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The King’s Bling

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Livia Giuggioli, wife of the future Sir Colin Firth, one-upped herself last night. Her Green Carpet challenge, in which she goes fully sustainably gowned to every awards show—and no movie has provided more opps than The King’s Speech—became the Green-and-Gold Challenge. Her gown was righteous. It was by Southeast London designer Gary Harvey, formerly of Levi’s, who cut it from 11 vintage frocks dating from the start of George VI’s reign. But her jewelry! Her earrings and enormous cocktail ring were forged from not merely fair trade, but fair-trade fair-mined ecological gold, and with fully traceable gems. This was a world first.

Nothing so fancy has ever been so traceable. The Oro Verde gold came from Colombia, via CRED jewelry‘s mine workers’ collective, whose members extract the precious metal by hand, thus avoiding poisons like cyanide and mercury. The diamonds were courtesy of the Liqhobong Women Miners Cooperative in Lesotho, and the 35 carats of aquamarines came from Lundazi, a community mine in Zambia, and were hand-exported to Sri Lanka for cutting before being personally couriered to London for Livia’s selection by conscientious gemologist Guy Clutterbuck. Livia was impressed. “He reminded me of my dad and the stories he shared with me as a kid when he used to travel all over Africa and Saudi Arabia,” she said. “You wonder why there aren’t more characters like him in the world today.”

Livia then selected the stones with Brighton-based jewelry designer Anna Loucah, who also made—out of recycled white gold, ethical rubies and purple spinel, carbon-neutral pearls, and conflict-free black diamonds—her Firth-triumphant Golden Globe suite of bracelet and earrings. This stuff must be lucky.


Kate Sekules is the founder of the haute-cycling swap site www.refashioner.com.

Photos: Jason Merritt / Getty Images (Giuggioli and Firth); Courtesy of CRED (jewelry details)

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  1. novakati says:

    this is very inspiring! i’ve been saying for years how awful the gem/precious metal trade is – from the blood diamonds to the horrible environmental effects from the mines. it is so so great to see that someone walking a red carpet with international attention has decided to be ethical AND fashionable. yey!

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