Lily Cole can add a new title to her expanding list of accomplishments: ethical jewelry designer. The British model-actress, who devotes herself to myriad social and environmental causes, has unveiled a line of jewelry composed of wild Amazonian rubber. A collaboration with Sky Rainforest Rescue, a partnership between the World Wildlife Fund and the Sky Broadcasting Group to protect one billion trees in the Amazon rainforest, the limited-edition collection features pendants, rings, and bracelets made with latex sourced from the initiative’s project area in Acre, Northwest Brazil.
Cole’s collection, available exclusively at online retailer Stylistpick.com, isn’t your typical vanity project.
WILD ABOUT RAINFORESTS
Cole’s collection, available exclusively at online retailer Stylistpick.com, isn’t your typical vanity project. The 25-year-old threw herself into the entire design and production process, from the initial rubber-tapping to the products’ final fabrication.
Wild-rubber production offers the indigenous people of the rainforest a way to make a living without cutting down trees.
Her inspiration jump-off point? A pendant from Africa that contains a prayer inside its metal casing. In Cole’s version, however, the rubber is the prayer—and a way for the indigenous people of the rainforest to make a living without cutting down trees. Acre state used to be a global hub of wild-rubber production, according to Sky Rainforest Rescue. Unable to compete with cheaper synthetic and plantation rubber, many of Acre’s rural communities turned to more environmentally damaging activities, including agriculture and livestock husbandry.
“One of the reasons I was excited to join this campaign was to explore the rubber industry as a vehicle for green economics, which, if scaled, I see as offering real hope to the rainforest,” says Cole in a statement. “This jewelery collection is just one example of how wild rubber can be used. However, if in the future the value of wild rubber can exceed what can be made from products that cause deforestation, then there is the real potential for a sustainable green economy.”
Bonus: All proceeds from the line will be benefit Sky Rainforest Rescue’s conservation efforts.
Source: Ecouterre website, June 2013