• Fashion

Natalie Fitch’s vision for Australian sustainable jewellery

When nature and design collide

By Jenny Ringland

Fancy some new earrings, or a cute new bangle? The internet is awash with shiny options, it’s easy to go down a black hole filled with pretty things, many of which won’t tick many sustainable or ethical boxes.

Which is where we come in. Natalie Fitch is the owner, director and head designer of Natalie Marie, a slow, bespoke jewellery brand setting a very high bar for what sustainable jewellery design looks like in Australia and beyond. It’s their connection to nature and authentic approach to doing business that sets them apart. Recently we sat down with Natalie, to get a better understanding of just what it takes to create a sustainable and ethical jewellery brand (it’s no mean feat btw), what inspires her as a creator and the story behind their new Australian sapphire range.

Jewellery designer Natalie Ftch with her daughter on the beach

Natalie Fitch and her family in nature

What is the definition of sustainably sourced and made jewellery?

To truly stand behind the label of being a sustainable jewellery brand today, in our opinion, means to create responsibly, source mindfully, and ensure that all creations are produced with a focus on conscious practice. This has been a non-negotiable component of our brand ethos since our inception and is at the forefront of our focus as we grow. It means minimal waste, supply only to demand, handcrafting jewellery in-house. We use recycled or Australian mined metals, recycle and reuse all of our studio scrap, and partner only with suppliers who are committed to sustainable environmental practices. 

What are the key elements to look for when investing in jewellery? 

When investing in a special piece, my advice is always to invest in the full story of the piece; to understand how it’s produced and where, and from what materials. This creates a great platform from which to base an intimate connection to something that will become a part of your daily life in a unique way. 

How do you know if a jewellery brand has sustainable and ethical practices in place?

We are a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and we are currently working through the process to become accredited. The RJC is an international standards-setting initiative that ensures key benchmarks for sustainable and ethical practices are met from mine to retail. With RJC’s guidance, our focus has expanded far beyond our in-house practices, which we have had a great grasp on for many years – to tracing material back through the supply chain. 

Natalie Fitch in her jewellery design studio


You recently launched a line featuring Australian Sapphires, what is their story? Why are they more ethical and sustainable than other sapphires?

We are so fortunate in Australia to have access to incredible natural resources of precious gemstones, as well as a rich community of skilled miners and artisan cutters. This provides a unique opportunity to bring a rough stone from the earth and transform it into a finished gemstone, all within a strictly managed, tight-knit chain of custody.  

What makes this collection truly unique is our long-standing relationship with one of Australia’s most reputable family-run gemstone suppliers located in Rubyvale, Central Queensland. The Rubyvale mines are restricted and heavy machinery is prohibited, which allows for a sustainable approach and careful management of the material and the land throughout the mining process. For this collection, we have used a variety of traditional blue, vibrant teal, and unique parti sapphires, with each individual sapphire traceable back to the producing mine. To create a ring with this level of traceability is really the ultimate when creating consciously, and we are so proud to provide this unequivocal level of transparency.

We love your manifesto: “A celebration of our land, the wisdom of nature and the intimate relationship between the Earth and the heart.”How is this woven through what you do?

The practice of creating jewellery by hand is one of transformation; whereby we take raw materials in their rough form and work those through various processes to result in a refined, wearable piece. Our intention is always to create pieces of meaning; tangible tokens that are an expression of sentiment, love, and connection and embody the story of each piece’s creation. 

How do you connect with nature in your down time?

We are fortunate enough to have our studio, head office and home based on the northern beaches of Sydney. We have a unique opportunity to be within reach of the city, while also being immersed by the most beautiful natural coastline. The ocean has always been my reprieve and I make it a priority to find time to jump in at every opportunity. It’s my ultimate reset, and never fails to rejuvenate my body and mind. 

What makes you feel creative / what inspires you?

I am deeply inspired by materials and processes – by the rich diversity of precious resources offered by the earth, and ultimately by the ancient practice of transforming those into wearable treasures.  

Natalie Marie Australian Sapphire collection

Natalie Marie Australian Sapphire collection

Natalie Marie Australian Sapphire collection


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