The New Luxury: Caroline Scheufele, Artistic Director of Chopard
Co-President and Artistic Director, Chopard
In addition to overseeing Chopard’s high-jewelry and ladies collections, Caroline Scheufele is a pioneer in—and an advocate for—the use of Fairmined gold. Fairmined, a program developed by the Alliance for Responsible Mining, certifies gold produced by entities that meet certain standards for responsible and ethical mining activities. Thanks in large part to Scheufele, Chopard has used the certified gold in some of its jewelry collections and watches, and the co-president and artistic director herself has garnered considerable attention for the use of Fairmined gold, thanks to her A-list celebrity clients who have worn the Swiss jewelry house’s metal of choice on the red carpet. —JILL NEWMAN
Nobody needs to buy jewelry and watches; it is a desire, a dream. When you dream of a beautiful product, it should live up to your expectations through the design, the quality of the stones and metal, and knowing it is made by artisans and it is authentic, using materials that come from a responsible source.
The ultimate luxury is knowing where the product that you desire, purchase, or are given as a gift comes from and how it is made. My goal is to show that luxury can come from sustainable sources. If you have the choice to buy something, you should be able to choose something that comes from completely ethical sources.
I never questioned where our gold came from until four years ago when someone asked, and then I looked into it. Traditional gold mining releases mercury into the earth when you separate the ore from the pebbles, and it is highly toxic. We can change this and use gold that is safer for the environment. As we speak, two more mines are being certified: one in Bolivia and one in Colombia. My ultimate goal is that all our jewelry will be made with Fairmined gold, and my brother [Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele] wants all the watches made in Fairmined gold. Hopefully in a few years there will be rules imposed by the governments to ensure the gold is responsibly sourced in the same way the government oversees the car industry’s emissions output.
We got the message out on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. When people like Marion Cotillard talk about it, the word spreads on Twitter and social media. Like many things in life, you have to do something about it. We started with Fairmined gold and showed it can be done. We don’t want to remain the pioneers, we want others to join us, and together we can all make a difference.