Blanca Fernández directs the designs of the Ikonniko brand. A new concept in jewelry making. A model based on the commitment, not only with the design and quality of a product typology highly influenced by aesthetics and fashion, but going beyond that, Blanca wanted to bring to this sector the importance of committing to society through a model of production that is environmentally responsible and ethical with society and the planet.
We talked to Blanca about her company and her product, a novelty by the way, at Ekohunters.
Hi, Blanca, you're a person who's been through various sectors and trades. What made you decide to go into jewelry design?. Was it a decision of personal values or a strategy of competitive differentiation?
I think it was a very slow process, I've always been entertained by different crafts, everything related to craftsmanship has caught my attention a lot. I started making silver jewelry, like so many other things I had already tried, it just got me much more engaged.
The idea of doing it in a committed way came naturally, I also have studies related to the environment, only I didn't exploit it commercially from the beginning. I gave priority to those materials and processes that are sustainable, it is now that I try to emphasize this when I have to introduce myself, make the description of the products, etc.
What type of customer is your brand aimed at? Is it a product marked by the exclusivity that usually accompanies jewelry, or are you looking for a more functional customer?
The jewelry I make is designed for everyday use. As in any wardrobe, it is good to have some more exclusive pieces, for specific moments, but I prefer to focus on simple pieces that are easy to combine.
The final customer, I want to think that anyone who appreciates the work behind each piece, its design and sustainable character.
Ikonniko designs and manufactures its jewelry based on the principles of environmental responsibility. What does this commitment consist of? How do its materials and production process acquire the commitment and ethical environmental responsibility to which the company is bound?
My commitment is directed towards the use of materials and processes that are as sustainable as possible (unfortunately this is not always possible). Sometimes it is complicated because the most sustainable supplier is not the closest one, because I also like to work with craftsmen and suppliers as close as possible.
Also, I'm always looking to ensure that not only the pieces, but also the packaging and the companies I collaborate with are equally committed.
I think, however, that this is becoming easier in other sectors, such as textiles, but little by little I hope that this will change.
There is also a lot of ignorance, many people think that, for example, some earrings made of a "recycled" material are probably some plates or are made of recycled cardboard. And no, not necessarily. I think there are many people who are unaware of the possibility of comparing more sustainable pieces of silver.
This is a very traditional sector (jewelry) and where such innovative visions that include these values are not common. How has the market received your message and the product behind it? Do you think this sector is changing its vision towards a more socially and environmentally committed and ethical model?
The fact that there are materials available for working and making pieces of jewelry, such as recycled silver, already shows that something is changing. However, I don't know of any major brands that show this commitment. At the moment, it is the responsible consumer who has to show his preferences, value what he buys and say to those brands that do not show values close to his own "no, thank you".
What advice would you give to all those people who are trying to start up in this jewelry sector?
Whether it is in jewelry, or any other sector, I believe that sustainability will no longer be an option but an obligation. For the time being, I think that relying on other small, artisan brands can help to make a difference
At Ekohunters we are always trying to find new proposals, new sectors, innovate in our proposals and Blanca Fernández and Ikonniko have created a new sector, jewelry, which we had not noticed before. It is a pleasure for us to have Ikonniko among our designers, making committed and socially and environmentally responsible jewelry. A perfect gift for this Christmas, for a birthday, a detail with the person you want, a gift also with commitment and responsibility for a sustainable future.