Livia Firth and Matteo Marzotto at VicenzaOro

VICENZA — Rewarding Chopard’s efforts toward achieving sustainability, VicenzaOro bestowed the Andrea Palladio International Jewellery Corporate Social Responsibility Award to the Swiss firm. Livia Firth, founder and creative director of Eco-Age, who sponsored the award, emphasized Chopard’s engagement with the consultancy.

“Gold and jewelry are among the least sustainable businesses,” said Firth ahead of the event. “You use mercury to dig, social justice is a mess and there are repercussions from mining to refining.” Firth recalled her first meeting with Chopard artistic director and copresident Caroline Scheufele in 2012. “I asked her where she sourced her gold, and when she responded “From the bank,” she realized she had never really questioned that. Every jeweler buys gold from banks, but she started the journey to sustainable luxury, truly committed to the welfare of people,” supporting certified miners and their communities by using Fairmined gold, extracted under responsible labor conditions. In less than three years, 70 percent of the gold employed by Chopard is Fairmined certified, she added. Firth said this story is incorporated in the brand as “consumer wants to know” about steps made toward sustainability.

The fifth edition of the awards was held on Friday during the opening ceremony of jewelry trade show VicenzaOro, organized by the newly formed Italian Exhibition Group. Matteo Marzotto, vice president of IEG, underscored that sustainability is the leitmotif of this edition of VicenzaOro, “The Responsible Gold.” “It’s part of IEG’s efforts to promote issues such as the respect of human rights and ethical, social and environmental aspects in the world of jewelry,” said Marzotto. Earlier this month, IEG, which has integrated Fiera di Vicenza and Rimini Fiera, received in New York the formal accreditation, through CIBJO, the world jewelry confederation, at ECOSOC, the United Nations’ Economic and Social Coucil, for the promotion and implementation of activities related to CSR in the jewelry pipeline.

Other Andrea Palladio Awards bestowed on Friday included: Faraone Mennella as best Italian jewelry designer; Nikos Koulis for best international jewelry designer; Antonini Milano for the “Siracusa” collection as the best Italian jewelry brand collection; the best international jewelry brand collection to Boucheron for the “Animaux De Collection” collection; the best jewelry flagship store to Nirav Modi in New York; the best jewelry communication campaign to Cartier for the “Diamonds” campaign; the best jewelry communication new media to Nervous System, and the lifetime achievement award to Franco Cologni, president of Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte.

Clare Phillips, curator of the sculpture, iron, glass and ceramics department of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum; Alba Cappellieri, professor of jewelry design at Milan’s Politecnico, and Silvana Annichiarico, director of the Triennale Design Museum, were among the jurors.

Later that evening, Marzotto held a dinner at Vicenza’s El Coq Michelin-starred restaurant headed by chef Lorenzo Cogo, in the stunning Piazza dei Signori near the Palladian Basilica and the Museum of Jewelry, with Firth as guest of honor and to pay homage to Koulis and other young jewelry designers.

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