Ethical jewelry is a trend that’s here to stay, as we can see from the emerging brands determined to take a stance on how their products are sourced and made. Many are also pursuing unique philanthropic causes. But what does all of this newly minted morality mean to the consumer? Do customers have to settle for jewelry they like less or don’t feel a connection with in order to do the “right” thing?
Fortunately jewelry designers have wrestled with this question, and one designer in particular is paving the way as a leader in this market. Natalie Perry Jewellery is dedicated to making ethical products without compromising style or artistic vision. Intricate and feminine, with gentle allusions to the nature and architecture that inspire the pieces, the line doesn’t ask the customer to choose between ethics and beauty.
Natalie Perry founded Natalie Perry Jewellery in 2016 after studying jewelry & accessories at Middlesex University and after working for prestigious brands Kothari Jewels in Jaipur India and Alice Cicolini in London. And yes, Natalie Perry jewels are ethical. Each piece from her collection is handcrafted using Fairtrade Gold from accredited mines in Peru. This means that all miners involved in extracting this gold from the earth work in safe conditions and are paid adequately for their work, and that the mines don’t employ children. “I source my gold from the Fair-trade accredited Sotrami mine in Peru which is high in the Andes mountains. Fairtrade Gold is still not as widely available as normal gold but it is becoming more popular and the more people who are interested in buying ethical gold means the supply will only increase to meet the demand” Ms. Perry notes. Additionally, all Natalie Perry packaging is eco-friendly, making the entire business model a benchmark for future jewelers in the industry.
Yet, being at the intersection of luxury and ethics can sometimes be a conflicting place to stand as a brand: “Yes, unfortunately ethics and luxury don’t seem to go hand in hand so promoting ethical jewellery to be perceived as luxury is a challenge and something I am trying to change. It certainly helps that large well known brands such as Chopard are bringing ethics to the forefront and there are other amazing designers and brands in the ethical jewellery industry who are all working to try to change this such as Hargreaves Stockholm, Arabel Lebrusan and Pascale and James.”
But Natalie Perry’s designs makes it clear that luxury and ethics can coexist as her line a has been featured in top publications such as Marie Claire and The Times . Her vision derives from the rich history of the ancient Indian forts and temples of the Moghul Empire, and more particularly from a neglected but enduring Indian architectural treasure, the Rani Mahal in Rajasthan. The fort-like structure with bountiful moldings and murals was built for the wives and mistresses of the ruling class. Perry envisioned the jewelry worn by the women who once lived there, and their hidden treasures, and modeled her collection after her vision: the “collection’s fragmented aesthetic hints at a forgotten grandeur,” she says. Each piece stands alone as a piece of art, regal in nature, like a precious heirloom or artifact passed down over generations. But the reference to the old is balanced with “modern silhouettes and jewelry styles,” making the pieces practical and versatile for the contemporary woman.
The collectioninvites wearers to layer necklaces, earrings, studs, rings, bracelets, cuffs and ear jackets. Most notable are the Lace Flower earrings that “emulate the intricate jali windows common in Indian architecture.” The collection is soft and fresh with a glint of history that shines through. The original designs make the line a benchmark within the industry and the sustainability movement.
You can purchase Natalie Perry jewelry through her website – each piece is a great personal investment or great gift.
GoodBern had a unique opportunity to learn about the designer, Natalie Ball. Get some insight into her rich history and personal connection to jewelry in her life.
What’s in her jewelry box:
My jewellery box is made up of statement earrings and layered gold necklaces as well as unique pieces I have collected from around the world. My favourite piece of jewellery is a yellow gold locket I inherited from my Grandma when she died. She wore it with a picture of me in as a baby so I still have the same picture inside with a picture of my grandma on the other side. I’ve worn it everyday since I was 18 and receive so many compliments on it as it matches every outfit!
Another piece I truly love is a bronze bracelet designed by Rome based designer Joanna Burke which depicts a strange mythical create reminiscent of an ancient artefact dug up in Rome. I found it in a magazine and lusted over it for a year before my boyfriend bought it for me for Christmas.
First piece of meaningful jewelry:
Yes, the first piece of jewellery that really meant something to me was a multicoloured beaded necklace that said my name across it in distinctive white beads that I was given when I was about 5 years old by my mum. I remember feeling so unique it in and like no-one else had a necklace like mine. I wore it everyday until it snapped and all the beads fell off. I was genuinely heartbroken!
Favorite part of being a jewelry designer:
The creativity is my favourite aspect of being a jewellery designer. When I’m not being creative I soon miss it and every time I travel I seem to have been inspired by the things around me to create a new collection. I only think in jewellery terms!