Sustainability. One of today’s top buzz words was John Hardy’s founding principle when he established his fine jewelry brand in Bali in 1975. More than 40 years later, the brand is just as dedicated to creating beautiful pieces of artisanal, hand-crafted jewelry that honors the culture, the people, and the land and sea of the tiny island of Bali. And John Hardy not only honors Bali – but it also nurtures and sustains it.
Everything you hope for – and nothing you expect.
When you think of the headquarters of a fine-jewelry brand, perhaps you envision professionals in business attire who meet in offices in a high-rise building. Designers work on computers, well removed from the metalworkers who toil with fire to make their visions reality. And perhaps the models wearing the final pieces are photographed in an exotic location far and away from the creators themselves.
John Hardy is none of these things.
It is hard to decide what is most surprising about the John Hardy ethos.
Perhaps it is the location itself of the headquarters. Its location in Bali, a breathtaking island, grounds the entire enterprise. Headquarters is not housed in brick-and-mortar – rather it is housed in bamboo.
They explain, “One of the fastest growing perennials in the world, bamboo is often harvested in three to five years and can thrive in a range of conditions. Bamboo not only produces more oxygen than (wood) trees, it doesn’t require pesticides to mature and captures the carbon dioxide in its climate.” The resulting open and airy structure, designed by John Hardy, was built by local artisans who took his small model and created it to scale with bamboo.
Every artisan, every technique, tells a unique story.
Or perhaps the 700 local and multi-generational artisans, from watercolor artists to metalsmiths, are most surprising. John Hardy believes in designers working hand-in-hand, side-by-side, with the local artisans to create timeless pieces of exquisite detail. There is a story behind every artisan and every technique they use.
The hammer work, for instance, belies the historical significance of Balinese artisans working as a couple. These artisans, the John Hardy brand explains, “work in compassionate balance, with the woman heating the metals, and the man lifting and setting down the hammer. Our artisans consider the task a meditative one, akin to the mesmerizing trance associated with falling in love. It takes years to master this skill—as the artisan becomes a master in Palu, his relationship with his partner also depends.”
Their Bamboo Collection: Sustainability at its finest.
Of course, John Hardy would not be what it is today if the limited-edition pieces they created were not of the highest quality. But what impresses us the most is the way they achieve that standard of perfection with the highest integrity.
Their Bamboo collection, for example, is a stunning example of sustainability at work.
For every piece of the Bamboo collection sold, John Hardy plants bamboo seedlings in Bali on your behalf. They engrave how many shoots they are planting on the inside of the piece itself. (You can also see how many shoots they will plant when you click on each piece here.)
In collaboration with the nonprofit 1,000 Bamboo Villages, John Hardy has planted more than one million bamboo seedlings in Bali.
A comprehensive approach to honoring the land and its people.
Planting bamboo is a beautiful start in their efforts to be responsible for land and people.
They are committed to ethical practices in jewelry making, especially when it comes to sourcing their diamonds and other precious stones. They are certified members of the Responsible Jewellery Council and they are Kimberly Process compliant. All stones and metals are conflict-free and ethically produced from sourcing to the final product.
Plus, all paper materials they use, from jewelry boxes to shopping bags, are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
John Hardy promotes the wellbeing of their artisans and their families.
“We dedicate ourselves to the artisans whose deep connection to Bali inspires the foundation of our Workshop & Kapal Bamboo Boutique. We offer an apprenticeship program, Jobs For Life, that provides vocational training and financial support to the citizens of Bali. Each participant is given the opportunity to join the workshop, where we provide locally sourced family-style meals to several-hundred workers….”
Founder John Hardy has since left the brand in capable hands to found and support the Green School in Bali, with new campuses starting around the world. He dedicates his time creating new ways of supporting our ecosystem and the people and culture of Bali. (Watch him here in his TedX talk explain his vision and accomplishments.)
One thing is clear: John Hardy not only has a beautiful spirit. They create beautiful works of art.
The Bamboo collection features the raw materials of diamonds, black sapphires, pearls, silver and gold, and black spinel gemstones. They also feature their classic techniques of handwoven chain and hand-hammered metal. These are a few of our favorite pieces …
The Bamboo Collection highlights what we love about John Hardy – a commitment to exquisite beauty in land, in people, and in jewelry.