A belief that beautiful things and ethical production are not mutually exclusive is at the heart of Sylvie Vitali’s jewellery brand, Nomad Inside. The jewellery is designed by Sylvie and crafted from 18-carat gold or 925 sterling silver and includes elegant, delicate necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets with colourful gems. It’s all ethically sourced and thoughtfully created, and profits are ploughed into a range of charity projects, making it an appealing choice for the conscious consumer.
How it began
Nomad Inside’s dual motivations – to be beautiful and, at the same time, meaningful – are a result of Sylvie’s upbringing in France in a family of girls surrounded by femininity, combined with her later travels in China and India.
“Even as a child, I was always attracted to the beauty of things, people and other cultures,” Sylvie recalls. “This was to have a major influence on me as I became fascinated by other cultural ways of being. Travel naturally came into my adult life.”
By 2002, she decided to leave her corporate career and moved to the mainland. “I started using fashion to raise funds when I moved to China,” she says. “At that time, proceeds mainly benefited local orphanages to help improve their living conditions.”
“I later lived in India for several years,” she adds, “where people are magnificently decorated with colourful and generous jewellery no matter how rich or poor they are. Poverty is, however, overwhelming and the idea of sharing wealth became as obvious to me as breathing or sleeping.”
Thus, the idea of Nomad Inside was born, coming to life in 2008 when Sylvie established her brand with its commitment to making the world a better place. “I try to bring a contribution of humanity and beauty to the world – make it beautiful, make it meaningful. That’s my drive,” Sylvie says.
How it happens
Every stage of the process at Nomad Inside is carefully considered. To start with, Sylvie has the majority of her pieces made by hand. “The idea that a skilled person has given his or her heart, mood and time to make the piece of jewellery is part of what I believe makes things precious and unique.”
All the gold, gemstones and diamonds that are used are conflict-free, and the packaging is kept minimal and paper based. Sylvie then donates all her profits to charity, supporting a range of global initiatives. “At Nomad Inside, we care and believe that conscious and ethical products in general, and more specifically jewellery, have the power to enrich our lives with beauty, as well as with meaning when enabling a contribution to the community.”
Sylvie believes that this idea and these values resonate with her customers. “They don’t want their wellbeing, comfort or wealth to come at the cost of human dignity, social costs or ecological damage.”
In the past year, Nomad Inside has supported Indian orphanage Tara Home and the Panzi Foundation, which works to help female victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has also been involved with the Khan Academy, which offers online education opportunities, and PSE (Pour un Sourire d’Enfant), which helps impoverished children in Cambodia.
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This article first appeared in the April/May 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.