High Jewellery with responsibility - that's what Vieri stands for. The Berlin-based label designs handcrafted jewellery made of ethically sourced or recycled gold and promotes better working conditions in mining all over the world.
Guya Merkle proves that you can respect an almost eighty year old company history and still think progressively. After the death of her father Eddy Vieri Merkle, an jewellery entrepreneur, the 21-year-old German-Italian-Belgian took over the business in 2007 - and radically changed it. Vieri had not only produced jewellery since its founding in 1939, it had also supplied jewellery to other companies in the industry. Guya Merkle decided to concentrate on her own collections. As well as on her own values.
1. Guya Merkle, CEO of Vieri. 2. Her grandparents, the founder of Vieri and his wife
She studied at the Gemological Institute of America, an important jewelry and stone academy. It provided her with the necessary know-how, but where she also left with unanswered questions: Where does the gold that the industry uses come from? And under what conditions is it produced in? 2012 she travelled to Peru - and faced scenes there that changed her understanding of luxury forever. "The majority of the gold that is now being processed into jewellery comes from mines like the ones I visited: they are in danger of collapsing and they make people ill". 25 million people worldwide, including children, work in the so-called small-scale mining, many of them are illegally employed. They dig the gold by hand, often barefoot, and come into contact with toxic quicksilver.
Guya Merkle decided to only purchase gold for Vieri from mines where workers are given protective clothing and a fair wage and she founded the "Earthbeat Foundation". Her vision: sustainably improved production conditions and high jewellery that has a positive impact on everyone who comes into contact with it.
3. & 4. Current campaign shooting 5. & 6. Moods from the Earthbeat Foundation in Uganda.