Last week I styled a film for ethical fashion event The Good Fashion Show (shot by the wonderful Claire Pepper). In prep for the event I discovered a whole host of brands that in no way correlate to the stereotypes of eco-fashion (hemp cardies and Miss Trunchbull boots) but instead champion avant-garde designs and ethical business practices. One of the brands that knocked me for six was Hattie Rickards, whose stunning rings we shot (and cooed over). I decided to follow up on the shoot with a Q&A with the designer herself:
When did you start your brand?
Hattie Rickards Jewellery launched in June 2010.
How did you get into jewellery?
I’ve always loved jewellery but it wasn’t until my foundation course at Wimbledon Art College in 2002 and a BA Jewellery Design and Making degree at Central Saint Martins in London that I decided to make a career in the industry.
(Ed: What I love about this ‘Rubix’ ring is that the three sections twist so you can wear the colours in any combination.)
How did you come to be involved with Made?
It was the fairtrade aspect of HRJ that brought Made to me and a friendship was quickly formed. After Made saw my designs, they immediately invited me out to Kenya to work on my inaugural collection. My second range for Made is called Kaleidoscopic and is due to launch April 2012. Rebeka Bliffen, General Manager of Made says “the moment we saw Hattie’s designs we knew we’d found a designer who would develop a collection unlike anything we’d seen before. Hattie oozes talent and it was an honour to launch her first collection.”
What do you do to ensure your brand is ethical?
It is important to myself and my brand that the materials used are as ethically and environmentally sound as possible. This isn’t always very easy in the jewellery industry. It took a lot of research to find my source of gold initially, but even in the short space of time since then, the Fairtrade and Fairmined gold certification has been launched with a great success. For my collections I now only use gold sourced from a particular mine in Columbia that has full traceability. I feel incredibly proud to be one of the first 20 companies to be registered Fairtrade and Fairmined Liscensee in the UK. I believe it is the responsibility of both the designer and the customer to demand greater ethical visibility and responsibility from our suppliers – only that way can we help to shift the industry.
What is beauty to you?
Being outside amongst nature and watching light touch different surfaces.
What’s the one piece of jewellery you never take off?
My ‘Sibling’ earrings (below) from the recently launched ‘GEO’ collection which I don’t even take off to shower or sleep.
What’s next for your brand?
I have lots of new designs which I am bursting to get produced! Many exciting collaborations, shoots and commissions as always. Turquoise Mountain have commissioned me to go out to their workshops in Kabul, Afghanistan this Autumn to design a collection of jewellery which shall be distributed worldwide. This month we launch a new piece over London Fashion Week which is super exciting so look out for it!
Prices start £850.00 and go up to £9,600.00