Taking design inspiration from the kind of scandi girl that knows quality, has genuine style and expresses it fearlessly, is Praba 750, the minimal jewellery brand that brings delicate gold pieces to a wider audience by setting a fairer price point.
We met Ruta Eva, one half of the two women behind Praba 750, to speak about the value of gold beyond its monetary rating, the dream of the brand becoming a social collective, and the unusual chemical composition of gold. This peculiar and extraordinary quality allows for the processes of recycling and upcycling to create a new chapter in the story of the element, and the women behind Praba 750 do just that.
Ruta explained that with Praba 750, “We want to foster having more mindful buying behaviour.” By operating the brand with an admirable ethos, a sustainable business model and creating a trading platform that brings jewellery designers together, Ruta together with her co-founder Victorija Agne are able to radically alter the way that consuming is seen. It is not so much a place for creatives to compete, so much as express themselves, and alight significance in the relationship between the woman buying a piece of delicate jewellery, and how and why that piece came to be hers.
I think what we want to tell the story of people that buy jewellery, you want to buy handmade, good jewellery that you can have for a lifetime. But also that it’s an investment, because you can always sell back, you can always take those precious metals and turn it into something else. What is amazing about gold is that, when you sell it, it goes to its primary quality.
They recycle gold at it’s point of origin, by buying unwanted gold from a variety of people, including gold teeth in Eastern Europe. The fine jewellery company is an example of using business experience and knowledge to create a more sustainable plan, that benefits the consumer, the brand and the environment. By repurposing gold, Praba 750 is able to avoid a complex and damaging mining process, and contribute to the story of the precious material.
“If you think of gold, that has been the most stable currency for the past five thousand years! When you buy gold it has it’s own sort of lifecycle, compared to if you buy just garbage from the high street.” It’s history contributes to the complex nature of the material. “It’s having that piece of earth on you, it’s not just wearing it, it grounds me as a human being. I can’t explain why, I just feel.”
Intricate pieces are becoming more popular, as millennials become discouraged and disenchanted buying mass produced pieces from larger, opaque companies, that their friend might have too. Who wants to look the same as everyone else? Smaller pieces, that can be put together differently each time give a kind of freedom of expression that most people look for in their clothing and accessories.
When you buy something, you really value it, and it becomes an extended part of you, it’s part of you. When you look through human civilisation and you look at ancient tribes , it’s all about accessorising, it’s telling a story, it’s about customising, wearing it the way you want to wear it.
By creating jewellery outside of the constantly changing rhythm of the high street industry, that endures throughout the fickle trends that dominate fast fashion seasons, the pieces could become heirlooms, kept carefully and adored. But if you should get bored with your gold, Praba 750 will buy it, and upcycle it, and integrate it their new collection. You can really become part of the creative process, and responsibly dispose of unwanted pieces whilst investing in timeless earrings and cuffs.
“We wanted to create something that’s cool right now, but something that would have long lasting value and would be traditional in a way.”
Upcycling for us is just so natural, we didn’t think of anything else when we were working on this brand, from being sustainable, from having sustainable business practises, internal and external in a way, was always important, so it is our unique value proposition but it’s not our focus. Most people think it’s just about sustainability, and upcycling, which in fact, I think the main value proposition is our price.
Inspired by “unpierced ears, it’s minimal, a bit rock and roll, architectural”, the women have taken working with the unusual form of an ear, the architectural aspect of fine jewellery making, in their stride. Several of the earrings come along with instructions on how to place them properly in the ear, as these aren’t your standard studs. There are cuffs, twisted white gold hoops, and bars that create the illusion of multiple piercings.
Mutual understanding and a process of innovation, adaptation and change ensures that the final products are of the highest possible quality, as Ruta explains, “our designs, they change a lot from the first sketches to the final product.” Design and form alterations are part of the way that Praba 750 is revolutionary, as they remain true to their identity and core focus of transparent business, a fair price and recycling gold, but are open to change based on feedback, a truly collaborative way of working. Progressive mindsets and the ability to apply this nuanced world view to the way that business operates sets Praba 750 aside from other brands.
They have dreams for the future, primarily that the women can help other women to find meaning and direction through a socially conscious plan to “hire people, and hire local women, and you know teach jewellery craft. So this would be based, our production is based in Lithuania. There you can’t go and study jewellery craft, you have to learn it, so we would go there and employ women that are not sure what they want to do with their lives.”
By having a vision for a more interdependent, less competitive business world, “so that’s my personal goal, to build a brand and live in a business ecosystem where brands stop competing and instead of that share resources. That has always been my goal and drive and that’s what I want to do in life” Praba 750 is radical in many ways.
Thinking we don’t want to compete with other brands, we just want to live and have fun and we think that there is an abundance of customers, and abundance of gold, what’s the point in competing? You have to work hard to develop the best product for your customers, and you have to tell a story and there’s a craft to that and that’s important, etcetera, but in general, what’s the point in competing? We don’t want to compete, we want to inspire.
We left the interview with Ruta Eva feeling inspired, excited and eager to begin something new.
The passion behind Praba 750 cannot be found anywhere else, and the genuine nature of the brand and it’s ethos left us feeling sanguine at the prospect of a sustainable fashion industry, filled with women wearing timeless, thoughtful gold earrings.
PRABA 750 | jewellery
SUSTAINABILITY | highest quality recycled materials upcycled directly from individuals resulting in 50-75% lower price point without retail markup and other hidden costs
ETHICS | repurpose the upcycled jewellery in their workshops, where they can keep an eye on the production from inception to shipping; recycle, because gold mining has a history of wars, labour abuses and environmental devastation
THE NUDE LABEL | lingerie
ETHICS | Ethically and locally made in a family factory in Valencia, Spain