Founder VIERI GmbH and Earthbeat Foundation
“Not all that glitters is gold.”
In 2007, Guya Merkle could not have imagined that this wisdom would become her motto. After the sudden death of her father, the German with Italian-Belgian roots became the managing director and creative director of Vieri, a high-end jewelry company founded by her grandfather in 1939.
She studied at the Gemological Institute of America to learn everything about manufacturing and the jewelry business. But until the end, she was concerned with the decisive question under which conditions gold is actually mined. A trip to Peru brought clarity: In so-called small-scale mines, miners and children worked under catastrophic conditions. They mined the gold by hand, inhaled toxic mercury and were permanently in acutely collapsing mines.
For Guya it was clear that she would not continue working like this with Vieri. She decided to build up a company where ethical practices and luxury will go hand in hand. 2015 she founded the VIERI GmbH, which exclusively is producing jewellery with recycled gold. Furthermore she is investing in those countries where the resources are coming from.
The Earthbeat Foundation, which was founded by her in 2012 is working constantly to bring the topic to the agenda and to create awareness through the whole industry as well as the consumer. On top of this, she initiates projects concentrating on alternative income solutions for mining communities.
Guya Merkle is also a Co Founder of The Wearness, an online marketplace for ethically produced fashion, beauty and sustainable luxury.