William Édouard’s Ethical Jewelry Promises Craftsmanship Without Compromise
By: Namra Khan
William Édouard is a sustainable, handcrafted jewelry brand from Australia on a mission to amplify its customers’ sense of personal style. Founded by William Drury, the prestigious label has been featured in Australian Elle, Marie Claire, GQ, and Forbes magazine.
While studying in Australia and overseas, Drury’s work was awarded for its technical excellence by master goldsmith and former president of the American Jewelry Design Council, Alan Revere. What started as a hobby flourished into Drury’s career and the passionate founder has been sharing his love for creating fine works of art, ever since.
We spoke with the talented director on the sustainable process behind William Édouard collections, his recent collaboration with fashion label Christopher Esber, and more.
From start to finish, what is the design process like at William Édouard?
Generally, the design process of a collection begins with a theme. After a theme is established, we expand on the sentiment of the theme and explore ways in which these sentiments translate to jewelry, whether through form, texture, or color. At this point, freehand drawing and the gathering of ideas for pieces within the collection begins and is refined cyclically until we arrive at the sense that the collection is complete.
Your company offers elegant jewelry collections as well as custom pieces. What is your favorite part of designing bespoke pieces?
In all honesty, my favorite part is watching their expression upon first seeing the piece they envisioned come to life in the physical form. To have the opportunity to design and collaborate with our customers and be trusted through their journey is incredibly special and something I’ll never take for granted.
How do you incorporate sustainability into the brand?
At William Édouard, we are committed to using ethical and sustainable practices across all areas of our work and we have taken rigorous steps to ensure that every gemstone used in our creations is ethically sourced and conflict-free.
We take pride in the fact that 100% of the silver and over 85% of the gold used in our creations comes from recycled sources. Any gold that does not come from 100% recycled sources is fully compliant with the LBMA Responsible Gold Guidance and the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.
You recently collaborated with designer Christopher Esber for Australia Fashion Week. Can you tell us about that collection?
This collaboration was a welcome introduction to working with Australian designers outside of the jewelry industry. Working with Chris, with his innate sense of elegance and style, was a great experience and an easy decision to make given his experience in the industry. Our approach towards collaboration was seamless and our design aesthetic complimented one another’s perfectly.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Given how much I enjoy what I do, what might otherwise be perceived as “challenging” is a welcome experience. Now and then, issues present themselves—for example, I may be soldering a piece of gold jewelry and accidentally melt it, but beyond that, I love what I do, even to the extent where I sometimes return to the studio after hours just for the enjoyment of it!
What advice would you give to aspiring jewelry designers?
Keep drawing, designing, creating, and trying new things – fall in love with the process. This doesn’t need to be limited to jewelry – Inspiration can come from anywhere and exposing yourself to this as much as possible is the key to expanding one’s creative capabilities.