After discovering a unique lapis lazuli mine in Chile, Pomellato has created a slow collection of ethical jewels that pay homage to our favourite fabricApril 29, 2020 By Rachael Taylor
Sometimes, a simple suggestion can lead to big things, and the inspiration for Pomellato’s latest collection came from a conversation with a fashion student.
In 2018, student María Teresa Flores won the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion – an initiative backed by Pomellato’s parent company Kering. Flores hails from Chile, and her suggestion to the luxury conglomerate was to create a sustainable jewellery collection using lapis lazuli sourced ethically from her home country.
Pomellato bit. Some research into the lapis lazuli mines of Chile led to the discovery of Las Flores de los Andes, a high-altitude sustainable artisanal mine in the country’s famous mountain range.
While the corporates were impressed with Las Flores de los Andes’ ethical standards, Pomellato’s gem buyers were captivated by the quality of the lapis lazuli coming out of the mine, which is believed to be one of a kind in Chile.
Due to a high level of lazurite, the Chilean lapis lazuli has a deep-blue colour. Looking at the hue and the striations that are the calling card of the gemstone, the buyers were reminded of a classic fashion staple – denim.
The gemstone – softly faceted in the style of Pomellato’s Ritrarro jewels – became the basis of the Pomellato Denim Lapis Lazuli jewellery collection, which launched on Earth Day in April to highlight the ethical sourcing of the materials. As well as the lapis lazuli, the collection uses Fairmined rose gold from certified mines in Colombia, with a sprinkling of sustainably sourced Tanzanian rubies to add colour to the jewels’ stylised claws.
The making of the jewels took place in-house in Pomellato’s workshops, which carry out every required element of the craftmanship required, from the melting of the Colombian Fairtrade gold to the final polish.
Due to the strict sourcing specifications, there are a limited number of these Pomellato Denim Lapis Lazuli jewels, each of which is made to order… slow, conscious jewellery for a world currently enjoying – or enduring – a period of quiescent reflection.