For Ana Khouri, it’s less about style trends and more of an overarching shift – by jewellers and jewellery lovers – towards a more sustainable approach to making and buying jewellery, whether that be finding ways to be kinder to the environment, or to the communities that mine precious materials. “Everyone is getting more conscious of the environment and overall the way we live, produce and consume,” she says. “At Ana Khouri, we only work with fair-mined gold and responsibly and ethically sourced gemstones.” Her new collection for The Row even features vintage rosewood recycled from an antique chest at her family home in São Paulo.
Many jewellers are finding that clients are increasingly responsive to efforts to recycle their unworn pieces and choose vintage and antique jewellery over new. Josephine Odet, head of buying and VIP sales at Omneque, says movies and shows like House of Gucci and And Just Like That have led to an uptick in interest in vintage fashion jewellery. In fact, she says, buyers are investing in “affordable rarities”, pieces of design history like Victorian skull rings that are unique but which don’t break the bank.
Kimai, the lab diamond jeweller, has just launched Second Life, a service in which clients can restore an old piece in their jewellery box or have it redesigned to create something new. “After speaking with our customers and community, we realised so many of us have pieces gathering dust in our jewellery boxes, and we wanted to provide a sustainable solution to this. This is how the second life service was born,” says co-founder Jessica Warch.
“I think people are looking to buy better. To make conscious decisions and invest in lasting ‘life-proof’ designs made from high-quality materials,” says Finematter’s Ejdrup. The e-tailer had an instantly positive response to its Renew and Recycle services, which launched last September and which encourage circular thinking and conscious consumption amongst jewellery owners.
Another thing that’s here to stay for the long-term: buying fine jewellery online, even big-ticket items that formerly customers would want to try on before they handed over their credit card. “Since 2019 we have seen our jewellery category go from strength to strength, with triple-digit growth in fine jewellery and double-digit growth in fashion jewellery,” says Wisdom of MatchesFashion. At Threads Styling, it continues to be one of its fastest-growing categories, 40 per cent up on 2020. Quy says that followers of the social media fashion hub lap up their content from jewellers like Ananya, who share their creative influences and a glimpse behind the bejewelled scenes. In the longer term, a recent State of Fashion report by Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company estimates that global online jewellery sales are expected to grow from 13 per cent to 18 to 21 per cent of total jewellery sales between 2019 and 2025, amounting to a not-to-be-sniffed-at $60 to $80 billion.