Meet House of Geneva, a high jewelry Maison at the intersection of sustainability, craftsmanship, and ethics. The Maison uses only ethically sourced stones while its craft is combined with high technology to create bespoke jewellry for its clientele. We caught up with the brand’s founder - Meera Hiralal, to talk about the future of the company in a post-Covid world.
Tell us about the history of House of Geneva
When founding the Haute Joaillerie Maison, in 2017, our family was inspired by our city’s long and prestigious heritage in Haute Joaillerie. Geneva’s craftsmen and métiers d’Art are known across the world for their « Swiss Made » label of excellence. Genevan craftsmen handcraft each of our unique jewellery piece. The Maison creates each year a limited number of High Jewellery pieces, made in Geneva. The pieces are all one-of-a-kind, crafted around a rare gemstone or diamond.
Our family has been in the gemstone and diamond trade for four generations. We harvest our fascination and knowledge for gems in order to search and acquire the rarest and most magnificent gems for the heart of our jewels. House of Geneva is built on our strong knowledge and heritage within the High Jewellery industry. We have a passion for Genevan Joaillerie, and we take pride in shining the light on its unique heritage and savoir-faire. Passed down through generations, our legacy and knowledge of gems mirrors Geneva’s heritage of exclusivity and excellence.
How do you work with others - partners, suppliers, craftsmen - to keep the family focus on the business?
History and heritage are strong and sure values which we can always rely on. We are proud of our city and family’s heritage and story. House of Geneva’s first pillar is the heritage its founded on and moulded from.
Our heritage carries and supports us forward, as a modern Haute Joaillerie Maison it is important to include sustainable values which embrace the current multi-facetted global context. House of Geneva’s core is our social and environmental commitment. Through our limited number of jewellery pieces, we are able to control the quality and provenance of our raw materials. As recently mentioned, transparency and traceability are the next global trends. They will affect the luxury industry as much as any other industry.
At House of Geneva we are supported by a trusted network of suppliers. Since our family was among the first families to settle in the Valley of Rubies, we still source from and trade with our friends, which we have known for generations.
The jewelry industry has, in the past few years, been under scrutiny because of its unethical practices. How are you addressing this?
Being based in Geneva, we are also able to support the Swiss initiative PX Impact’s « ethical gold » label. The gold sourced in Peru, supports artisanal miners and their families. The gold is extracted without the use of mercury, protecting miners, and the environment, from harmful exposure. In addition to supporting livelihoods, the initiative also allocates funds from the sales to the local mining communities. The social and environmental aspects are important issues in the joaillerie industry, as many livelihoods and lives depend on the industry. Many leaders of the jewellery industry are now participating in this initiative, as we are paving the way to a sustainable and future Haute Joaillerie. Today, we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation where the world in lockdown sees many out of work and salaries. It is imperative to find sustainable longterm operating systems, and transition into solutions with the whole community.
At House of Geneva we complete « Our Promise », the combination of our actions on our sustainable journey, until the finished piece. We take the same care, from our raw material sourcing to our jewellery boxes. All our treasured jewellery pieces have a box which is handmade in Geneva, from no animal products.
The second pillar of the Maison is « Our Promise », the promise to continue on a sustainable path from sourcing until showcasing.
The final pillar of the vegan Maison, goes back to the previous and rising trend of traceability. At House of Geneva, we only feature natural diamonds and gemstones. The Maison is able to guarantee it to its customers with not only knowledge of its suppliers, but also certification from the world-renowned laboratories. With everyday increasing and newer technology, our industry has welcomed the modernisation.
We, at House of Geneva, wanted to go a step further and create our own guarantee; which would be the embodiment of legacy. As technology developed in the field of gemology, with our lead gemologists, we created a protocol which gave birth to « Our Guarantee ». The Maison is today able to identify and authenticate a House of Geneva piece or gemstone, throughout generations. Through a combination of factors and help of technology, known under « Our Guarantee », we have the knowledge and skills to scientifically recognise our pieces of Haute Joaillerie. Our Guarantee embodies our vision of legacy, and builds an irrefutable connection with future generations.
How do you envision Haute Joaillerie in the future?
During a difficult period, we take refuge in our foundations and roots. They help us navigate unprecedented situations. As a community, we invite you to explore the pillars which will guide our Maison through our industry’s common uncertain future. Mirroring our family, House of Geneva embraces and connects every generations, from heritage and knowledge to technology and innovation. We are looking to the future with the guiding hand of experience, together building the Haute Joaillerie Maison of tomorrow.
At House of Geneva, we believe that this is the way, from tradition to innovation, to translate legacy and value for future generations.
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