(BELGRAVIA, LONDON 25th July 2018) MYNE LONDON will tonight debut its first emerald jewellery collection, championing women’s empowerment in Pakistan on the day of the Pakistani elections.
The collection has already captured the attention of British high society. Lady Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan, co-founders of Beulah – one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite fashion brands – will host tonight’s launch event at their prestigious Belgravia boutique.
We at The Dragonfly Initiative have been delighted to support the brand’s emergence from its concept and through design, sourcing, branding and marketing.
MYNE London is a British fine jewellery brand, founded by sisters Fiona Wellington and Kate Murray- Gordos and stands for the empowerment of women in Pakistan’s jewellery sector and for peaceful and sustainable development.
In particular, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Fiona and Kate over recent months and having the priviledge of witnessing their absolute commitment to their values. The brand is founded on the principles of economic (and in particular, female) empowerment, resilience, progressiveness and glamour.
MYNE London sources emeralds from Swat Valley in the Northern Mountains of Pakistan, where MYNE’s founders spent some of their childhood.
Swat is a region of Pakistan that was actively occupied by extremist militants from 2007 until 2009 and was the home of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafezai, the school girl who was shot in the face for standing up for education for girls.
Swat Valley possesses one of the largest deposit of emeralds in Asia. The gem-quality emeralds are small but are highly prized for their intense, vivid green colour.
Swat Valley suffered considerably as a conflict-region and production from the emerald mines was used by the rebels for financing terrorist activities. The people of Swat Valley are now rebuilding their lives, and some mining of emeralds has resumed.
MYNE London is committed to taking every step to ensure that they make a positive impact upon the livelihoods of those within their supply chains. This included our conducting an independent assessment of the mines and the gem cutting facilities and who identifying sources and opportunities. The jewellery brand has partnered with two projects in Pakistan, which are proud to train and employ skilled women from rural communities in gem stone cutting and polishing. MYNE London is now reviewing opportunities for impact investment in the region, through The Dragonfly Initiative’s Impact Investment Facility.
Charles Evans FGA, DGA and a gemmologist of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) is familiar with the region’s gems and commented: “Having seen Swat, I completely understand your passion and have come under its spell too. Magnificent, majestic and truly both ‘the Switzerland of the East’ and ‘Heaven on Earth’ as British Queens have apparently described it in the past. Incredible. The place is screaming out for recognition of its opportunities and clearly needing champions with the vision, passion and determination of the inspiring women behind MYNE London”
The jewellery pieces are expertly crafted in 18ct gold in the UK.
MYNE London has secured a tenancy within the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estate. The boutique, just off Sloane Square, opens on 26th July.
Kate and Fiona explain why the relationship between Pakistan and the UK is so important to them:
“We were lucky to spend part of our childhood in North West Pakistan. We fell in love with the people and the country – it is forever etched on our hearts. Swat Valley is a magical, beautiful place and we will never forget the incredible kindness and hospitality. It is a truly wonderful place”.
There is so much evidence that when women are given equality and economic power this will bring peace and stability to an area. This is our priority for investment.
We wanted the jewellery to reflect the relationship for us – sourcing these incredible gems in Pakistan and making the jewellery in Britain. It is the collaboration and relationship that is important to us”.
In particular, MYNE London prioritise those steps which foster economic resilience, build a local value- chain in Pakistan for emeralds prior to export, generate sustainable livelihoods and focus on empowering women. It is with these intentions that MYNE London supports development and dignity as a means to help prevent future conflicts.
” I truly believe that, establishing an export-led beneficiation industry within Swat will not only generate sustainable livelihoods, but will also help in preventing future conflicts through fostering economic resilience”— Dr Muhammad Makki | Assistant Professor, Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS), NUST Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (NIPCONS), National University of Sciences & Technology – NUST
From the 26th of July, MYNE London opens its boutique at 84 Bourne Street London SW1W 8HQ.