LONDON — Lynette Ong, founder of the sustainable jewelry brand Edge of Ember, started her company in 2014, after taking a break from being a financial bond trader in New York and Hong Kong.
The idea to start a label came to Ong when she was still on the trading floor dealing with numbers. “I wanted to find quality jewelry that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, and I wanted to know that it was made in an ethical way with sustainable materials,” she said, explaining that she also wanted an upgrade from mass-produced costume jewelry, but couldn’t quite find anything in the market.
So, she started Edge of Ember, which came to international fame after Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, wore a piece from the brand on her final days in the U.K. before relocating abroad with her husband Prince Harry in 2020.
As Ong expands the brand, she’s been collaborating with fashion blogger Victoria Magrath, who has 1.3 million followers on Instagram.
“I’ve known Victoria for years, and did our first collaboration over Zoom during lockdown,” said Ong, adding that it’s been such a success that they were both compelled to continue working together.
Their third series, “Gaia” takes inspiration from nature — the collection features green malachite and iridescent mother-of-pearl stones set against gold and silver.
Ong and Magrath worked with one of the brand’s suppliers in Thailand that are RJC certified. All the metals used are recycled and sourced from a local refinery. with each order placed sponsoring the planting of 10 mangrove trees in partnership with the Eden Reforestation Project.
“I was inspired by the model of Warby Parker and Toms where social responsibility is at the core of their business and I wanted to create a profitable and scalable brand that has social responsibility at the heart of it,” Ong said.
“It was also important for me to work with craftsmen in Asia because of my heritage.”
Edge of Ember remains focused on the U.K., even with a third of their sales coming from international destinations and the U.S. being one of their key markets.
Ong is planning numerous collaborations for the next year to grow her audience.
“We are a digital first brand, but going forward we will be looking to do more physical activations and partnering with wholesale stores,” she said.