Now to something a little bit different, but important to cover, your responsible sourcing and your approach to your supply chain?
Yes, it is very important. I have been talking about this a lot, and I feel concerned more and more about using the word sustainable, because it is true that you shouldn’t buy anything to be truly sustainable. But to be driven to be responsible and more and more sustainable is of the utmost importance. And we are lucky enough to work with a man who set up a carbon-neutral factory, the first of its kind. It took him 10 years to build up, and they now produce at least 70-75 percent of all the jewellery we make, which is exciting and something I’m proud of. They recycle their own water; they use solar panels... and they’ve reached 98 percent carbon neutrality. It shows that it is possible to produce jewellery using recycled materials, and not emitting carbon making those items. That’s what we must strive towards. That’s very hard for a young designer. So also, I see it as important for me as a veteran to work with younger designers. Sustainability is not just for me, because I am big enough to embrace that, but young designers are not. You can’t just go and get things produced in a carbon-neutral factory. I really want to embark on that side of responsibility. Keeping and making the whole industry through younger designers better and better. It is not just sustainability, it is about who we work with, how we work with people, how we sell jewellery; buy less, buy better.
Maybe tell me a little bit about your gemstones as well and how you pick them?
I love gemstones. I get so excited by them. Always have done. It is a continual work in progress, to make sure that they are mined responsibly. And that we do. By working with people who work the same way as us. We got a butterfly mark from Positive Luxury, which is an organisation that investigates your business, and they give you what they call butterfly marks. It’s an accreditation. We got six butterfly marks about our sourcing. You know, I could say anything, and that’s why we decided to work with Positive Luxury to have them investigate us as well.
Personally, do you have a favourite stone?
You are going to hate me, but I like diamonds… do you know why? I love coloured stones, but I wear diamonds, and it is probably because I am Taurian, so it’s my birthstone. With diamonds, you can just wear them all the time, you can bash them around, you can go swimming in them. I am always on the go; I have very high energy levels. I have a dog, I garden… and you don’t have to take them off. And they trinkle and you look at them and they make you happy. So, I am afraid, I hate to admit it, but my favourite gemstone is diamond.
Final question, where do you go to find peace?
I live in the countryside in a farmhouse on the marshes in an area of the UK called Norfolk, and it’s got the largest in-land waterworks in Europe called The Norfolk Broads. Basically, it is quite like Holland, the scenery, and we have unusual birds in the garden all the time, and we are near a big river, so I find just living there great. I come to London now, and I love it, but then I go back to my farmhouse, and I can collect my thoughts and walk. I know how to be able to compartmentalise and so I know how to be able to take away the pressures that one has in life, that we all have, I know how to pick them up and put them to one side and then just chill… I think that conserves energy.