In her 2014 resort collection, Pamela interpreted the iconography and architecture of the Maya — revered for their unique calendar, the Long Count, a 5125 year sequence recognised as a waveform that guides humanity through its processes of historic change and development, and came to an end on December 21st, 2012 — through motifs of the pineal eye and ziggurats on pendants and bracelets. All of these were manufactured locally in New York City from ethically sourced metals and gemstones. On a recent trip to Suriname, to connect with the energies of the Amazon, Pamela spent time in an indigenous village where she flopped out on a hammock surrounded by the amazing greenery of the forest and had a chance to reflect: “Beautiful objects quite often come from such an ugly process. It comes from the destruction of something even more beautiful — nature.” In order to counteract that, “It’s really important to use as much recycled material as possible, such as recycled stones or metal. Or if you’re using mined metal, making sure the mines are clean and that they’re not poisoning the environment or leaching mercury into the water system.” She finds the main challenge not to be in making her jewellery, but in being able to present it at a price that’s attractive to the customer. “It is important to educate people about the importance of the environment and the natural world around us, so they would be more engaged with caring,” she ways. However, a more sustainable lifestyle need not mean an expensive one. “There are loads of everyday ways to be more environmentally conscious that can slowly change the system — like trying to recycle and upcycle as much as humanly as possible.” However, the act of creating something in our cluttered world raises a few dilemmas for the designer: “We have to stop making things that are designed to be used twice and then thrown away; stop making things by taking advantage of people that are less fortunate than us to make profit, and stop making things that involve the destruction of our physical environment. Maybe we should just stop making things in general?”
As the world becomes more prosperous, and increasingly more digital, our appetites for electronics show no sign of abating. Metals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are a vital component for a vast array of electronic devices, especially mobile phones and laptops. They are increasingly the source of conflict in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which possesses 80 percent of the world’s supply. In response, earlier this year, Intel announced their microprocessor chips will be conflict mineral free and many other companies are following suit. Ever Manifesto is a fan of Fairphone, an Amsterdam-based startup that has developed a conflict-mineral-free smartphone running on Android’s operating system — perfect for taking that shameless #selfie.