all. Based in Germany, Gisa Golpira grew up in the rainforest of Peru, where her parents were sustainable gold diggers; an understanding of how the gold digging process affects our eco-system and destroys traditional livelihoods is in her DNA.
Her collection of beautiful, exquisitely crafted and delicate jewellery pieces is both tactile and elegant. There is something even more luxurious about handling a rare, one-of-a-kind, naturally formed gold nugget than its highly processed gold counterpart.