Fyne Jewellery, the Middle East’s first contemporary fine jewelry brand created in Dubai using conflict-free lab grown diamonds has launched a new collection. Named Stargazing, the collection is co-designed with Lebanese entrepreneurs Reem and Natalya Kanj. True to the name, every piece pays tribute to the stars and the sky, offering forward-thinking design – in line with the Kanj sisters’ minimal aesthetic.
“Our design process was very much organic: Reem and Natalya had a few inspired ideas and we worked closely together to design an effortless, intricate five piece collection. My favorite design from the Stargazing collection is the Zenith Diamond Body Chain – it’s very eye-catching but alludes a subtle sexiness to it as well. You immediately feel more confident as soon as you put it on,” Lebanese diamantaire and Fyne founder Aya Ahmad told Vogue Arabia.
Ahmad was first drawn to the world of lab grown diamonds for their innovative and inclusive outlook challenging traditional practices in the industry of mined diamonds. According to Ahmad, sustainability, now a necessity rather than a choice for brands, starts at the design stage; she believes that there is no use in creating a collection from recyclable and eco-friendly materials if new ‘drops’ are churned out every week, which is why Fyne is a made-to-order brand that designs season-less collections meant to last for generations.
Ahmad believes that sustainability in fashion is undoubtedly related to feminism. “The more we learn about global warming and its relation to consumerism, the more we see that it’s not a gender-neutral issue,” she says. “Particularly in the fashion industry, the statistics speak for themselves: 80% of garment workers are female, producing clothing for females, as women spend far more on clothing than men. What’s more, most of these women are operating in unsafe conditions and experiencing gender-based violence and harassment. This is all the knowledge we need to stand up for women, not just in the fashion industry, but against other rights violations globally.”
She added, “Because of the female nature of this issue, it’s no wonder that women are at the forefront of the sustainability movement. In fact, evidence suggests that females in the top executive and political positions are far more likely to prioritize sustainability and climate responsibility than their male counterparts due to their compassionate and empathetic nature. This shows that feminism directly benefits the earth, in ways more than one.”
Ahmad says that her heritage plays a role in her jewelry design. “I come from a beautiful village in the South of Lebanon where we have ancient olive trees, a mountainous landscape that connects to the Mediterranean sea, and limestone houses built four decades ago, passed down through generations. The poetic landscape of this nature and the generational architecture fuel so much of my creativity, inspiration, and design aesthetic! They remind me that the earth needs to be preserved, not only for nature, but for people to continue to live and thrive. It’s this core value that pushes me to consciously create, always designing jewelry with sustainability in mind,” she added.
Reem and Natalya Kanj say that it’s key for them to utilize their platforms as influencers and businesswomen to ensure that their audience is excited and aware of the concept of sustainability and environmental issues, such as plastic pollution and climate damage.
“By sharing knowledge on the subject relating to isolated issues, such as the fires which devastated the Amazon rainforest in late 2019, or suggestions on how to maintain a more sustainable life through daily small changes, we perpetuate the subject in a relatable manner, hopefully offering a space for someone to grasp the issue and feel emotionally connected to it enough to make a change. We feel that highlighting and promoting fashion and beauty brands with sustainability at their core is a great way to remind everyone that what and how we shop have an impact on the planet,” they told Vogue Arabia.
The Kanj sisters offer advice for aspiring jewelry designers who want to incorporate sustainability in their designs and promote it effectively.
“There are so many brands and companies using key words such as ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainable’ to simply greenwash themselves with no real steps or methods to actually contribute in a positive way. We would suggest that designers aim to truly understand how they can make changes to become more sustainable for the long term and implement these within the brand’s DNA. They can then educate their consumers on the difference they’re making and why it’s important in their social media content and marketing strategies,” they told Vogue Arabia.