Sustainability is interwoven through the Bibi van der Velden DNA. As a designer who is continually inspired by nature, Bibi is passionate about protecting the planet for future generations. With several nations having now declared a climate emergency, we believe that sustainability and responsibility should permeate every aspect of our business. Here are some of the ways in which Bibi van der Velden is committed to sustainability, protecting the planet, and the people who work with us.
Fine jewellery is an inherently “slow” form of adornment. Our designs aren’t led by fleeting trends, but are instead about creating pieces that are treasured forever, and passed down through the generations. Bibi works exclusively with recycled gold, sustainably-sourced diamonds by De Beers, and sustainably-sourced rubies and emeralds from Gemfields.
Repurposing materials is also part of Bibi’s philosophy. Her mammoth tusk pieces are fashioned using 60,000-year-old tusk from the extinct woolly mammoth, that’s been discovered in the Siberian permafrost. And to create her Scarab Wing designs, Bibi sources these insect wings from South East Asia, where they’re often discarded after the beetles are eaten. With their glistening iridescence, these wings encapsulate nature’s inherent beauty.
And in her Forces of Nature collection, Bibi has designed pieces intended to spark a conversation about the planet’s future. With designs inspired by tornadoes, wildfires, and melting ice caps, these pieces are a beautifully poignant reminder of the duality of nature, of its force and strength alongside its fragility.
Bibi van der Velden’s jewellery is produced by craftsmen in both Bangkok, Thailand, and Amsterdam, Holland. In both cities, we work with local artisans, as part of our commitment to keep their age-old techniques and livelihoods alive. Each piece of jewellery is individually produced so it’s entirely unique, with much of the work on a piece done by hand.
Bibi also works with the studios in Bangkok over Skype, limiting the number of flights she takes to Asia to reduce our company’s carbon footprint.
We seek to integrate sustainability on a micro level within our business. We heat only the rooms that we use in our headquarters, while our lighting is automatic, turning off if a room is empty. All members of our team cycle everywhere within Amsterdam, instead of taking cars.
When we host events, we serve only gourmet vegetarian food, mindful of meat’s carbon footprint. We serve water in glass bottles by the Amsterdam company Marie Stella Maris, which donates to clean water projects for every bottle purchased. We also recycle all our plastic, glass, cardboard, and paper. We use sustainable cleaning materials, and when it comes to printing we’re as efficient as we can be, printing as much as we can on each run.
As for shipping, we work with Fed Ex’s sustainable shipping service, so that we only send out our orders out on a multi-batch basis, again to reduce our carbon footprint. We recycle all our shipping materials, too.
We recognise that like all businesses, we’re on a journey when it comes to sustainability. We aren’t perfect, but we’re seeking to make a difference at every opportunity we can, in the hope of combatting the current climate emergency, and protecting this awe-inspiring planet for us and future generations.