Sus­tain able Chopard

The 67th edi­tion of the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val was another re­sound­ing suc­cess. Plaza Watch at­tended to soak up the am­biance, see some won­der­ful wrist­watches on dis­play.

Plaza Watch International - - The Big Picture - WORDS: NICK RICE

in life have an in­nate way of com­pli­ment­ing each other. Re­fine­ment, in all its many forms, has a nat­u­ral ten­dency of con­trast­ing smartly with ob­jects that have also been cre­ated with knowl­edge, ded­i­ca­tion, crafts­man­ship and time.

If you were sit­ting be­hind the wheel of an im­mac­u­lately re­stored 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Spi­der, it just wouldn’t do to be wear­ing a piece of cheap quartz tat on your wrist. How­ever, a Chopard L.U.C Per­pet­ual T… that would crown the im­age.

Equally, on the red car­pet in Cannes, you re­ally ought to be wear­ing a suit­ably stylish wrist­watch and Chopard’s col­lec­tion does not dis­ap­point. All around on the wrists of ac­tors, direc­tors and mere mor­tals, Plaza Watch spot­ted an ar­ray of dif­fer­ent Chopard pieces. This is no real sur­prise though as the lux­ury watch brand has been closely con­nected to the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val since 1998 and Chopard has been adorn­ing stars ev­ery year in the fa­mous “mount­ing the steps” rit­ual, re­ward­ing upand-com­ing ac­tors, and or­gan­is­ing some of the hottest-ticket evening events of the fes­ti­val fort­night.

This year the lav­ish par­ties and elec­tric at­mos­phere was as al­ways, how­ever, the main at­trac­tion had a new gleam. The main at­trac­tion, of course, be­ing the trophy that ev­ery­one in the film in­dus­try would like to re­ceive. The Palme d’Or – the shin­ing em­blem of the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val, awarded to the best film in the of­fi­cial se­lec­tion.

The no­table change was that the Palme d’Or, hand-crafted in the Chopard work­shops, was made in ‘Fairmined’ cer­ti­fied gold – mean­ing eth­i­cal gold ex­tracted in full re­spect of the rules of eco­nomic, so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal de­vel­op­ment. This laud­able move forms part of an ap­proach in­sti­gated by Chopard last year to lead the growth of sus­tain­able lux­ury in the lux­ury field.

Mak­ing the cel­e­brated trophy in fairmined gold is a bold step for­ward by Chopard and hope­fully more com­pa­nies in the in­dus­try will follow suit and en­sure the high­est eth­i­cal stan­dards are main­tained in the pro­duc­tion of their goods. Caro­line Scheufele, co-pres­i­dent of Chopard, says, “I am proud and happy that the Palme d’Or, which I redesigned 16 years ago, should be made of trace­able gold mined in a man­ner re­spect­ful of hu­man be­ings and the en­vi­ron­ment”.

Thierry Fré­maux, Délégué Général of the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val com­mented, “The Fes­ti­val de Cannes has al­ways rep­re­sented the high­est stan­dards in cin­e­matic ex­cel­lence. We are there­fore de­lighted that Chopard, who has been one of the prin­ci­pal spon­sors of the Fes­ti­val for the last 17 years, are to craft the 2014 Palme d’Or – the most pres­ti­gious award in the in­ter­na­tional film in­dus­try – from fairmined gold. This gold rep­re­sents the high­est stan­dards of gold avail­able to­day in the world, and adds a won­der­ful lus­tre to the Palme d’Or and the Fes­ti­val de Cannes.”

Fairmined gold is de­fined as be­ing ex­tracted by ar­ti­sanal and small-scale min­ers cer­ti­fied un­der the “Fairmined” stan­dard, cre­ated by the Al­liance for Re­spon­si­ble Min­ing (ARM). This la­bel guar­an­tees strict re­spect for the rules of eco­nomic, so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal de­vel­op­ment in the min­ing process. Chopard forged a part­ner­ship with ARM in May 2013 and in do­ing so be­came the first lux­ury watch and jew­ellery company to support and en­able min­ing com­mu­ni­ties to reach Fairmined cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

This cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will pro­vide a sta­ble route to mar­ket and a fair deal

“I am proud and happy that the Palme d’Or, which I redesigned 16 years ago, should be made of trace­able gold mined in a man­ner re­spect­ful of hu­man be­ings and the en­vi­ron­ment”

for the min­ers and their com­mu­ni­ties when sell­ing their gold. Through its work, Chopard will en­sure that th­ese work­ers are no longer marginalised but recog­nised as key mem­bers of the sup­ply chain.

In or­der for lux­ury goods to be both sus­tain­able and eth­i­cal, the labour rights and ar­ti­sanal skills in­volved must be recog­nised at the very be­gin­ning of the sup­ply chain.

Chopard has ad­mirably placed sus­tain­able lux­ury in a global spot­light, and for the first time at the 67th edi­tion, the Palme d’Or rep­re­sented not only very best in the film in­dus­try, but also in eth­i­cal gold pro­duc­tion.

P L A Z A WA T C H ' S ED­I­TOR I N C H I E F, NICK RICE, AT THE FEST IVA L .

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