The Rock Hound – award-winning jewellery brand founded by gemmologist-jeweller Susi Smither – has been selected as part of the prized line-up of just nine ethical and sustainable jewellery brands curated by La Maison Couture for their jewellery pop-up in collaboration with Selfridges Project Earth.
La Maison Couture is showcasing a selection of pioneering sustainable brands in the prestigious Oxford Street flagship between the 4th April and 1st May 2022, championing positive-impact labels, to help promote transparency, responsible production and better-informed purchasing.
Visitors will find The Rock Hound’s new collection ‘Feeling Druzy’ on sale for the first time – a collection for which Smither won Bronze at The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards (known as the Jewellery Oscars) during Fairtrade Fortnight this past March 2022. The brief was to ‘highlight the fragility of our environment and the beauty of nature as we turn our thoughts and practices towards achieving a Net Zero future.’
The collection recreates natural Druzy Quartz in solid metal, meaning the eye is focused on the delicate crystal form; Susi then adds her trademark flash of colour to the edge with nano-ceramic, giving the pieces a very modern twist. Other collections on sale as part of the pop-up are firm Rock Hound favourites, GoldRush and RockStars.
The Rock Hound is the proud holder of a Fairtrade Gold licence. Since 2015 The Rock Hound searched worldwide for artisan lapidaries and gemstone sources which match their ethos of using only responsibly sourced, raw materials.
Susi commented “I was really impressed that LMC x Selfridges wanted me to submit my Fairtrade certificate – they’re not only curating sustainable pioneers but they are making it easier for conscious consumers to shop by verifying our ethical claims.”
Smither previously won Bronze in Technological Innovation with her brand The Rock Hound at the GC&DC back in 2017.
Situated in the heart of Selfridges’ Luxury Accessories Hall, the pop-up sits alongside other international luxury brands, such as Dior, Prada and Hermes.
Selfridges has introduced four easy to understand labelling categories as part of the Project Earth edit, such as: ‘for communities’ and ‘for nature’, to help customers shop with greater ease and enable them to make more informed sustainability choices. Customers can feel confident in knowing where their jewellery comes from and how it was made.
La Maison Couture’s founder Tania McNab only gravitates towards contemporary and niche designer jewellery brands, that have responsible sourcing and sustainability at their core. This alignment between La Maison Couture and Selfridges, has sustainability commitments underpinning everything it does. “Being part of the Project Earth edit at Selfridges is a great opportunity for La Maison Couture. We are pushing the boundaries to source and promote new global brands with sustainable focus. These responsible jewellery designers, using ethically sourced or recycled materials, have a positive impact on social and environmental change. They, and we, are using jewellery-making to change lives in communities and to encourage us to re-think the way we shop.” Tania McNab, La Maison Couture founder.
La Maison Couture is a multi-channel retail platform showcasing sustainable fine jewellery, responsible jewellers and emerging brands committed to social and environmental change. A platform that has the power to reassure customers that they are purchasing meaningful pieces from brands that only have a positive impact on our planet’s people and resources.
Selfridges launched its Project Earth initiative in 2020 following over a decade of retail activism – from banning fur in 2005 to phasing our plastic-based cosmetic glitter in 2021. Project Earth is built on three themes – driving a transition to more sustainable materials, exploring new business models, and challenging the mindsets of partners and customers as well as staff – Project Earth is underpinned by science-based targets as the store looks to a net-zero future.
ABOUT THE ROCK HOUND
East London’s Gemmologist Jeweller, The Rock Hound, is known for using responsibly sourced raw materials to create striking design-led jewellery. Playful hues frame bold gemstones and organic, flowing forms to create offbeat pairings. Holding ethical principles at the core of the brand, The Rock Hound brings the aesthetics to ethics.
The brand was founded in 2015 by award-winning jewellery designer, Susi Smither FGA GIA JDT. Today, it is a proud Fairtrade Gold Licensee and a recognised collaborator with artisan lapidaries and gemstone mining partners across the globe.
Thought-provoking, unconventional and fearlessly creative, Selfridges has always sought to do things a little differently.
More than a shop, Selfridges is a social centre with sustainability at its heart, powered by imagination, curiosity and creativity.
The only store to be named the Best Department Store in the World four times, Selfridges offers a shopping experience that promises to surprise, amaze and amuse its customers by delivering extraordinary experiences.
The launch of Project Earth in 2020 marked a new chapter in Selfridges’ history – the start of a challenging yet vital journey to change the way we shop. The initiative builds on the industry-leading steps Selfridges has taken over the last 10 years to place sustainability at the heart of the business. Underpinning Project Earth is a commitment to Science
Based Targets and to achieve Net-zero carbon by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. Selfridges is committed to transforming the way we shop physically and digitally. From its in-house Cinema, restaurants and bars, skate bowl and extraordinary events calendar, to celebrating new and upcoming artists and designers, Selfridges has always been more than the sum of its products.
ABOUT PROJECT EARTH
In 2020, Selfridges launched a transformational new sustainability initiative, Project Earth – its commitment to change the way we shop by 2025.
