MEET POND W/ NAT & HOLLY
POND is a London based jewellery brand offering hand made, limited edition pieces using salvaged vintage beads and recycled gold. Co-founders Natalie and Holly, shared an inside track on POND on how they create new narratives for objects with a history.
"If more respect is given to the producers and the product then all the other things we talk about - slower fashion, more conscious consumerism - will follow."
What 2 words best describe POND?
When did you start POND, and what inspired you to?
October 2019. We both worked together for over a decade in a large jewellery company and despaired at the waste that is a bio product of the industry. We’d begun our careers quite optimistically with the belief that things could be changed from within and we had quite a fun time trying! We could see which way it was all heading getting even faster and even cheaper. We’d always said that we would start our own brand one day so as soon as we had the opportunity we took the plunge and made it happen and we couldn’t be happier.
Tell us about the team behind the brand?
We often joke about how we are one brain! After working together for so long we have an immediacy of communication in terms of aesthetics and concepts. It's easy to make confident decisions and work through ideas really quickly when you have that trust at the core of a partnership. We have quite different personalities but somehow it’s the perfect balance. We can’t recall a time where we have had an argument in all of the time we have known each other which is pretty amazing and a bit crazy!
What is playing on the office / studio stereo?
We love Aldous Harding’s new album Designer and her whole vibe generally! We’ve also had a bit of a nostalgic thing for Hole recently.
We define good design as making positive impact on people and the planet a key input in the design stage. How do you approach this at POND?
Our main focus has always been not to add to material waste, so we use things that already exist and 100% recycled gold as gold mining is one of the most harmful practices environmentally. There is enough gold existing in the world that really there is no reason to dig up any more apart from greed. We also make sure every part of our jewellery can be hand made by us to avoid buying mass produced components which are hard to trace.
What are the existing materials you work with and where do you source them from?
We have good friends who trade in the vintage markets in London. They save us broken pieces of jewellery that can't be sold, so we sort through it, find the treasures and reuse them. Our studio looks like a carefully curated Aladdin’s cave! We tend to look out for and get inspired by mid century coloured glass beads, colours that spark nostalgia from the past. We love to experiment with unusual colour combinations.
We believe in transparency, so we always ask designers - what would you like to do better, or are you working on improving?
This relates to the earlier question actually. We aim to use 100% recycled gold but we always come across the problem of gold chain which we can’t handmake and it’s almost impossible to find chain made from recycled gold. We tend not to use it in our designs for this reason but it’s often requested so we’re always hopeful of finding a supplier!
The fashion industry as a whole is responsible for huge environmental and social issues. How would you like to see the industry change and progress?
By giving power to the creators and the makers. By that we mean the independent artisan but also the factory that supplies to the mega chain. It’s one thing to slap on sanctions and request certificates but then to demand lower prices and faster turnaround is just not viable. If more respect is given to the producers and the product then all the other things we talk about - slower fashion, more conscious consumerism - will follow. Or so we believe!
What advice would you give to people who want to be more responsible when they are shopping?
To be honest we find it hard ourselves which why retailers like PARO are so valuable. Each industry comes with it’s own issues and it’s not always smaller brands that are the solution - so many independent brands talk about being sustainable or ‘hand made’ whilst using all bought in components with zero traceability for example. We’d say do your research on the brands you are choosing to spend your money with and dig a little deeper but at the same time it’s their responsibility to be clear about their product so if it’s not clear it’s probably not their priority.
Thanks Nat & Holly!
You can find out more about POND and shop the collection in our website.