If there was ever a leader of the sustainable and ethical jewelry movement, it would be Arabel Lebrusan. Before slow fashion emerged as a trendy term, and before sustainable consumerism became popular amongst millennial shoppers, Lebrusan decided to dedicate her life to the production of quality, elegant, and ethical jewelry. This has been her mission for more than a decade.
Lebrusan first recognized the need for an overhaul of the jewelry industry after visiting factories around the world. As a young traveler, she witnessed firsthand the negative impacts unethical business practices had on workers, communities, and the environment. These experiences catalyzed her desire to return to school and work to change the business from the inside. She received her MA in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins in 2015, under the renowned direction of Simon Fraser.
After graduating, Lebrusan quickly became a pioneering leader in the industry. Following a three-year stint as the creative director of Leblas Jewelry in London, she finally decided to launch her own line that incorporates a unique approach to sustainable production.
Her collection, specializing in engagement rings, bridal jewelry, and bespoke pieces, mixes traditional craftsmanship with her own bold style and allusions to vintage trends. She creates timeless designs that strike a perfect balance between ancient and contemporary. The result is luxurious modern jewelry that still maintains the highest standards of quality..
Lebrusan is particularly acclaimed for her delicate metal latticework, where she incorporates her passion for sustainable and ethical materials. Her jewelry is workshopped with 100 percent recycled metal, fair-trade gold, and ecologically mined diamonds and gemstones. Every quarter, regardless of profit, she also donates to The Water Project, a charity that helps bring clean water to communities in Sierra Leone destroyed by a civil war fueled in part by diamond mining profits.
While Lebrusan is known primarily for her award winning designs, she is also is a powerful storyteller with a strong voice in an industry known often for its ambiguity and complex web of communication: “Back in 2005, while doing research for my masters at Central Saint Martins in ethical jewelry I was told bluntly to my face by a diamond dealer in London: ‘When you work in this trade you sell your soul to the devil,’”says Lebrusan. “I don’t believe it has to be this way. Like you, I believe that we can use the beautiful materials that come from the earth, without harming our blue planet.”
This is the core of Lebrusan’s business model and mission. By asking questions, simplifying supply chains, and sharing knowledge, she strives to produce jewelry that is simultaneously artistic and principled. “I am committed to sustainability and traceability of the materials that we use in our jewelry for the long run,” she says. “I am committed to beautiful jewelry inside out.”
From the very beginning, Lebrusan set out to incorporate these ideals into every aspect of her jewelry line — not only because she believes in her mission, but also to prove that it is possible to live and work with high standards in a difficult and complex industry.