This story first appeared in the April 1, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Geneva-based watch and jewelry firm presented the initiative at a lunch in Paris where Cotillard joined Chopard copresident Caroline Scheufele and Livia Firth, creative director of brand consultancy Eco-Age, who has partnered with Chopard since 2013 in the framework of her Green Carpet Challenge.
Cotillard was the first actress to wear items from the Green Carpet Collection on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival two years ago.
The Oscar winner, who is due to unveil the bracelet and necklace she created at the next edition of the film festival in May, said it was the first time she had turned her hand to jewelry design, a process she enjoyed all the more because she got to use opal stones sourced from a family-owned mine in Australia.
“You design while thinking of the people who work on extracting the stones, so it’s a totally different energy,” she told WWD.
“Why should the creation of dreams and luxury turn into a nightmare for the people who are providing the raw material?” asked Cotillard, a longtime campaigner for green causes who recently joined French President François Hollande on a trip to the Philippines to highlight climate issues.
Firth said the collaboration with Cotillard was significant, as Chopard is heading into the thorny area of guaranteeing some of its colored gemstones are also ethically sourced. “It’s the first step in the new direction of the journey, which will take us into colored gemstones, and the opals are the first baby step. Because in the colored gem industry, there is no standard,” she said, noting stones are usually extracted, polished, cut and sold by different agents, making it hard to trace them.
Firth, a staunch opponent of fast fashion, has executive produced a documentary about the impact of high street clothing called “The True Cost.” The trailer of the film, directed by Andrew Morgan, will be released on April 24, the two-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, and it will screen in Cannes ahead of its worldwide release on May 29.
“It’s really a journey into fast fashion and, I’m not sure how to say it politely, but basically how f—ed up this whole thing is. Things are complicated and murky and totally unjust and wrong, so it’s a big call to reform, a big call to consumers to try to take a step back and start consuming maybe a bit more consciously,” she said.
“If fast fashion didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be talking about ethical fashion and ecological fashion,” Firth added.
The event was also an opportunity for Chopard to showcase a Green Carpet capsule collection of diamond jewels inspired by the Palme d’Or award, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Since last year, Chopard — an official partner of the Cannes Film Festival since 1988 — has manufactured the award from Fairmined gold.
Chopard recently revealed its support for a second gold mine in South America, which will allow it to expand its jewelry and watch offerings made from Fairmined gold, and has created a segregation process at its workshops in Geneva to guarantee the traceability of the precious material.
Underscoring its long-term links with the film industry, the jeweler is also supporting “Lumière! The Invention of Cinema,” an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris that runs until June 14. It hosted an opening cocktail last Thursday that drew the likes of Monica Bellucci, Clotilde Courau, Claudia Cardinale and Gaspard Ulliel.