Mary Lou Jewellery is the product of a lifelong passion for jewellery, coupled with an equally strong desire to protect the planet and people living on it
“Jewellery is made from precious little pieces of the planet, so it comes with a responsibility to respect the people and the environment at the source,” says Marie-Louise Joensen, founder of the Danish brand Mary Lou Jewellery.
“As a jewellery designer, I feel this sense of responsibility deeply. I’m passionate about ethical sourcing, which isn’t easy in the jewellery industry, but there is a lot you can achieve when you’re determined.”
Marie-Louise can trace her interest in jewellery back to her childhood and the influence of a family friend’s jewellery shop. She eventually took a soldering course and began to develop her own designs. In 2014, she launched Mary Lou Jewellery and now creates limited edition and bespoke pieces from ethically and sustainably sourced materials.
“I’ve investigated all sorts of responsible sourcing solutions over the years and each had their merits and drawbacks,” says Marie-Louise. “I’ve opted to buy materials from suppliers I feel connected to and can trust, because ‘trust’ is key in our industry. I’m also working with my supplier to help lower their transport footprint. I reduce the environmental impact of my jewellery further by only creating limited pieces and using pure raw materials, which can be tailored to my clients’ specifications and reworked again in years to come, to suit the style of the next generation.”
Marie-Louise is also mindful that there is already a wealth of gems and precious metals right under the noses, or rather in the drawers, of her clients. Alongside her own collections, available at her store in Copenhagen and online, she works with clients to design new pieces from old keepsakes and family heirlooms. “I’m keen to encourage people to consider that the precious materials for their next beautiful piece of jewellery might already be in their possession,” she says.
“Many of us have jewellery hidden away that we rarely wear. Jewellery is designed to be worn, to reflect the wearer’s style and personality, and to celebrate these materials. What better way to honour a family legacy and a precious material than to revive its beauty in a new design, so it can once again be worn and admired?”