What is sustainable luxury?

When we think of ‘luxury’, most of us would conjure up images of dazzling jewellery, flashy cars, opulent, champagne-filled hotels, slick private jets. We think about the finest leathers, precious gemstones and outrageously expensive details. Everything is sparkly and new, feels exquisite to the touch and is so expensive you are scared to even use it.

In contrast, ‘sustainability’ brings very different images to mind. Planet-friendly, recycling, zero-waste, environment and of course, everything is the colour green. It’s about being socially-conscious – doing what’s right and what’s essential. The antithesis of having something ‘luxury’ just because you can.

So if these two notions are at opposite ends of the spectrum, what on earth is ‘Sustainable Luxury’? 

It’s a good question and one which we have explored since Irene & Jenny was in its infancy. So let’s break it down and understand how we, and many other brands, can be both sustainable AND luxury.

Sustainability in it’s simplest form is about us being able to exist and develop in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It works on the assumption that the earth’s natural resources are finite and so once they are depleted they are gone forever. Sustainability is made up of three pillars; the economy, society and the environment. These principles are also informally used as profit, people and planet. 

At Irene & Jenny we ONLY work with clients’ old heirloom jewellery. Items which have been in the family for generations. We extract the gemstones, melt down the metals and transform them into something spectacularly new and modern. We do not mine new gemstones or transport precious metals around the globe meaning our supply chain is very minimal. And because of the talents of our master jewellers, there is very little wastage.

Luxury can be defined as beautiful and expensive possessions which bring great pleasure and comfort but are not necessary or essential.

For us, luxury also means the opportunity to have something completely bespoke made, especially for you. The Irene & Jenny experience is about being treated like a VIP, having the time to share the stories behind your family’s heirloom jewellery. For us, luxury is about true craftsmanship; someone who has learnt his trade from generations before and settles for nothing less than perfection. It’s about the excitement of having your beautiful new jewellery delivered by hand in a stunning box accompanied by a book detailing the provenance of every gemstone and precious metal. So that your future generations can read about where this enchanting new, modern heirloom came from.

For us at Irene & Jenny, we are proud to truly consider ourselves a ‘Sustainable Luxury’ brand.