In conversation with Hannah Davis, Wolf & Moon’s creative director and designer.
Given that British jewellery brand Wolf & Moon is now stocked in more than 200 stores worldwide, it’s hard to believe that it started out as a passion project for founder Hannah Davis, who first began making pieces at the age of 16.
Originally sold at some of London’s weekend markets, Wolf & Moon’s unique, abstract styles and inspired colours quickly gained popularity, leading Hannah to start selling them online in 2011.
Hannah, having evolved the brand over the course of several years, still has a hand in almost all aspects of the business (she continues to shoot all the new pieces herself) though her focus is mostly on creating new collections.
Featuring a selection of earrings, bracelets, necklaces and brooches, aside from their beauty, what sets Wolf & Moon’s pieces apart is that they are ethically made and a strong ethos remains at the core of everything the company does.
Here, Hannah shares her thoughts on the importance of being sustainable, the ways in which the brand works to achieve this and the inspiration behind her designs.
How would you describe Wolf & Moon?
“Original handcrafted jewellery inspired by architecture, interior design and the natural world.”
The collection was born from your desire to inspire the modern woman. What does this idea represent to you?
“The modern woman is open minded, well connected and can discover new things very easily through social media, the internet and travelling. She is naturally curious, but also conscious of where the items she buys come from. She values brands that are both original and socially/environmentally responsible. I know because I am one of them.”
In what ways is the collection sustainable/eco friendly?
“It is important to us that we are as eco friendly as possible. We only use FSC approved wood and have now introduced recycled acrylic into our range. We are also proud to say that 0% of our waste goes to landfill - we are able to recycle nearly everything, but anything we cannot is made into road surfaces. We also offer a free lifetime fixing service for our jewellery to keep as much product out of the landfill as possible, even once it has left our studios.”
How important do you feel sustainability is in modern jewellery making?
“I think it’s very important for all brands, not just jewellery makers, to be mindful and responsible in the way they manufacture their products - from the materials and processes to treating their staff well, it should be top priority.”
What are the greatest areas of concern in sustainable jewellery making at the moment?
“I can’t speak for the whole industry, but for us, our main concerns come down to being responsible with our supplier and material choices, reducing our plastic waste and making sure all our staff are treated well and paid at least the London Living Wage.”
Though you are no longer a one-woman-band, what was the process of creating each piece when you first started out? How do you ensure these values are carried through now that your production line has grown?
“The process of creating each piece actually hasn’t changed much over the years, there are just more people involved now. I’ll start with an idea/concept and make sketches in my notebook, then I’ll draw these up onto Illustrator and spend a while messing around with the designs there. Then I’ll make samples and experiment some more, often exploring new ways of using the same materials. For each new collection, I try to introduce at least one new technique, material or process. Once I have put together a collection, I will then create instruction manuals for each piece and train my production staff on how to make them.”
Do you think the role jewellery plays in people’s (especially women’s) lives has changed? If so, how?
“The internet has given us access to much more choice and we are able to discover smaller brands from across the world very easily but I think the attitude to wearing jewellery has stayed the same.”
What’s your current favourite piece in the collection?
“My favourite piece at the moment is the Orla II Earrings in Eggshell. They are statement hoops but super lightweight and I wear them with absolutely everything.”
Which piece of jewellery in your personal collection has the most sentimental value and why?
“My engagement ring which was designed and made by one of my closest friends, Tessa Metcalfe.”
Do you feel storytelling is important in creating your pieces? If so, in what way?
“I don’t think my work is really about storytelling. I love making beautiful objects using non traditional jewellery methods and the pieces are mostly abstract and more about form, material and colour. I will often reference inspirations such as architecture, art and natural objects, but I wouldn’t necessarily call this storytelling.”
Words: Bianca Barratt