Caroline Scheufele, copresident and artistic director of Chopard and Cie SA, had an epiphany whilst having coffee with Livia Giuggioli in 2013, whom she first met when Giuggioli’s husband, Colin Firth, won an Oscar for “The King’s Speech.” Giuggioli was working to promote eco-friendly practices in the fashion industry, and asked Scheufele where her gold came from. When Scheufele realized she couldn’t answer the question, it set her on a course to make her family maison sustainable.
The luxury brand has recently committed to using only 100 percent responsibly sourced gold in all its jewelry and watches from July 2018, one of the first luxury brands in the industry to make such a promise.
“It is very important to the luxury industry today that we all work together on that project, because why are we making beautiful clothes and beautiful jewelry when we are spoiling the planet? We shouldn’t be doing that,” said Scheufele.
Chopard works with partners that trace the origins of raw materials throughout the entire supply chain in order to help protect the environment and the lives of those at the beginning of the supply chain. “It’s a journey, and it takes us all around the world where all these beautiful gemstones and gold come from. Whether it is Africa, whether it is Russia, whether it is South America,” said Scheufele.
“I think true luxury should be transparent and sustainable, and we should be proud about the products that we sell. We should know that children are not belonging to the mines and we should not be spoiling the planet anymore.”
On how to share the luxury brand’s core values and message in the forum’s host country, China, Scheufele spoke about the importance of an online presence. “I think that within the different continents, things are happening on a different path at a different speed. Definitely, in Asia, it [digital] is of vital importance. Chopard are in all the big cities, but we are not in all the secondary cities, so if people want to get to learn about the brand or start to get information, it goes through the ‘net, it doesn’t go anymore through the magazines or even television.”
Scheufele did explain that the balance of offline and online is crucial for the luxury brand’s success. “You need the lifestyle experience of shopping, of talking to somebody in a shop who is actually informed.
“Too many shops, we don’t need. It is better to have the right shop in the right place and make it an experience when your client gets there from A to Z. From the coffee, from the smiles of the sales people, from everything that comes with what is still human. Because, at the end of the day, we are still humans,” said Scheufele.