rethink sustainability

Meet Gemmyo: the luxury jeweller marrying recycled metals with the rarest gems

Meet Gemmyo: the luxury jeweller marrying recycled metals with the rarest gems

Since its launch in 2011, French brand Gemmyo has forged its own path in the sedate world of fine jewellery. Having started out as an online-only business, the brand has since established a network of boutiques in France and abroad, including in Switzerland. Its ‘made in France’ credentials, a high level of customisation and a commitment to sustainability form the cornerstones of the brand’s success1.

The Gemmyo story began when the company co-founders became engaged. The couple created the blueprint for the business based on their shared love of gemstones – which also inspired the name Gemmyo. CEO and co-founder Pauline Laigneau shares her vision and aspirations with us.

 

What was the inspiration behind Gemmyo?

When my husband proposed to me, we didn’t have any heirloom jewellery in either of our families, so we decided to choose my engagement ring together. Unfortunately, the experience at most of the major jewellery houses was often intimidating, and the only options were traditional designs that didn’t reflect who I am. I wanted to find a jewellery house that was sophisticated but also willing to listen to me. A brand that offered the finest materials and an exceptional service, whilst still being authentic and human. We couldn’t find a brand that gave us what we wanted, so my husband Charif and I set about creating one.

 

You recently opened your first boutique in Geneva, Switzerland. Why did you choose this location?

Geneva is a hub for jewellery and watchmaking, so opening our first Swiss boutique in the heart of the city was momentous for us. It had been a dream of ours, and now, thanks to my team, we’ve been able to make it a reality.

Our core market is people who live locally to our boutiques, and who are looking for an alternative to the major traditional jewellery houses. We aim to attract clients who want a more personal, intimate and warm experience. This is how we cemented our success in France.

Our core market is people who live locally to our boutiques, and who are looking for an alternative to the major traditional jewellery houses

What makes your jewellery brand ethical and sustainable?

Sustainability is essential for us, it’s part of our brand. The gold and other metals we use are all recycled, and most of our jewellery is produced to order locally. We strive to have the smallest possible carbon footprint. We are also 100% made in France. We have made a corporate and social commitment: every Gemmyo piece is made in accordance with social and environmental standards that respect human rights and our planet. Our jewellery is created to last and be passed down from generation to generation.

 

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What metals and stones do you primarily work with? What are your selection criteria?

We want to showcase rare and lesser-known gems, such as chocolate diamonds, lavender spinels and blue-grey sapphires – we think they deserve to be better known amongst jewellery lovers. So that we can guarantee they are mined responsibly we only work with diamonds that are certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council and comply with the Kimberley Process, which stops “conflict diamonds” getting to the market.

The gold and other metals we use are all recycled, and most of our jewellery is produced to order locally

There are no equivalent labels for coloured stones. However, our partners are selected based on their commitment to responsible sourcing, so we can be sure that our stones meet the highest possible ethical standards. Lastly, we only work with recycled gold and platinum – this underpins our commitment to ethical practices and environmental responsibility, and avoids the risk of corruption in the supply chain.

 

We hear a lot about the circular economy in the fashion industry. Does it have the same importance for jewellery?

The jewellery world needs to continue to strengthen its environmental and social commitments. However, unlike the fashion or food industries, for example, where wastage is a real problem, jewellery is something to be passed on, objects with meaning that are infinitely recyclable.

Read also: Pioneering circularity: the rise of the sharing economy

Where do you see Gemmyo in ten years? What opportunities and challenges do you expect to encounter?

We have big dreams! We plan to keep opening boutiques internationally, in particular we have plans for Zurich. As we grow, we need to keep delivering on what our clients have come to expect – an authentic approach, ethical production using only the finest materials, and an impeccable service. But our service must stay warm, instead of being intimidating, as some jewellery houses can be. And the cherry on top of course, real sustainability credentials.

In ten years, I envisage a brand with the status of a major international jewellery house but which has stayed true to its values and kept the things that make us unique – sophisticated whilst still being warm and personal, and of course transparency and sustainability.

Gemmyo has been using recycled gold and platinum for around six years. All our gold and platinum also bears the CoC (Chain of Custody) label, the main aim of which is to demonstrate the traceability of the metal. CoC metals are produced in accordance with responsible mining practices as defined by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) Code of Practices and therefore do not contribute to conflicts. It is also essential to know that these recycled materials all come from suppliers specifically selected to rule out illegitimate sources. In simple terms, these recycled metals frequently originate from old jewellery, or gold and platinum used in industry, which are reprocessed in France and then refined so that they can be used again.

 

1Gemmyo’s workshops have been awarded the following certifications:

  • Responsible Jewellery Council: RJC certification promotes confidence in the global fine jewellery industry by guaranteeing that companies adhere to responsible business practices.
  • Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant: (EPV, Living Heritage Business) this official French label, which was created in 2005, is awarded by the French Ministry of Economic and Financial Affairs to recognise French companies demonstrating artisanal and industrial excellence.
  • Joaillerie de France: this label certifies that the products have been manufactured, mounted, set and polished in France.
  • ISO 9001: the ISO 9000 family of quality management system standards helps organisations ensure that they meet the needs of clients and other stakeholders in respect of the legal and regulatory requirements associated with a product or service.
  • The Kimberley Process (PK) unites administrations, civil societies, and industry in reducing the flow of conflict diamonds (rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments) around the world.

Important information

This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

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