About the new generation of fine jewelery - luxurious & sustainable

Talking to Helge Maren Hauptmann - the founder of the first German B Corp certified jewelery brand Maren Jewellery

Interview with Helge Maren Hauptmann, founder of Maren Jewellery

Maren Jewellery
Source & Copyright by Maren Jewellery

Source and Copyright by Maren Jewellery

Author: House of Eden

For Helge Maren Hauptmann, founder of Maren Jewellery, jewelery has to do more than just look beautiful. In view of the negative environmental impact and precarious working conditions in the jewelery industry, she is concerned not only with aesthetics, but also with fairness, ethics and sustainability. And we do it holistically and without compromise. That's why the jewelery designer works exclusively with recycled precious metals and synthetic eco-diamonds from the laboratory. But that's not all: A transparent supply chain, close relationships with partners, philanthropy and climate neutrality complement the commitment portfolio of the visionary.

All of this ultimately results in Maren Jewelery setting new standards for the industry, which is exactly why it was the first German jewelery label to be appointed a B Corporation. In an exclusive interview, Helge Maren Hauptmann talks about how fine jewelery can be reconciled with mindfulness and environmental protection.

Maren Jewelery - Helge Maren Haupmann

Source & Copyright by Maren Jewelery / Anna Duschl

"Even if I work holistically and sustainably at the workbench, this is of no use as long as the value and supply chain does not meet the same requirements."

1. Was there a special moment that inspired you to start Maren Jewellery?

Maren Jewellery is my way to finally follow my heart. For many years I have been privately involved with a vegan lifestyle, sustainability, but also with luxury jewelry and have always wondered how I can combine all of this. I believe that passion is the most powerful driver for change - you can't be just a little bit passionate. I can't just burn for the things that move me privately. At some point, it felt wrong to continue working for companies that didn't share my beliefs to the extent I wished. And so the decision to found a company with Maren Jewelery that combines everything I want to work for came naturally.

2. What distinguishes your own label from traditional jewelery brands?

Maren Jewelery is not fundamentally different from other labels. Just like everyone else, we are concerned with designing the most aesthetic pieces of jewelery possible. We just go a different way than most because we forge luxury jewelry in harmony with nature. This means that we only use recycled precious metals, that we use synthetic diamonds instead of conventional ones and that we select our partners very carefully. And that's because it's automatically clear that nothing will come of it if they don't share our vision.

flowers maren

Source & Copyright by Maren Jewelery / Anna Duschl

This decision may sound like a caveat. Because we may not deliver as fast as others. But we find limitations an inspiration. When you can't access everything, you're forced to get creative. Otherwise we try to keep our design as close to nature as possible: clear lines, calm design - jewelry that radiates calm.

3. Sustainability has meanwhile also become a trend word in the jewelry industry. Do you see a lot of greenwashing?

Of course, everyone wants to be sustainable. And greenwashing is a problem. I don't see it as a huge problem though. As long as the topic of sustainability is taken up, things are moving. In addition, customers are becoming more and more knowledgeable. They notice faster and faster when brands present themselves as greener than they are.

4. What do labels have to implement so that their jewelry is actually sustainable?

I've already touched on that. What is really important is the supply chain and therefore the partners you work with. Even if I work holistically and sustainably at the workbench, this is of no use as long as the value chain and supply chain do not meet the same requirements.

Maren Jewelery - work

Source & Copyright by Maren Jewelery / Anna Duschl

For Maren Jewellery, however, sustainability encompasses even more. Since we don't use gold from mines, we support the Earthbeat Foundation. This creates new job opportunities in the areas where people depend on critical mining work. We don't want to look the other way just because we against mine gold have decided.

5. Do you sometimes get criticism for working with recycled precious metals and synthetic eco-diamonds?

I have never had any complaints. And this is also very easy to explain: There is no difference between recycled gold and newly mined gold. Not even between conventional diamonds and ours lab grown diamonds. They are optically, chemically and in their purity identical to their natural counterparts. Only much more climate-friendly.

6. What does it mean to you to be a B Corporation?

Above all, this shows us that we are on the right track. We are incredibly happy that our work is seen and that we have met the blatant requirements and a B Corp are! At the same time, this means that we must not rest on our laurels. In order to keep the certificate, we have to develop further. If you stagnate, you lose.

Maren Jewelery Chain Anna Duschl Photography 1

Source & Copyright by Maren Jewelery / Anna Duschl

7. How do you ensure transparency along the value chain?

We have listed all of our carefully selected partners on our website. We are in close contact with them and talk about every innovation and every idea that can improve our joint product. I am convinced that if you do everything with passion, you like to act transparently and disclose your commitment. After all, we are proud of our work.

8. What are currently the biggest challenges for jewelry labels to act sustainably?

I think it just takes a while to find your way. Until you find partners who suit you and whose work is just as sustainable and ethical. Of course, this process can be quite draining. Especially when you change your mind, it often means that a lot of time, effort and money have been wasted. At the same time, of course, you put a lot of pressure on yourself because you want to start the actual work - the jewelry design - as soon as possible. Experience has shown that these challenges are quite an ordeal.

9. Which certificates can consumers really rely on?

The most well-known seal from the jewelery sector is the RJC certificate. This certifies ethically, socially and ecologically responsible requirements for the entire supply chains. Labels are independently verified, which is why it is very trustworthy. And difficult to obtain. Accordingly, we are very proud to have the certificate.

Maren Jewelery Anna Duschl Photography 5

Source & Copyright by Maren Jewelery / Anna Duschl

There is also the B Corp seal. Another very trustworthy certificate that we were able to obtain as the first German jewelery company. It honors companies that are aware of their social, economic and ecological responsibility and are committed to changing the global economy in a sustainable and positive way. In addition to this seal, it is particularly important that companies always act transparently. I'm sure, that sustainable jewelry companies always happy to answer openly questions about production or the materials used.

10. How do you assess the development of the jewelery industry over the next few years - what role does Maren Jewelery play in this?

The jewelry industry - just like the entire fashion industry - will move more and more towards sustainability. And I think that in recent years we have acquired a lot of expertise that other labels can learn from. At least that's what I wish for: that we don't take any single step that we take alone.

Thank you for the interview, dear Helge!

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