July has seen the launch of a capsule collection of vintage inspired chains within our V by Laura Vann collection at Last Night I Dreamt. We have a real passion for vintage jewellery in our Southwell, Nottingham jewellery shop, so it’s fair to say we’re obsessed with our art deco inspired range, V by Laura Vann. To celebrate the launch of the Forever collection we’ve chatted to Laura about how she came to start V, Meghan Markle loving the brand, sustainability in the jewellery industry and more. So grab a cuppa and read on...
Tell the LNID family about you and the idea that sparked you launching V by Laura Vann.
I started V about 9 years ago after a failed attempt at journalism led me to move from London back home to Birmingham. I was working at COS in the Bullring while simultaneously helping out at my dad’s jewellery company (not sure how I had the energy)! I really admired COS’s ethos of timeless, affordable and high quality design and felt that was completely missing in the jewellery industry at the time. I realised with dad’s experience and my ideas we had the perfect foundations to fill that gap!
Why is sustainability in the jewellery industry so important? And why now?
The fashion industry is one of the world’s worst polluters. While the materials used by garment production are different to jewellery, there are still shared problems within the two sectors such as consumer demand for new new new, irresponsible labour conditions and environmental hazards. Just as there is growing consumer pressure on the fashion industry to enforce more responsible practice, it is important for the jewellery industry and every other industry to play their part as there is no denying the impact that manufacturing has on the planet.
What is V by Laura Vann doing as a brand to become more sustainable?
Since its conception, V has been against fad trends and in favour of timeless, long lasting designs. So anti-consumerism is at our core. We don’t offer regular sales which drive mass purchasing and this year we are slowing things down even further by offering only one collection called Forever. Consumer behaviour plays a huge part in sustainability, and with one in three women feeling that their clothes are outdated after less than three wears, educating customers on the harm of over consumerism is just as important as responsible manufacture. That’s why you’ll see a lot of quotes on our Instagram pushing the virtues of buying less and choosing well.
In a bid to reduce our carbon footprint, our fully recyclable packaging has downsized and we consciously don’t offer free returns so that customers shop with intention and our returns rate is well below the industry standard. As a smaller brand we can be very accurate with our stock ordering so unlike big brands who so often throw returns in the bin (10,000 items of clothing go into landfill every five minutes), we regularly sell out of styles and we’re nimble enough to get creative with marketing if ever we need to give slower lines a little push.
Is it important for you to know where and how things are made?
It’s so important to us that the people who make V and the environment in which it is made is safe and ethical. Over the last 9 years we have only ever worked with one family run factory and we conduct rigorous auditing to ensure best practices are followed in terms of health, safety, labour and environment. We’re also proud to source from one of the worlds biggest refiners of precious metals, so V jewels are made from recycled silver.
Once a customer has chosen a V piece, how can they look after it?
We provide a care card with each piece of V which explains how best to store the jewels and mentions avoiding spraying perfume or solvents directly onto them. We suggest using a polishing cloth to buff out any discolouration that may naturally occur over time and Goddards jewellery cleaner also works a treat! That said, in a bid to make our jewellery accessible to all, we have to use affordable materials like silver and gold plating. Silver by nature is a soft metal and plating can fade, so we’re really excited to have just launched a new refurbishment service which restores customers jewels to their former glory!
My absolute favourite earrings are the Daphne, Bianca and Gina’s (which I wore on my wedding day). They are so statement and unlike any other earrings I’ve seen. Plus, the Daphne’s have Meghan Markle’s seal of approval!
Necklace-wise I love the Edie necklace in pearl and again the Daphne – the black enamel stands out beautifully and these pendants get a beautifully and these pendants get a beautifully vintage overhaul when teamed with our new Figaro & Rope chains.
You’ve recently launched some new chains within the Forever collection, tell us the thinking behind this.
The Forever collection is the only collection we’re launching this year. Previously I used to launch 2 big collections per year consisting of earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces. This year I decided to break one collection up and launch the different styles at different points throughout the year. The first edit was earrings and this second edit is chains. The thinking behind the chains is quite simple – they encourage reworking, reusing and reviving existing pendants rather than replacing anything. So customers can add their old V pendants (or any other pendant) to their new chain for a revived look that doesn’t involve discarding their original piece. These chains are also great for layering so again, customers can grow their jewellery wardrobe as opposed to substituting it.
JOIN Laura and Rebecca over on Instagram on Wednesday 29 th July at 6.30pm for a LIVE girly night chatting about the new collection, how to wear V by Laura Vann and what key pieces you should have in your jewellery arsenal. If you have any questions for Laura feel free to send them to me in advance of our live.
LISTEN NOW to our latest Podcast with Laura.
Finally, join us over on Instagram tomorrow night (Tuesday 21 st July) at 8pm when we’ll be launching a giveaway you won’t want to miss.
To celebrate the launch of The Forever Collection we are offering a FLASH 15% OFF for 24 hours only on our V by Laura Vann collection. Shop Meghan Markle’s Daphne earrings or some of the new FOREVER pieces using the code FOREVER15. This offer will end at 8pm on Tuesday 21 st July. Shop our V by Laura Vann collection here.
With love Laura & Rebecca xx