In a year brimming with cause-related jewelry campaigns, the new “Walk for Giants” initiative from the gemstone miner Gemfields and the international conservation charity Space for Giants is worth checking out.
Unveiled on Monday, the fundraising and awareness-building campaign is built around two capsule collections, sales of which are designed to raise money for African elephant conservation: a 44-piece line from Gemfields, which collaborated with 12 jewelers on pieces featuring its Zambian emeralds and Mozambican rubies, and 15 sustainable fashion and accessory lines available on Net-a-Porter.
With responsible sourcing at the core of its business, the mining company was a natural to partner with Space for Giants.
“Gemfields has, for more than a decade, walked a trail promoting greater transparency in the mining and selling of Africa’s colored gemstone resources,” said Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields, in a statement. “Today, more emerald- and ruby-derived value than ever accrues to our host countries in Mozambique and Zambia. Africa’s natural resources, whether in the form of her minerals or her biodiversity, must play a greater role in supporting local communities and championing vast conservation spaces.”
The 12 jewelers that created pieces for the Gemfields capsule span the style spectrum but are united in their thematic attention to detail. The Mumbai-based designer Bina Goenka, for example, created two dramatic pairs of earrings to represent a walk down an ancient elephant trail in Kenya: One is crafted with large pear-shaped gems that evoke elephant heads, while the Palm earrings dangle with grape-like bunches of emerald beads.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of Gemfields, Fabergé contributed a piece that pays homage to both the conservation effort and its imperial past: The jeweler’s gold and emerald bead Elephant Sunrise necklace culminates with a one-of-a-kind egg-shaped pendant handpainted in deep green guilloche enamel that opens to reveal a gold elephant.
Meanwhile, London’s GFG Jewellery by Nilufer created an Art Deco-esque Zelena Sol pendant inspired by Kenya, aka “the green country,” as well as the Zelena Maasai earrings, which mimic the bold, negative-space-laden silhouettes associated with the tribe’s distinctive jewelry.
The most literal take on the elephant theme comes by way of the London-based timepiece brand Backes & Strauss, whose Green Elephant high jewelry watch features a green mother-of-pearl dial handpainted with the image of an elephant, on a diamond- and emerald-set bracelet.
While the bulk of the Net-a-Porter capsule collection is dedicated to clothing and accessories by established designers such as Burberry, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Brunello Cucinelli, and Chantecaille, it also features jewelry, by the Danish brand Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen.
The Walk for Giants campaign was shot by Francesco Carrozzini with creative direction by Riccardo Ruini, and features models Arizona Muse and Selena Forrest at Enasoit Game Sanctuary in Laikipia, Kenya.