The Scheufele family is committed to making Chopard an ethical luxury brand
Chopard has embarked on a remarkable journey towards sustainable luxury since 2013, thanks to the initiative launched by its co-president and artistic director, Caroline Scheufele.
Mixing ethics and charming aesthetics, Chopard leads numerous projects aimed at protecting the environment and vulnerable communities. While creating stunning, durable jewelry and timepieces worthy of the red carpet and joyful everyday life. The Scheufele family firmly believe that contemporary luxury must be ethical and responsible, and they preach the word.
Since 2018, Chopard has built a 100% ethical gold supply chain that protects human and labor rights. Today, only Fairmined certified ethical gold, diamonds and colored stones from suppliers certified by the Responsible Jewelery Council (RJC) make up the precious collections of the house. After this revolutionary milestone, Caroline received the Designer of the Year award in 2019 at the second annual sustainable style gala. “Sustainability is a moving target. It’s a journey that never ends. And today more than ever, it must be our priority to protect the people on the ground who make our activity possible, ”says Caroline.
Working in partnership with the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), Chopard is part of an innovative initiative to source gold from Barequeros in El Chocó, Colombia. Despite being Colombia’s second-largest gold producer, El Chocó remains one of the poorest regions in the country.
The Barequeros are artisanal gold miners, nearly half of whom are women. They use traditional local alluvial mining techniques such as locking and panning with portable tools. Their methods do not use mercury, which helps conserve the region’s diversity of biodiversity, which is one of the most unusual in the world. To be legally registered, Barequeros must obtain a special permit that allows manual production and sale of up to 420 grams of gold per year.
As part of this project, the Barequeros are contributing to the sourcing of gold as part of a fully traceable, transparent and accountable international supply chain. In addition, the value chain allows them to know the exact destination of their gold. This value chain is part of a larger initiative supported by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and SBGA to train responsible and small-scale gold miners.
The program ensures that Barequeros receive a competitive price and a special SBGA Better Gold incentive of $ 0.70 per gram. The additional income allows them to reinvest in improving their living and working conditions. To date, 500 Barequeros have seen their lives changed thanks to the support of this program.
In addition, Chopard has also maintained a philanthropic relationship with the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), an influential South American mining NGO. ARM has participated in initiatives to recognize, formalize and improve mining practices, benefiting more than 150 mining organizations in 15 countries in Latin America and Africa, collectively impacting more than 44,000 beneficiaries to date. Luxury jewelry and watchmaking is the first house in the world to directly support mining communities through training, social protection and environmental assistance.
It’s one thing to commit to protecting resources and quite another to celebrate the captivating beauty of its origins. Nature was chosen as the central theme of the 2020 Chopard Red Carpet Collection by Caroline Scheufele, due to her deep love for the enchanting natural world. This is not the first time that flora and fauna have been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the artistic director of Chopard. She has already composed the Animal World collection, designing 150 fine jewelry creations in honor of the house’s 150th anniversary in 2010. Nine years later, she explored striking and lifelike orchid patterns in a Red Carpet collection on the theme of flowers.
In honor of the 73rd Cannes International Film Festival, the 2020 collection includes 73 models. A creation for each year of the festival’s existence, an ambitious tradition that has continued since the 60th anniversary of the Cannes International Film Festival. The skilled artisans of Chopard’s fine jewelry workshops in Geneva have applied the expertise of over 30 different crafts in a joint effort to bring the beauty of Mother Nature to life. The collection reflects the house’s ongoing efforts to promote sustainable luxury within the luxury industry.
A centerpiece of the assembly is an impressively structured piece of Fairmined gold, expressed as a majestic eagle with outstretched wings. As in flight, the wings spread out to create the collar. Tucked into the talons of this bird of prey is a pear-shaped diamond of an unusual yellowish-brown hue. Each plume of feathers is finely articulated, providing a setting for white diamonds, with each gemstone used meeting the standards set by the RJC.
For watch enthusiasts, the house has designed a magnificent owl timepiece in ethically sourced 18k white gold, set with diamonds totaling 9.24 carats and 4.16 carats of multicolored sapphires. An elegant pair of orchid earrings completes the preview. These titanium treasures feature sapphires, tsavorites, tourmalines and opal cabochons. Chopard’s continued exploration of environmental motifs serves as a crucial reminder of the beauty, fragility and magic of the world we live in, through lives big and small.
Alpine Eagle 36mm in Lucent A223 steel with diamonds, ref. number: 298601-3002.
Alpine Eagle 36mm in Lucent A223 Steel, ref. number: 298601-3001.
Designed by Chopard co-chairman Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the Alpine Eagle is motivated by its commitment to the conservation and protection of the Alpine environment and in particular the eagles that reign supreme there. To this end, Chopard launched the Eagle Wings Foundation of which Karl-Friedrich is a founding member.
In addition, Chopard celebrates the success of the production of a new ultra-resistant metal called Lucent Steel A223 which required no less than four years of research and development to perfect it. Complex, recycled steel is the result of a reflow process that creates a material comparable to hypoallergenic surgical steel, 50% more abrasion resistant than conventional steel and able to reflect light in a unique way. Most importantly, the material is conflict free and durable.
The Alpine Eagle is dedicated to contemporary eagles, aspiring men who go above and beyond with foresight and determination. The collection is dedicated to those who act on the challenges of tomorrow, with an acute awareness of the importance of environmental issues.
The future looks bright as Chopard continues its ambitious journey. Establish industry standards for sustainable production, contribute to charitable partnerships to raise awareness of social and ecological issues in order to impact meaningful change, invent new innovative materials and continually showcase the beauty of the natural world The vision of home life is full of positivity, passion and absolute joie de vivre – it’s a world we should all aspire to live in.
(All images: Chopard)
This story was first published in the June 2021 issue of Prestige Malaysia. To read the latest issue, pick up a copy at the nearest newsstand or subscribe on Magzter.