In an interview with Impakter, Amsterdam-based jewelry designer Leanne Jacommetti discusses the influence of Balinese culture on her work and more.
When asked how Bali and Balinese culture influenced her work in jewelry design, Jacommetti said, "As a child, I was privileged enough to travel a lot with my parents. We went to South America and Asia, to many different countries where I think there’s a real appreciation for handicrafts and artisanal handmade products. When I traveled to Indonesia I got in touch with all kinds of craftsmen, from woodworkers to jewelry makers, these skills are often passed on from generation to generation. Today, so much production happens in factories with machinery, so I wanted to find a way to preserve these skills and crafts that are not only a big part of these countries’ cultures, but a major source of livelihood for many people.
"I met a family in Bali who helped make my ideas come to life in those first few years of my business. Aside from the amazing craftsmanship, I really feel at home in Indonesia. Their culture is beautiful and I love how Bali is an island of different religions. It’s just a place that’s warm and welcoming, and my brand is a way to support the local communities there, by providing work for them."
When asked why she named her brand Wildthings Collectables, Jacommetti said, "When I started in 2016, minimalism was a big trend in jewelry, so I wanted to do something more outspoken, edgy and sexy. My dream for the brand has always been for it to be a place that brings together handmade goods and products from my travels abroad to different countries."
When asked about the mission of sustainability of her brand as well as the materials she sources, Jacommetti said, "The core of our brand has always been about sustainability – we started that way, rather than introducing it to our production processes. Starting with our suppliers, we looked at the way they treat their employees, how they source their materials and how they dispose of their waste. We found a partner who is very progressive and forward-thinking across all aspects of production – they recycle printed paper and make sure all the waste is disposed of properly. It feels a bit like a family where we produce, the people have worked there for a long time and they get a lot of opportunities to further their schooling and get daycare provided for their children. I often visit the place and feel that I have a very good relationship with our producers.
"If there’s an opportunity to use more recycled material, we will use it, or if we can source something from somewhere with better certifications, we do. Our silver is 100 percent recycled, we use 60 percent recycled brass, and recycled glass for beads. If we have products that didn’t sell or are broken we make sure they go back to the production facility to get melted and reused, so there’s not a whole lot of waste. We also have collections that support specific programs and initiatives for communities in Indonesia and outside. For example, we had an ocean collection that supported coral gardeners in Australia. Now we have a collection called Smile For Bali where a part of the profits go to a charity that has been giving out food during Covid when many people lost their jobs. So on both sides, we try to contribute – by working with good employers and also giving part of our profits back to the islands.
"There is still a lot that we would like to improve. We’re working on a road map for the next five years to become climate neutral because our products are flown from Bali to Holland so we’re thinking about how we can compensate for that and make it more sustainable. We are also trying to educate our customers about how much effort goes into making a piece of jewelry so that they don’t think it’s so easy to just send it back. We see it as a learning opportunity for our customers, so we write blogs about it on our website and use our social media to share information about what goes into our products."
Information originally sourced from Impakter.