The initiative builds on the industry leading steps Selfridges has taken over the last 10 years to place sustainability at the heart of the business. Selfridges aims to help customers change the way they shop in three ways: by addressing the materials used in products, launching and exploring new retail models such as repair and resell, and engaging with teams, partners and customers to inspire a shift in mindsets. Working closely with over 300 brand partners and with support from the Woodland Trust and WWF, Project Earth will kickstart with eight weeks of experiments, innovations and conversations, across all stores and online, dedicated to reinventing retail.
Selfridges is the first luxury department store to set tough material requirements as part of their commitment to a science-based Scope 3 carbon reduction target in goods and services.
Through Project Earth, Selfridges commits to:
• Materials – Ensure the most environmentally impactful materials used throughout the business come from certified, sustainable sources by 2025
• Models – Pioneer new retail models and experiences, making Selfridges synonymous with circularity, including repair, resell, refill and rental
• Mindsets – Put longevity, creativity and sustainability at the heart of the business, and engage with teams, partners and customers to effect change
Underpinning Project Earth is a broader commitment to Science Based Targets and to achieve Net-zero carbon by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.
Founded by American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1909, Selfridges is widely regarded as the first and best example of a modern department store. With his revolutionary understanding of publicity and the theatre of retail, Selfridges flourished under the direction of its charismatic Chief. Harry Gordon Selfridge’s spirit of innovation and creativity lives on through its owners today. Since 2003, W. Galen Weston and family have owned and operated the business, with four stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester and an international website delivering to over 130 countries.
ABOUT LA MAISON COUTURE
La Maison Couture is a multi-channel retail platform showcasing sustainable fine jewellery, responsible jewellery makers, independent jewellers and lifestyle brands with cutting-edge design. Our mission is to champion and mentor emerging brands committed to social and environmental change. Just as importantly, we believe it is our responsibility to reassure our customers that they are purchasing meaningful jewellery pieces from brands with a positive impact on our planet’s people and resources.
Our brands are game-changers in their field, showcasing the best in sustainable innovation, pioneering design, exceptional quality and creativity. Many pieces featured are as much exquisite works of art as they are jewellery items. Some are timeless, collectable pieces and future heirlooms, others represent the stories of inspiring women using
jewellery-making to change lives. We work with Fine and Fashion brands using certified ethical or recycled materials, responsibly sourced stones and precious metals or using jewellery making to effect positive change. All brands are onboarded according to our 5-point Responsible Jewellery criteria.
Aside from exceptional quality and design, supply chain transparency and story-telling is key. We and our customers expect our brands to know, and be able to communicate effectively, where their materials come from, the people and process involved, how they are positively impacting our people and preserving our planet for future generations.
Going forward, our vision is three-fold: to Disrupt, to Inspire and to Educate. Having these principles at the forefront of all our collaborations and partnerships we endeavour to make positive and meaningful advances that impact artisans, designers and consumers alike.
ABOUT FAIRTRADE GOLD
Fairtrade is a global organization working to secure a better deal for producers worldwide. Fairtrade believes that trade can be a fundamental driver of poverty reduction and greater sustainable development, only if it is managed for that purpose, with greater equity and transparency than is currently the norm.
Through better organization, resources and access to mainstream markets under fair trading conditions, people can overcome disadvantages and marginalisation. It is Fairtrade’s imperative to empower artisanal miners to do this and support them in this process. Fairtrade understands the challenges and needs of these artisanal miners and is equipped to offer an improved, sustainable future for those involved.
It may take several years to certify a mine to Fairtrade Standards and Fairtrade seeks to encourage investment in mines to reach certification, taking the necessary steps to achieve this goal. Fairtrade’s work is driven by informed consumer choices, and the desire for businesses to meet the expectations of their customers, both of which provide crucial support for wider campaigning to reform international trade rules and create a fairer economic system.
ABOUT THE GOLDSMITHS’ CRAFT & DESIGN COUNCIL
The Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council is a non-profit making organisation founded over one hundred years ago in 1908. Today, the Council continues its work from its original remit: ‘to encourage, stimulate and promote the pursuit of excellence in craftsmanship and design amongst all those in the United Kingdom who work within silversmithing, goldsmithing, jewellery and the allied crafts.’
About The Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards
The Council Awards embrace every aspect of craft and design activity currently being practiced in the UK industry. Diverse and wide ranging, the skill set of British jewellery, goldsmithing, silversmithing and allied trades is showcased annually as part of the Council’s unique national competition to which there is no parallel in the UK.
All submissions entered into the competition are judged by skilled and experienced practitioners drawn from their specialist fields of expertise within the profession. Through this process of peer inspection and scrutiny, work is endorsed by professionals to the highest standards and objectives set by the Council, thus validating the status and quality of these awards. The Council promotes and encourages participation in the competition primarily by its annual exhibitions which showcase high calibre entrant work at Goldsmiths’ Hall and The Goldsmiths’ Centre.