Fashion director Shelly Vella in the green room with MATILDE Jewellery

Each week I celebrate a brand committed to implementing practices that won’t cost the earth whilst still delivering beautiful, timeless pieces. This week I’m looking at future heirlooms with Matilde Mourinho, the founder and creator of MATILDE Jewellery. 

It’s no secret that my fashion sweet tooth is jewellery. I’m like a magpie and my wrists, fingers and neckline are literally piled high with an assortment of my favourites. Pieces I’ve collected on my travels; that are steeped in sentimental value or are simply objects of lust that I’ve succumbed to.

However, I don’t really have much ‘fine jewellery’ apart from a beautiful diamond ring that belonged to my mother and some sustainable diamond earrings. Fine jewellery comes with a heftier price tag, more responsibility and generally it’s the stuff that gets bought for you on special occasions – you don’t just treat yourself to it.

Or do you? Recently I’ve changed my thinking on this and wonder whether all the purchases I’ve made over the years of gold plated, demi-fine jewellery could have instead been better invested in a couple of more special pieces. Gold that won’t wear away, stones that I know the provenance of.

I love MATILDE’s pieces because of their delicate, sculptural simplicity, their nod to her heritage and how an understated piece looks so much more expensive.

It’s no surprise that celebrities are coveting her jewellery and with prices starting as low as £75 for her 100% recycled gold seed studs there’s an entry level for all of us looking to up our jewellery game and invest a little more thoughtfully. 

Coração Necklace, £290, MATILDE

What is the story behind the brand?

The idea for MATILDE Jewellery came about when I was studying for my master’s degree, where I focused my research on the jewellery industry and learned so much about the detrimental social and environmental impacts that it can have. From this, I started looking into the sustainable jewellery industry and learned so many ways by which we can improve the processes in place. I have always been interested in sustainable fashion, but I felt that with jewellery there were fewer options that were still premium quality, fine jewellery.

So that is where MATILDE was born. I wanted to offer a fine jewellery sustainable alternative, that was still fashionable and premium but didn’t compromise on our values. Hence our focus on transparency, and fairness.

Linked Earrings, £450, MATILDE

Three words that sum up the brand?

Timeless, inclusive, respectful.

What does ‘sustainable fashion’ mean to you?

Definitions vary so much, but for me personally, I see it as a brand that reverses or minimizes its environmental impacts, as well as the welfare of its employees or anyone related to the business. I do think all brands should be as transparent as they possibly can about their practices.

Minimus Bracelet, £290, MATILDE

What sustainable, eco-conscious processes do you have in place?

From the materials we use to the delivery of the finished product, we endeavour to be as sustainable as possible. We only use lab-grown diamonds, to avoid the effects of the diamond mining industry, and we also only use recycled gold, because we believe there is enough waste out there that we can actually reuse and repurpose the precious metals that have already been mined, as opposed to mining even more.

When it comes to our packaging, our boxes, and our postcards are made out of paper that comes from recycled coffee cups, and our dust pouches are Fairtrade and made from premium, organic pre-washed canvas. We always incentivise our customers to reuse and repurpose all the elements of our packaging to continuously give it new life.

Any brand highlights?

There have been so many! One of the biggest highlights was seeing our Lua Hoops on Naomi Scott in British Vogue. It felt very surreal. To be honest, it feels amazing anytime I see any inspiring woman wear MATILDE Jewellery whether that be someone like Naomi Scott, Elsa Hosk or any of our customers, it’s always special.

What is your bestselling product?

Our best-selling product is our Seed Studs. I think because they are such a staple and timeless piece that really go with anyone’s style.

Seed Studs, £75, MATILDE

Our Coração Necklace is also popular, probably due to its unique design and how it takes inspiration from a traditional Portuguese jewellery technique and style – the Coração de Viana. It really represents the brand and I think people really relate to that and the heritage behind the piece.

Shelly’s favourite pieces:

 

Mosaic Earrings, £520, MATILDE

Heritage Bangle, £800, MATILDE

Everchanging Hoops, £900, MATILDE

 

T Ring, £450, MATILDE

Flor Studs, £250, MATILDE

Shop MATILDE Jewellery online here and follow the brand on Instagram here