ALINA PETRA: COVER + SPECIAL FEATURE

ALINA PETRA is a fine jewelry brand established in 2016 and its collection includes colored gemstones, colored diamonds and apple leather handbags made in Italy.

Jewelry is becoming a medium for social responsibility and ethical values. Ethical jewelry will be as important in the future as digital technology today, but it is a complex area currently. Inspired by its jewelry collection, ALINA PETRA handbags are made from vegan apple leather in Italy.

Sustainable and ethical jewelry means transparent and responsible sourcing practices and use of sustainable materials. It has a minimal impact on the environment, isn’t involved with conflict, and gives back to workers by way of fair wages and safe working environments. Looking at sustainable jewelry is kind of like looking at sustainable fashion…overwhelmingly complicated and more than a little convoluted. They share lots of elements, like supply chain considerations and overconsumption. However, the jewelry industry adds yet another ethical and eco complexity to consider—mining. 

This presents additional concerns when it comes to environmental and social welfare—some we’d like to dangle like a cute pair of earrings in front of ourselves (and you) so that we can better understand what makes a piece of jewelry ethical and sustainable. Gold mines are extremely polluted in mercury and as a result are causing high levels of environmental pollution. By recycling gold, increasing knowledge and education, jewelry brands can bring more awareness of the importance of sustainability in jewelry market.

What can be said about Lab grown diamonds? Many people are wondering if their production is more sustainable then the production of natural diamonds. The answer is no. While there is a market for lab grown  diamonds, the production of them requires a huge amount of water and power and results in high levels of carbon footprint. 

So, prepare yourselves for an in-depth look at our exclusive interview with Alina Petra regarding sustainability + ethical jewelry.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ALINA PETRA

Describe yourself as a designer and how ALINA PETRA brand was born?  

I am GIA Diamond Graduate and my love for gems and desire to create has helped me to establish my own company. It just naturally felt like the next step in my career. I specialize in colored diamonds and as I studied them more closely, they became my passion and mission. 

How do you manage the creativity process exactly as it’s really challenging to design fine jewelry?

My creative process begins with the first glance of the stones I am working with. I can have tons of sketches in front of me, but the final design always look slightly different as I make adjustments during the process. It can be a challenging process, mainly because of the constant price increase on desirable colored diamond supply.

What was the most challenging issue in launching your own jewelry brand ?

Lack of experience and knowledge. I felt completely clueless. Not having a clear vision of the direction I would like to take. 

What’s the main impact of social media in jewelry industry in both ways, jewelry buying and brand marketing?

Social media helps to generate more leads and expand brand awareness, but it is also became a platform where it is so easy to ‘copy and paste’ instead of working on your own vision and ideas. 

What is your favorite and NON-favorite part about being part of this industry?

My favorite part of the jewelry industry is that I see more women as business owners, but it is still men dominated industry while it caters to and profits mostly from women. 

Can you tell us how your brand makes a difference in jewelry industry?

I would like to keep building a sustainable and also ethical brand, this is the future of the jewelry industry. 

What do you think is the biggest challenge regarding your work?  

There are so many different challenges are showing up this year. I think moving from ‘in person’ shopping experience to online platform where the customer can virtually try on the jewelry pieces is the biggest need right now. That is especially true for fine jewelry retailers, where the jewelry sales are based on emotional factors. 

Define sustainable concept nowadays in few words .

Gold recycling, ethical treatment of workers, being able to match the diamond rough to the cut diamond, just to name a few problems the jewelry industry is facing these days.

How do you think your brand can play an important role in sustainability? 

We are committed to ethical practices and ethically sourced diamonds.  

What do you think about the opportunity of selling your collections online nowadays? 

As I mentioned previously, it has its own challenges. Fine jewelry sales are  mostly emotionally driven, which is harder to achieve on internet. But online presence can give a brand an amazing amount of exposure, and that is a big plus. 

Imagine that you must write a letter to your FUTURE SELF. What would you write?

Believe in yourself.