Matilde Mourinho is building a sustainable jewellery brand that's challenging our perception of lab-grown diamonds. Here, she explains to Tatler why sustainability shouldn't be an afterthought when it comes to filling our jewellery boxes.
What is the biggest misconception about lab-grown diamonds?
Based on my personal experience since launching Matilde Jewellery in December 2020, I would say that one of the biggest misconceptions about lab-grown diamonds is that they are “fake” or “not real” diamonds. This is, of course, untrue. They are visually, physically, and chemically identical to natural diamonds with the only difference being where they are grown.
How are lab-grown diamonds grown?
Lab-grown diamonds grow in the exact same conditions that natural diamonds do, except those conditions are replicated in a controlled environment as opposed to under the earth.
Why is it important that we purchase jewellery from brands that are committed to sustainability?
I started Matilde Jewellery because I became aware of how detrimental traditional jewellery industry practices could be. Everyone can and should play a part in how we take care of our planet and if you're given the choice between two brands: one who is committed to sustainability; and one who isn’t, it’s a no-brainer.
Read more: Pink Diamonds Are Trending—Why?
Describe your jewellery in five words.
Modern, timeless, elegant, versatile, transparent.
How has your Portuguese heritage impacted your design aesthetic?
I am very proud of my Portuguese heritage, and I always knew that I wanted to honour that through my jewellery. In the most obvious way, my Heritage Collection is a tribute to my Portuguese background. The whole collection is very much inspired by traditional Portuguese art forms, including the mosaic tiles that cover the country’s streets. I really wanted to showcase this inspiration in a modern and elegant yet timeless way.
If you could design jewellery for anyone, past or present, who would it be?
My grandmother. I’m named Matilde after my mum, who is named Matilde after her mum. I never got to meet her, and part of my brand is dedicated to her and her name. I would have loved to have been able to design something for her.
If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be and why?
Don’t worry so much about what other people are going to think.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from the past year?
To be as adaptable and flexible as possible. If there is one thing I am sure we have all learned this past year it’s that some things are completely out of our control. I used to be, and still can be, someone who likes to stick to a plan. When something happens that is out of my control it really throws me off. This past year has taught me that sometimes you have to just go with the flow.
What can we expect from Matilde Jewellery in 2022?
I want to focus on growing our community and fostering our relationships with customers. I really want to listen to what they want from us, and explore new and innovative ways to be as sustainable as possible.