mines and belong to the community as such. But the bigger ones belong to the governments, so the governments have to impose the change. We have to talk to the governments, which is more time-consuming and takes more lobbying.” She also mentions that her next trip to Africa would include a meeting with the president of Botswana during a UN meeting. This follows the 2017 unveiling of the Garden of Kalahari high jewellery collection that Scheufele, who’s also the maison’s creative director, had designed.
According to Scheufele, the president had asked to visit Chopard’s manufacture because of the Kalahari collection, and because he would like to find out more about improving the state of Botswana’s mining industry. “This is very exciting for me because it tells me that things are happening. When one country starts, the next one would say ‘ oh they’re doing it so we should also do it’. It’s that snowball effect.”
Primarily, Scheufele wants to encourage owners of mines and the governments behind them to achieve ethical certification. For a mine to be certified ethical, it must not use toxic chemicals, such as cyanide, to extract the gold from the earth. It also has to be demarcated clearly so as to prevent accidents. It obviously cannot employ child labour and has to pay the miners a fixed salary. Chopard works with a Swiss organisation called Better Swiss Gold can do it, I want to do it now. We didn’t have that much Fairmined gold then and the Palm d’Or is made of 18-carat solid gold so it took up a lot of our supply. But I thought it was very important and added incredible value to the award. Even the rock crystal, which comes from Austria, is also ethically sourced. If I have something on my mind, I don’t give up and I don’t take no for an answer.”
FROM GOLD TO GEMSTONES Such unwavering tenacity was probably the driving force that enabled Chopard to achieve 100 percent ethical gold for all its watches and jewellery within five short years. In July 2018, the maison announced publicly, in the presence of celebrities, clients and the media, that every Chopard creation would be crafted using ethically sourced gold. Believing that sustainability is something that everyone should be concerned about today, Scheufele thinks that more companies will come to follow in Chopard’s footsteps in the future. By then, however, Chopard will be years ahead of the competition. But is her work done? Not at all.
“There’s a whole other field out there and that’s gemstones. There’s a lot to present in that field and it’s a big jungle out there, but this doesn’t mean we can’t start somewhere and tackle the problem. Every year at Cannes for the last four years, we work with