This month we have been looking at all things to do with engagement and wedding rings on Facebook. It seemed only right to look at it from an eco perspective too. I am currently on the Green Union directory and looking in their jewellery section I came across Arabel’s company. I loved her designs and also the detail of how ethical each ring was. So let me introduce you to…..
Who are you and how did you get into the business of ethical jewellery? I began my career as a jewellery designer designing fashion jewellery at a company that manufactured in the Philippines, but has distributes across the world. During this time I learnt all parts of the jewellery process, from researching trends through buying materials and producing samples, up until selling at a trade show. I was able to travel the world and have the chance to see firsthand all the different techniques and individuals that are part of making jewellery.
However after seeing the world of mass manufacture and consumption I was keen to create jewellery in a more intimate and comfortable environment for workers, but also in a way which revitalised the European heritage that I felt was fast disappearing and bring unique traditional techniques to a new generation of customers. The choice of using Ethical and Fairtrade metals and stones has been a natural evolution to create beautiful stunning jewellery on the outside but also in the inside.
You have won lots of awards, which is your favourite and why? It is probably being Finalist for the UK Jewellery Awards, Bridal Collection of the Year 2015. This nomination is coming as a great recognition for all the hard work I have been putting on my new engagement and wedding rings lines the last year. They are stunning and very special designs so being shortlisted really means I am doing something very good! (We wish you the very best of luck!!!)
What sort of proof can you get when you buy a ring? We use only recycled and Fairtrade metals in our jewellery pieces, unless stated otherwise by the customer. We pride ourselves on sourcing conflict-free ethically sourced traceable diamonds and gemstones. We are registered with the Fairtrade Foundation which allows us to use their fairtrade authentication hallmark stamp; we are one of a few selected companies registered with the Fairtrade Foundation within the UK, makes us a very distinctive brand. When purchasing one our ethically mined diamonds we provide our customer with a GIA certificate which not only lists the details of the four C’s (Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat), but even describes the mine in which the stone came from.
What are the benefits of an ethical ring? By purchasing a Fairtrade Gold ring you are making a difference to the lives of small scale artisan miners and their communities. You know that the small-scale and artisanal miners were paid a fair price, giving them financial security. They also receive an extra amount of money to invest in building the future of their families and their communities, through education, medical care or environmental projects. By spending that little bit extra can make a big difference to those who need it and most importantly deserve it. I have also notice the rise for platinum wedding and engagement rings, we only work with 100 % recycled platinum as this helps the environment around us. By purchasing a recycled platinum piece you have helped to diminish the environmentally and socially destructive effects of dirty gold and other metal mining practices. Precious metals can be recycled repeatedly with no degradation in quality; they are a naturally renewable resource. By choosing recycled gold or platinum it can help decrease the global demand of newly mined precious metals.
What is your favourite ring?
I have a couple, the Efflorescence Ethical Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring would be my first.
I cannot keep my eyes away from it every time we get our samples out! Full of that ‘WOW” factor that you want for an engagement ring.
My next choice is the Foliage Ethical Diamond Engagement Ring.
It is a quirky but nature inspired design, with a split band that makes it almost into an statement ring. It also has a bit of a boho-chic style which I really love.
Have you had an famous clients? Queen Letizia of Spain has a couple of our 100% recycled silver filigree cuffs, which she wears often and we are soooooooooo proud of this. Sienna and Savana Miller also has a couple of items.
Do you have any tips for men when buying an engagement ring? I have recently launched my own blog post for men helping with what to look for when purchasing an engagement ring. The main points were to understand her style and to keep an eye out for what sort of jewellery she wears. Experimenting with different stones, it doesn’t always have to be a solitaire. There has been a recent increase on gemstone rings this may also be an option for the daring groom-to-be. Understanding the four C’s, cut, clarity, colour and carat. Once you get your head around these you can understand what makes up a diamond and why they are such amazing everlasting stones. Any small issues like her ring size can always later be solved.
A big thanks to Arabel for sharing her story with us. Do check out her website here as it is full of beautiful pictures and many more tips on how to choose your ring. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.