Positive Week 2017: Governance and Responsible Business Leadership

Alexandra Llewellyn Design

Alexandra has worked on a range of special projects celebrating traditional techniques of artisans all over the world. Most recently she travelled to Afghanistan to work with Turquoise Mountain to create a backgammon board to raise awareness of the traditional skills of the Afghan people and celebrate their beautiful crafts. In a country ravaged by war it is projects like Turquoise Mountain that are helping artisans survive.


Turquoise Mountain is an educational institute whose mission is to regenerate Afghanistan’s traditional crafts and historic areas and in so doing create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of national identity. Photo credit: Alexandra Llewellyn




The brand’s philosophy is based on doing good and doing it well. Artha’s mission is to use modern commerce to socially and financially benefit the lives of artisans around the world, by giving them an opportunity to earn a living using their talents. Artha aims to change the homeware market by putting producers at the heart of the brand, by telling their stories and placing the focus on the breathtaking quality of these handmade pieces.

The beauty of Jamdani weaving was recognized by the Mughal emperors and, thanks to their patronage, traditions and knowledge were preserved and passed on through to the generation of present day weavers. Considered one of the most intricate and exquisite weaving techniques this craft is practiced by village communities in West Bengal, India. Photo credit: Artha




IWC brings the tradition of Swiss craftsmanship and its own 140-year heritage firmly into the 21st century with a scheme that fosters environmental awareness among employees and rewards those who make individual efforts to reduce their own CO2 footprint. Employees are able to calculate their personal CO2 emissions on the IWC intranet and even compensate for excessive use through payments to a climate-related project.


IWC Schaffhausen Headquarters. Wherever possible, IWC uses rainwater rather than mains water and makes the most of ground- and wastewater as alternative sources of energy. Photo credit: IWC.



Gabriela Hearst

Wool has always been an integral part of Gabriella Hearst’s life and knitwear is the cornerstone of the brand. For Fall 2016 collection, Gabriela partnered with a women’s nonprofit, Manos del Uruguay. The tweed pieces were handmade by local craftswomen with merino from Gabriela’s farm. Each garment is an item into which Gabriela can pour her desire— made with impeccable construction and uncompromising, noble materials. Together, they tell a story of the places she loves that made her who she is: Uruguay and New York.


Gabriela Hearst on her ranch. Photo credit: Gabriela Hearst




Garrard source their gems and precious stones ethically, following The Kimberley Process, an international certification scheme that regulates the market in rough diamonds and inhibits the trade in conflict diamonds.
They are licensed to purchase Fair trade gold, ensuring not only that small-scale and artisanal miners receive a fair price for their produce, but that they also receive community support, through education, medical care and environmental projects. The Standards include strict requirements on working conditions, health and safety, handling chemicals, women’s rights, child labour and protection of the environment.


Photo credit: House of Garrard



JEM Jewellery Ethically Minded

JEM strives to bring about a conscious and enlightened way of making jewellery. With full respect of people and the environment, JEM aspires to shine a new light on the world of jewellery, without depriving it of its essential poetry and grace. At the heart of their commitments is the sole sourcing of an ethical gold, certified by Fairmined, which assures that it has full traceability and transparency. 


Artisanal gold-mining is carried out by 15 million miners who support 60 million people in more than 50 countries from the poorest regions of the world. The Fairmined gold program, aims to implement mining facilities that apply rigorous ecological, social and humane standards. Photo credit: JEM Jewellery Ethically Minded




Oshadi is a contemporary womenswear brand seeking to revive and sustain India’s traditional craft heritage, which now, is perishing due to industrialisation. Working with local artisan communities fosters employment and empowerment, develops local creativity, promotes gender equality and reduces poverty. Alongside, they adopt sustainable, meat-free and natural fibers like organic cotton, non-violent silk, linen and wool – which minimises energy consumption and facilitates environmental preservation.


Oshadi is crafted with artisan techniques including hand weaving, natural dyeing and IKAT dyeing by local highly skilled craftspeople. Photo credit: Oshadi



Rusticae Hotels

In 2016, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of their company, Isabel Llorens and Carlota Mateos renewed their commitment to the “Rural-Urban” binomial launching PlenEAT, a new project, together with Juan Vila, an hotelier who is member of the Rusticae Club. This time the virtuous circle Countryside-City takes full advantage of one of the hottest trends — homemade menus made from certified organic products, installing corners in the companies to feed their employees in a sustainable and ecological way.


Rusticae’s PlenEAT program. Photo credit: PlenEAT



Umran Aysan

The idea of sustainability lies at the heart of London-based designer Ümran Aysan’s collection. Following Aysan’s personal standpoint in aesthetics and ethics, the brand appreciates sustainability as implicated on all phases of her collections. Aysan’s perception of self-identity as a world-citizen is strongly reflected upon her brand.

In her quest towards a more humane and beautiful world, she promotes ethical and artisanal works over the wider, long-term effects of fast fashion. Taking into consideration universal environmental concerns into the production process, Aysan primarily strives to maintain an eco-friendly collection by minimising carbon footprint. In order to reflect the brand’s value to its conscious customers and support for good trade, the brand holds a policy of full transparency. Sourced ethically – detailed locally, each piece of Ümran Aysan collection is enriched by talented hands around the world.

Working in collaboration with local artisans and craftsmen from different countries, she combines their inherited handiwork skills with her pure, contemporary signature. Aysan’s dedication to ethical fashion lies not just in ensuring the improvement the livelihood of the artisan communities, but also in the idea of passing down the artisanal heritage to next generations.


Photo credit: Umran Aysan



Stephen Webster

As a member of the Association for Responsible Mining, Stephen Webster is building responsible leadership right into the heart of his business, assuring that all suppliers behave ethically. In addition, The Responsible Jewellery Council, assures that human, labour and environmental rights within the jewellery supply chain are ethically and sustainably sound. 


Photo credit: Stephen Webster




Bodas were early to the concept of rarified basics. Described by journalists as understated modern chic, this is quiet luxury at its finest. Everything Bodas offers is made from the highest quality fabrics – the finest Tactels and lace from France and Italy are used for lingerie, Supima cotton from the US for nightwear and luxe 8-ply cashmere from Wales for super-soft sweaters and socks.


Photo credit: Bodas




All ViRUS clothes are manufactured sustainably by suppliers who know what it means to produce clothes in a sustainable way. Organic materials and colours are used, along with fostering an open and fair relationship with business partners. 


Left to right: Oliviero Toscani, Co-founder and Head of Marketing Communications of ViRUS, and Janis Leontidis, Co-founder and CEO of ViRUS. Photo credit: ViRUS



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