As part of our founder interview series, we speak with Georgina Fuggle from Little by Little Jewellery about designing jewellery with an impact, and food's role throughout the Little by Little journey.
You have a background as a food editor, cookery book writer and photographer. How did you join forces with Annabel Cox to create Little by Little?
We began LbL three years ago because we wanted to bring together our creative industries – me, a food stylist and cookery book author and Annabel Cox, an ethical jewellery designer. We’ve always had a shared passion: to look beyond the comfortable bubble of our own worlds and to those around us with huge practical needs. I was living in Brighton and we remember sitting together, drinking coffee. There seemed to be too many homeless people without shelter or food and we chatted about this. That conversation led us to commit ourselves to running a business with a difference, and raise awareness and funds to help fight the battle against malnutrition.
The Little by Little collections are produced in Peru. Why did you decide to produce there?
Annabel was fortunate enough to have been recommended the production factory by a fellow ethical jewellery company which led her to subsequently visiting the factory in Lima, Peru. The factory has been running for 25 years and now employs 350 people. From its inceptions its aim was always to bring opportunity and employment. It does this by giving jobs to people with no prior technical experience, training them in the art of jewellery. Having visited I can verify that it is a well equipped, safe and spacious place to work.
Where do you find the inspiration for your collections?
The pieces are inspired by ingredients and each has been designed in quite an organic way. Often we are inspired by seasons, tastes or simply the beauty found in the natural form of food.
Do you have a favourite go-to piece in the collection?
Mine is the gold long Seville pendant, I rarely take it off!
What are the main materials that you use for the Little By Little Collection, and how do you evaluate their social and environmental impact?
The main material that we use in all our collections is Silver. The advantage of creating all the jewellery in Peru is the rich supply of local metal, which enables us as a company to reduce our environmental impact and minimise our carbon footprint. Our manufacturer uses 80% of recycled metal in the jewellery and the remaining 20% is procured through strict social and environmental standards.
What steps do you take to be as transparent as possible?
As a business we choose to tell people our story and identify the individuals who make our jewellery. We do this through social media and our website. We are always setting ourselves challenges for ways in which we can be more transparent and responsible. We liaise with 3 key individuals regularly: Piero, Mayra and Sandra. They develop and create our designs for us in Lima, Peru. Annabel has also visited the factory in Peru.
The ethics of fashion and jewellery are coming more into the spotlight. What advice do you have for people who want to be mindful of the jewellery they buy?
I think this can depend on the individual, but I think that the 3 keys things to consider are:
Where was it made & whose hands created it?
Where did the materials come from within the design?
Is it a piece that you will treasure?
The growing concept of Ethical fashion can be quite difficult to define. What does ‘ethical fashion’ mean to you?
I think the principal of being Ethical lies in the area of relationship. When you refer to ethical jewellery it is about having a transparent, fair and enabling chain of custody. Actually knowing the people who make and create your jewellery and wanting them to benefit from the process. We would love creative communities to be enabled. From the person who mined the material to those that make it. They all matter. I think in the UK we often forget about the people, the environment, the places where are things are made and the impact they can have.
You are partners with the charity Action Against Hunger, and donate the funding for three day’s of food for a malnourished child with every item sold. Why did you choose to partner with this charity?
Our main aim in establishing Little by Little in 2015, was to make a difference in a sustainable manner. That is why we partnered with Action Against Hunger, a charity that works in nearly 50 countries worldwide to carry out innovative, lifesaving programmes in nutrition, food security, water, sanitation and hygiene. AAH ties together the food element of our business, linking ingredients, to design, to jewellery, to funding.