Sustainable artisan jewellery by fast fashion antagonists Behô Studio
Environmental and social responsibility are at the core of the indie jewellery brand Behô Studio. Today, we chat to founder Vanessa about the important story behind her beautiful designs.
When did you realise that you wanted to be jewellery designer?
I am from a small town in the South of Brazil where I studied fashion and worked withing the fashion industry for 10 years. I started to be very tired of it and its unsustainable environment. So 6 years ago, I decided to move to London. It was the beginning of a journey to work in a more sustainable way and when Beho was created.
Since the beginning, the most important thing to me was to make sure that I worked with ethically sourced materials at the same time as supporting artisans and the people in my country. I wanted Beho to be a source of income for people there.
I grew up experiencing loads of social inequalities and as a designer, I do not think we can or should look the other way!
So I started to experiment with materials that could integrate my design abilities with my desire to create a more positive impact. Amongst all the materials and techniques I tried, I fell in love with jewellery making and crystal healing and here I am, all those years later :)
What do you think you would be doing today if you weren't a jewellery designer?
I have always been passionate about indigenous people and ancestral cultures, so in that case I think I would study anthropology and collaborate with different governments and NGOs.
What would you say are the challenges of being a full time jewellery designer nowadays?
I think as a small business, it's hard to manage everything, from the design and the manufacturing to the marketing, sales and accounting. It's an everyday challenge to be able to manage everything by yourself.
"I grew up experiencing loads of social inequalities and as a designer I do not think we should look the other way!"
What does a normal day running Behô looks like?
I love to start my day with a meditation early in the morning to set my intentions for the day.
After that, my routine really varies. I spend the majority of the week at the studio either working in some jewellery pieces in my bench or doing some admin on the computer.
I also go twice a week to my hysical point of sale in East London.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
I love working with gems and crystals. I believe that they can connect us to our inner selves and to nature.
The crystals that I use for my designs have been ethically sourced and handcarved in Brazil by artisans and talented people who live close to the mines.
In most cases, unfortunately, the mines are bought by foreign investors and the precious raw stones leave Brazil without benefiting the local community. This is something that we at Behô are trying to rectify by supporting the local community as much as we can.
What do you want to communicate to the person who purchases one of your pieces?
What do you want to communicate to the person who purchases one of your pieces?I think my work is often about optimism, personally I put something on my wall because it makes me feel happy so I try to work backwards from that place, the content might be things I love to look at and the colour palette will be a combination that is bringing me joy at the time!
A sustainable lifestyle is extremely important to us and to our customers.
Could you tell us how you commit to a more sustainable way of running a business?
Everything has been carefully thought out to be as sustainable as possible. From the crystals, to our plastic free packaging, we use mustard seed boxes for our jewellery so you can plant at them at home and are made by artisans in India.
Do you have any plans for the near future to increase your sustainability even further?
At the moment I use Recycled Silver as much as I can for my designs. However, I am working on making sure that all Behô items are made of recycled metal.
My biggest challenge at the moment is to find a reliable supply chain, but that's what I'm currently working on and hopefully will be able to implement in all my collection.
Can you tell us what the future holds for Behô?
The I have loads of ideas especially around the use of crystals for self-care and sacred rituals.