In an age of environmental awareness, individuals and companies alike are looking for ways to make their eco footprint less conspicuous and less harmful. Words such as “green,” “environmentally friendly,” and “carbon neutral” have become common references to the way we all strive to exist. With the global attitude shifting toward an efficient means of sustainability, it seems that no one can stand out in the crowd. However, John Hardy does, and for that, it is set apart from its competition in the jewelry arena.
“We have vowed to make our company ‘greener every day,’” said Chief Executive Officer Damien Dernoncourt. “The Bamboo collection is a way for collectors of John Hardy jewelry to participate in one of our efforts to contribute to the environment. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of each piece is set aside for planting bamboos. We call this program ‘Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo.’”
Inspired by nature and the global movement to become more earth-friendly, John Hardy created a line that not only depicts nature, but also promotes its development through monetary contributions to local projects involving bamboo.
“At John Hardy, preserving our environment has always been our priority for more than 10 years,” said Guy Bedarida, creative director and head designer of John Hardy jewelry. “The Bamboo Collection is a tribute to the beauty, strength and versatility of bamboo.”
Based in Bali, John Hardy is immersed in a culture that is very in touch with its environment. To support the local culture, the company decided to promote bamboo in a unique way: for each piece of jewelry in the Bamboo line sold, a specific number of bamboo seedlings are planted on Nusa Penida, a small impoverished island off the coast of Bali. On each piece of jewelry is a stamp that indicates how many bamboo seedlings were planted with the piece’s purchase, which gives consumers a way to quantify their purchases in terms of economic growth and sustainment.
“Through this collection, we offer an unprecedented opportunity to our customers to take part in John Hardy’s important environmental program while purchasing jewelry,” said Bedarida.
Bamboo, a native plant to the Balinese islands, is used for a variety of purposes, one being an alternative to timber. Bamboo is a very fast producer and can be harvested in only five years, while timber is a slow producer that takes twenty or more years before it can be harvested.
Along with replacing timber needs, bamboo also assists in the overall betterment of the ecosystem: with a high capacity for carbon dioxide, it helps purify the air; its dense foliage encourages rainfall and gives wildlife a prosperous habitat; also, its roots help prevent erosion of the soil.
With so much ecological benefit, it seemed natural for John Hardy to embrace bamboo’s beauty as well as its usefulness. In the Bamboo Collection, each piece depicts bamboo in an elegant way; whether the stalks or leaves are more prevalent, the representation is unmistakable. Beautiful sterling silver bracelets accent eco-conscious consumers’ wrists, while subtle earrings drop from lobes to display an individual’s support for green practices. No matter the piece, the statement it makes is unmatched in environmental awareness and ecological revival.
To keep the Collection current, John Hardy strives to find unique perspectives of bamboo for the new pieces each season.
“ Bamboo is a never-ending inspiration, and because of the symbolism, it will never go out of style,” said Bedarida.
“To make a collection new and fresh, we introduce new interpretations of the bamboo concept each season.”
Aside from the “Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo” program, John Hardy promotes the use of bamboo in its own structures. “It begins with our factory and design center in Bali where most of the buildings are made using Bamboo, mud walls and straw roofs,” said Bedarida. “On our compound, we have a beautiful organic farm whose products are cooked daily in the traditional way of Balinese cooking; the kitchen even features an open fire and serves a daily lunch for the 550 people working there, as well as for our visiting guests,” added Bedarida.
Along with John Hardy’s Bamboo Collection, there is a new collection—Palu Macan—inspired by an antique painting of a tiger. Macan (mah·chahn), which means “tiger” in Balinese, is a symbol of courage, passion and triumph over the impossible. This new collection is inspired by the “guardian of the west,” which is the tiger in Japanese mythology.
“While traveling in Japan, I came across an antique painting of a mythical white tiger with Kabuki style eyes,” said Bedarida. “Macan symbolizes triumph over the impossible, something everyone needs to believe in today. Our tiger is particularly interesting: it is a Kabuki tiger with a very special expression and unique eyes.”
The collection portrays a cohesive inspiration and represents a tiger in each piece. Whether it’s just the stripes or the eyes, the energy each piece emits is the same: strong, courageous and passionate. It takes a confident individual to wear tiger-inspired jewelry, but John Hardy’s new collection allows everyone to feel the empowerment of this courageous animal.
“This season’s collections are exceptional for the structural quality of the new shapes—voluptuous forms, fine detail, delicious highly polished surfaces—which bring out the special character of silver,” said Bedarida. “All of the pieces in the Macan line are unique and carry a different interpretation of the main inspiration; however, the Macan Kick Cuff with its figurative head takes our technique to a higher level of craftsmanship with the hammering of the tiger stripes,” he added.
No matter personal tastes, both collections—Bamboo and Macan—are undeniably beautiful. Between the unique inspiration and the skilled craftsmanship, the collections will continue to be important components of John Hardy’s jewelry line and customers’ personal collections.