New board members: Two women who make change happen

Lilian von Trapp

Vorstand Earthbeat Lilian von Trapp
* Born 1987 in Frankfurt, Main, grew up in Berlin
* Current occupation: Managing director and designer of Lilian von Trapp
* School and education: Law, then found her was to jewelry
* Three important stages of your career:

1. Completion of law studies
2. Purchasing manager for the Kaufhaus des Westens in Berlin
3. Foundation of my company

What keeps you going?
On the one hand, I want to promote my label, on the other hand, sustainability in the jewelery sector is very important to me. I want to create awareness, enlighten people and change something substantial. And not only with(in) my own comapny but also in others. The question of why we need (more) fairness in the gold and jewelry market, kind of answers itself.

That’s why we are interested in how you personally ended up in the business. Can you give us a key experience?
Actually, I started to recycle inherited jewelry myself and make my own creations. Then I got the idea to do this on a professional business level. There is no need to exploit gold in mines when so much gold is circulating anyways.

What do you say to people who claim that fair gold and fair jewelery are unaffordable?
What is fair gold? Gold has a value that is listed. That’s why the pricefor gold is always the same. If you want to wear real jewelry, then this has its price and that is not due to the fairness. My products are not more expensive. On the contrary, I want to give the customer a fair price, make jewelry that is affordable.

If you look at the situation of workers in gold and diamond mines, what do you think are their most important needs? What would you really want to change?
These are all things that we specifically tackle at Earthbeat Foundation. Projects that change things on a ground level. It’s not just consumer education, it’s about creating alternatives for the people who depend on the mines. And they too need to be educated about the importance of education itself. Then, of course, we have to create appropriate educational opportunities.

In your opinion, where lies the responsibility of a modern consumer?
If I’m a consumer of luxury goods, a product that is not necessary for survival, then I should also take responsibility for informing myself about where the product comes from and under what circumstances it was produced. Knowledge is also a luxury. And it’s a win if I know that your ring was made of fair material.

Madeleine Daria Alizadeh

Vorstand Madeleine Alizadeh* Born in 1989 in Vienna
* Current occupation: Founder of the label Dariadéh, the podcast “A mindful Mess” and the Instagram channel @dariadaria
* School: French kindergarten and elementary school, then high school, then “the graphic” with education in photography / university: Political Science & Ethnology (not completed), Bachelor of Engineering at New Design University and finally a master in fashion photography in Milan
* Three important stages of your career:
1. The foundation of my blog, which was initially just a hobby.
2. The documentary “Poison on our skin” finally made me turn my back on fast fashion
3. Leaving my blog behind in 2017 after blogging just did not make me happy anymore.

What keeps you going?
A positive attitude so that world pain does not take over me, my dog Mala and Matcha / Chai Latte.
The question of why we need (more) fairness in the gold and jewelry market, answers itself. That’s why we are interested in how you personally ended up in this business? Can you give us a key experience?
I personally started thinking about it when I learned about certain materials that my electronic devices are made of. Mobile phones and laptops are my daily work tools and since gold is used in almost all electronic devices in addition to many other conflict minerals, I have begun to also question the gold that I carry on my body.

What do you say to people who say that fair gold and fair jewelery are unaffordable?
I think that you should only buy things that you really need and that really make you feel good. I prefer to buy a slightly more expensive piece of which I know well that it was produced fairly, than several pieces of jewelry where the mere thought of the production makes me shudder. Above all, jewelry is not something you buy every day. It is an investment that is rarely made, but it is worth something when you are forced to sell it.

If you look at the situation of workers in gold and diamond mines, what do you think are their most important needs? What would you really want to change?
In principle, of course, all human rights of workers in gold and diamond mines should be respected. These include, for example, all labor rights such as the right to form a union, fixed working hours, fair pay, the right to health and safety, etc. Of course, it is also extremely important to take action against child labor, child soldiers and human trafficking; both topics that repeatedly arise in the context of mine construction. What is also still a taboo are the rights of sex workers, which often settle around the mines and are in very precarious life situations from which it is difficult to escape. The circles of effects around conflict minerals are enormous and extend to many levels – it’s hard to grasp all of that initially. The problem is really complex.

In your opinion, where is the responsibility of a modern consumer?
The modern consumer can not close his eyes and claim that he has not known about the shortcomings in the procurement of raw materials. Anyone who buys minerals should be aware that this should be regarded as a huge decision! With conventional raw materials, the consumer aggravates the situation by increasing demand; But shifting to the consumption of fair products, companies understand that they can only make a profit if their ethical and sustainable practices change. We often live in a double standard: in our eurocentric image we want fair pay, no unpaid internships, workers’ rights, we only want the best life for us. But with our consumption, we deny this right to the people who make these goods.