Chopard’s ongoing commitment to sustainable fine jewellery and timepieces is visibly evident in the exquisite pieces that grace the collection. The use of Fairmined gold, homages to nature in their designs and the invention of a new material certainly warrant a closer look by those wishing to indulge in ethical luxury.
Chopard’s gold supply chain has been 100% ethical as of 2018. At present, Fairmined-certified gold and diamonds sourced only from suppliers certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) form all the Maison’s creations. “The most beautiful tribute to nature is above all to respect its fragile resources,” Caroline Scheufele asserts.
Sourcing Sustainable Gold for Chopard
Chopard has partnered with the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA) in a groundbreaking project to source gold sustainably from Barequeros in El Chocó, Colombia. El Chocó remains one of Colombia’s poorest regions despite being the nation’s second-largest gold producer.
The Barequeros are artisanal gold miners, of whom almost half are women. They employ local traditional alluvial mining techniques such as sluicing and panning with handheld tools. Their methods make no use of mercury, which helps conserve the locale’s rich biodiversity that is some of the most unusual in the world. To be legally registered, the Barequeros must obtain a special permit that enables them to manually produce and sell up to 420 grams of gold per year.
As a part of this project, the Barequeros contribute to the supply of gold as part of a fully traceable and responsible international supply chain. Moreover, the system enables them to know the exact destination of their gold. This value chain is a part of a larger initiative supported by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the SBGA to shape responsible and small-scale gold miners.
The programme guarantees that the Barequeros receive both a competitive price and special SBGA Better Gold Incentive of 0.70 USD per gram. The additional income allows them to reinvest into bettering their living and working conditions. To date, 500 Barequeros have had their lives changed through support from this programme.
The Red Carpet Collection 2020
It is one matter to commit to protecting resources and another to celebrate the inexhaustible beauty of its origins. Nature was selected as the central theme for Chopard’s Red Carpet Collection 2020 by Caroline Scheufele, owing to her great love and admiration of the entrancing natural world.
Nature was also the theme of all the Maison’s activities at the 73rd Cannes International Film Festival before the physical edition of the festival could not take place due to the global pandemic. Regardless, the collection reflects the Maison’s continued efforts to promote the practice of sustainable luxury within the industry.
This year’s collection features 73 models – each for every year the festival has existed – an ambitious tradition that has endured for the past 13 years. Skilled artisans of Chopard’s haute joaillerie ateliers in Geneva applied the expertise of more than 30 different crafts in a joint effort to bring to life the beauty of Mother Nature with designs focused on flora and fauna motifs.
A centrepiece of the collection is an impressively structured piece made of Fairmined gold, expressed as a majestic eagle with outstretched wings. As though in flight, the wings unfurl to create the necklace. Clutched in the talons of this bird of prey is a pear-shaped diamond of an unusual yellowish-brown hue. Each feathery plume is finely articulated, providing a setting for white diamonds, with every precious stone used satisfying the standards set by the RJC. The regal collier joins Chopard’s Green Carpet Collection (GCC), a capsule of high jewellery featuring pieces made exclusively from responsibly sourced materials.
The second creation showcased is a charming shamrock & clover-themed jewellery set, whimsical and effeminate in its delivery. Ready to serve as a lucky charm for its wearer, green tsavorites pair delightfully with pink sapphire blooms.
While the collection may not have ascended the steps of the famed Palais des Festivals this year, Chopard’s mark of sustainability on the Cannes International Film Festival is indelible. An official partner since 1998, then director of the festival, Pierre Viot invited Scheufele to breathe new life into the design of the Palme d’Or or Golden Palm.
Widely coveted as one of the most prestigious awards in the film industry, the iconic Palme d’Or is the highest prize bestowed at the festival. Since 2014, it has sparkled more brilliantly with 118g of Fairmined-certified ethical gold and a solid block of rock crystal. A milestone in Chopard’s Journey to Sustainable Luxury, the trophy represents not only the best of film production, but the best of gold production sourced through processes respectful of people and the environment.
Chopard’s Alpine Eagle sports chic timepiece collection designed by co-president of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, proves the adage that all that glitters is not gold. His commitment to the conservation and protection of the Alpine environment drove its development. To that end, Chopard has launched the Eagle Wings Foundation to promote a more sustainable way of life, while raising awareness of Mother Nature’s timely needs, and aiming to re-introduce the Golden Eagle to its natural Alpine habitat.
Furthermore, Chopard celebrates the success of producing a new, sustainable, ultra-resistant metal dubbed Lucent Steel A223 that required no less than four years of research and development to perfect. As precious and structurally complex as gold, the repurposed steel is the result of a re-smelting process that produces a hypoallergenic material comparable to surgical steel. Lucent Steel A223 is 50% more resistant to abrasions than conventional steel and is capable of unique light-reflecting qualities.
The Alpine Eagle honours contemporary eagles, that is, the aspiring men who go above and beyond with foresight and determination. The collection salutes those who act on the challenges with a keen awareness of the importance of environmental issues.
This story first appeared on Prestige Malaysia