Last night ISHKAR and Shoshana Steweart, the CEO of Turquoise Mountain, hosted a discussion about sustainable jewellery in conflict areas with award-winning designers Pippa Small and Arabel Lebrusan.
‘Sustainable’ and ‘ethically made’ are terms that are often used loosely. Many of us don’t understand exactly what their significance. The talk focused on what they actually mean in the jewellery industry for the designers, makers and customers.
We discussed the impact on artisans and the role they play in the design process. Pippa noted a sense of satisfaction when successful production provides the artisans with a sense of self-worth – they see how popular their work is in other countries. Both designers see it as their job to educate people on where there jewellery came from. Even if some people don't want to listen.
The discussion became quite heated towards the end as we discussed what the difference is between sustainable and ethical ("ethical is subjective, sustainable is not" - Arabel). Sebastian Conran asked why creating jobs in Afghanistan is more important than Colchester, "because nothing stops a bullet like a job" retorted a fellow audience member, Sophie Swire.
We want to thank our speakers and our audience for stimulating such an interesting discussion.
Nothing stops a bullet like a jobSophie Swire