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Spotlighting sustainable jewellery with Aulerth, India’s maiden clean couture jewellery label

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Spotlighting sustainable jewellery with Aulerth, India’s maiden clean couture jewellery label

Aulerth is India’s first design house for jewellery that’s couture-inspired and consciously made. Vivek Ramabhadran, founder and CEO of Aulerth, spotlights the label’s beginnings and sustainable wedding jewellery.

Excerpts from the interview with Vivek Ramabhadran from Aulerth:

T+L India: What inspired you to start a clean couture jewellery label?

Vivek Ramabhadran: It’s really a collection of learnings that I picked up during my time spent in the world of fashion and jewellery across India and other emerging markets, understanding the perspectives of different players in the eco-system, mindsets of consumers, and understanding how global luxury houses in Europe work. I had the advantage of coming into this world as an outsider, and despite being in the system for a while now, I always try to retain that perspective. 

During the pandemic, in 2020, I was very intrigued with sustainability and did extensive research. My main question was: there are a lot of things being talked about—upcycling, recycling, workers’ rights, decarbonisation, circularity and more, but what contributes to the top 70 to 80 per cent of the problem? The answer is disproportionate material production, followed by usage. Then, I looked at different segments—apparel, footwear and jewellery, to see where the biggest gap was. I realised jewellery was a space, where this problem was hardly being addressed. 

And then, when I looked at India, there was no better place to start—the world’s second-largest consumer of gold and diamonds, where gold is so deeply entrenched culturally and socially, across generations. I thought if we could divert part of gold jewellery consumption towards our jewellery, it would have a meaningful impact. 

But beyond sales, the legacy Aulerth will leave behind is a new and more progressive norm for preciousness. A crucial part of how we construe luxury is in materials—the rarest of metals and stones, the most exotic animal skins, which carry enormous footprint costs. We are either unaware or we justify them due to conditioning. That needs to change and it won’t happen overnight, but that’s also why it needs to be done and is so fascinating. 

T+L India: What qualities do you look for in the perfect piece? 

Vivek Ramabhadran: It all revolves around what jewellery designs appeal to you, what motifs make you feel special, what colour palette allows you to express yourself creatively—it could be a traditional polki bangle or an Art-deco-inspired necklace—depending on your style sensibility, state of mind and the occasion. At Aulerth, we believe jewellery becomes even more special, when made consciously with a zero-to-minimal mining footprint; and, if it’s made with high-grade quality materials that make the jewellery durable for a lifetime and comes with lifetime warranty services.

T+L India: What should one consider when choosing jewellery for a wedding?

Vivek Ramabhadran: Jewellery should allow one to feel beautiful and free; it should complement what the bride or the bridesmaids are wearing, and go with the theme of the wedding. At Aulerth, we believe that we can go all in with accessorising while being mindful. 

Your jewellery choice at your wedding or at your friend’s wedding, potentially has a much higher footprint impact than a lot of things that you are planning to put together at other functions. At Aulerth, we always say choose jewellery that is high on design, artistry and is crafted consciously. 

T+L India: Aulerth Loop provides jewellery rental. What’s your take on the future of jewellery renting when it comes to weddings? 

Vivek Ramabhadran: We are reimagining the way jewellery is created and experienced in India, and eventually across the world. The core of our focus is to provide flexibility of choice to our clients in a way that is mindful for them and our planet. This new feature is for those, who want to own and wear a piece of jewellery for a certain period of time, without being forced to buy or clutter their wardrobe. 

In a nutshell, the Aulerth Loop furthers our commitment to reducing the jewellery footprint, by extending the wearing lifecycle of each jewel. The Loop enables you to create a personalised wearing plan around classic and latest couture-inspired collections, created in partnership with our designers.

T+L India: You’ve collaborated with various fashion designers. Which has been your most interesting collab and why? 

Vivek Ramabhadran: For us, every design partnership is a special one. We bring in the technical expertise to manifest a designer’s couture signatures into beautifully-crafted jewellery and that’s the DNA of our brand. 

We celebrate designers, who have a distinct signature, that we are able to understand, interpret and believe we can bring to life. We love being challenged to bring out something that’s never been seen before. And of course, most important is the shared passion to truly create something outstanding, intricate and timeless. 

For designers we partner with, we are investing in, and building their jewellery business arms in the couture-inspired and consciously-made space. It’s a very committed relationship.  

T+L India: What challenges do you face as a sustainable couture jewellery label?

Vivek Ramabhadran: We are in the early stage of our growth and are getting a lot of support from our early-adopter client groups; they are people who have a discerning eye for design, they seek high-quality jewellery and resonate with our brand values. So, our role is to help people make conscious choices without having to compromise on the jewellery quality and design. 

T+L India: What are some of the trends that you are seeing in bridal jewellery right now? 

Vivek Ramabhadran: This year’s jewellery trends revolve around classic couture pieces depicting Indian design elements layered with global sensibilities. A lot of emphasis is on multi-functional pieces that can be deconstructed into multiple smaller or longer pieces, and worn with different outfits. These are very functional for destination weddings, too. Some of our signature pieces from Tribe Amrapali and Suneet Varma’s collections have multi-purpose pieces that can be worn and styled in varied ways. Also, evergreen trends like polki and kundan for bridal occasions never go out of style. And lastly, pastel-toned jewellery nuanced with Indian touches and kundan work is doing very well for us.

Courtesy: Travel and Leisure India

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