Jewelry Designer Christina Malle Honored with Eco-Friendly Award
Nonprofit Pure Earth is awarding Malle for her commitment to environmental protection via responsibly sourced materials.
Pure Earth, a nonprofit focused on solving the global pollution crisis, will honor Malle with the 2022 Force of Nature Award, given to those who advocate for environmental protection.
Malle was previously a human rights attorney but later turned to goldsmithing and jewelry design, crafting pieces inspired by art and nature using responsibly sourced metals and gemstones, Pure Earth said.
“One advantage of switching careers is that we bring along, perhaps, a fresh set of questions,” Malle said in a press release about the award.
“As an attorney who had represented asylum seekers (including an artisanal gold miner), it made sense to ask: Where is the gold from? How did it get here? Who benefitted from the extraction, processing, and sale? And if those transactions were opaque, who has benefitted from that opacity? Same questions for gemstones.”
To Malle, responsible sourcing means paying fair wages to miners and cutters, avoiding child and forced labor, buying from known sources, and lessening the environmental impact of extracting materials.
Malle uses Fairmined gold, which can be traced to the mining source, or gold with traceable origins. The miners receive fair wages, avoid or limit the use of mercury, and reduce the environmental impact of mining.
“Christina Malle is a catalyst for progress and action on raising public awareness in the mining sector, and on the benefits of mercury-free gold mining,” said Francois Guillon, who sits on Pure Earth’s board of directors.
Former United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner and Dr. Netzy Peralta, an anthropologist who works with Indigenous potters, will also receive the award.
The women will be honored on March 8 as part of Pure Earth’s International Women’s Day event.
In conjunction with Pure Earth’s event, Malle will launch her spring/summer 2022 capsule collection, which includes several sea-inspired designs.
New pieces include a “Sea of Cortez” pendant set with a rare large baroque mabé pearl and an 18-karat Fairmined gold shell necklace, featuring her signature rosette motif.
Another necklace is set with a 1-carat drop-shaped Nigerian pink tourmaline, cut by notable gem cutter Roger Dery in support of Gem Legacy, a nonprofit that supports local mining communities.
On trend with unisex designs, an 18-karat Fairmined gold band will also be available.
“Christina’s own jewelry line is a celebration of nature’s seascapes and landscapes, and her craft demonstrates her commitment to responsibility and transparency,” Guillon said.
“Christina has worked tirelessly to spread that message to clients and colleagues, and she has been leading the way, supporting Pure Earth’s action to help gold miners go mercury free.”
Malle sits on Pure Earth’s Jewelry Industry Action Committee, working to raise awareness among the industry and consumers.
She is a board member of Ethical Metalsmiths and the New York Metro Chapter of the Women’s Jewelry Association, and was an original advisor to the Mercury Free Mining Group.
She is also a supporter of Pure Earth’s annual Pure Gold jewelry auction, held each fall to raise funds for the nonprofit’s work training artisanal miners to go mercury-free and to help restore land damaged by gold mining projects through reforestation.
To learn more about Pure Earth’s March 8 event, visit the nonprofit’s website.
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