Daniela Colaiacovo & Sustainable Jewellery

Discover more about MAKAL and and their sustainable journey here

Amidst the many actors of the highly polluting gold mine industry stands one woman attempting to change it all. When Daniela Coloaiacovo first travelled to South America in the early 2000’s, introducing sustainable practices in this area was a concept that had yet to be heard of. Being the third biggest cause of deforestation worldwide, mining usually leaves behind its trails child labour, waste and dangerous chemicals. Raising ethical concerns about the many ways it hurt local communities, Colaiacovo began her journey to better this industry while helping workers – particularly female ones. Invited to Rome on the occasion of the “Gioiello Forme e Culture”, a series of talks about Jewellery and its future in the eternal city , Daniela Colaiacovo gave talks about the story behind her brand – MAKAL. Inspired by the Mayan heritage she learned to love during her time spent in Honduras, the label is an ode to the potential of raw gold nuggets with one thing at heart : sustainability. Founded in 2018, it symbolises the linear journey growth Colaiacovo has undergone through her career. Determined to bring an end to the lack of understanding surrounding jewellery and what really goes on behind the scene, the CEO is always on the look-out for ways to improve her business with her associate Ashton Carter. “Setting the standards from day one was a priority – ethics before all” she declared. Every detail from material sourcing to packaging is thought out to bring customers authentic made to order products. Hopeful for the future, Colaiacovo believes customers have the power to put pressure on brands and to change things. “It is the customer’s job to discover who is greenwashing by asking questions and being interested in what their options are – businesses’ reputations are at risk and the customer should play on this fact instead of accepting any outcome that isn’t truthful.” The founders urged guests to always look beyond what is put in front of their eyes, stating instagram is far from showing the full picture and that things happening past the European Union still have an impact on our lives. In other words : Being inquisitive is key when making a purchase. Why is jewellery so important to Italian fashion? I believe Italian fashion and jewellery have always walked hand in hand and nowadays you see many fashion brands going into the jewellery market and vice versa. Despite being a UK based brand, we manufacture all of our jewellery in Italy thanks to  the trusted artisans here. Why should we invest in higher-end jewellery? Investing in sustainable and higher-end jewellery is investing in the future. It is investing in something that will be on this earth forever and will be cherished for equal amounts of time. Having access to information telling you where what you are buying comes from helps investing in something that will last.  Is design, price or the story behind a product most important for the customer ?  Design and price still reach more people, however this has been slowly changing in the past 10 years and the story is now a big seller. Hopefully this trend keeps getting stronger as more people realise the importance of sustainability.  Can we still hope for a better future when it comes to fashion and jewellery? The jewellery industry is an ever evolving sector. I am very proud to be able to witness and take part in these changes as the years go by. When I started 20 years ago, nobody -god forbid, a woman- was talking about sustainability. 20 years go by and now it is on everyone’s lips. I am confident that changes will keep on happening and that we will see more and more brands taking responsibility. This will happen if we all keep working, sharing and collaborating. We need to stay hopeful. 

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