The British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) has partnered with London-based jewellery brand Alex Monroe for a new sustainability initiative.

BAJ students will be tasked with designing a wearable piece of jewellery using a 5mm sapphire donated by Alex Monroe.

The ‘Adaptability, Versatility, Longevity’ design project aims to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable practices in the industry.


A statement from the BAJ revealed that the starting point of the design brief is the theme of transformation.

It hopes students will take inspiration from the natural world, using their own interpretations on the theme to create a versatile piece that can be transformed and adapted to suit different situations.

In order to challenge throwaway fast-fashion culture, pieces will be designed responsibly, with durability in mind.

18 students from BAJ’s London campus and 10 from the Birmingham campus will take part in the project, all from the first year of BAJ’s Jewellery Design & Manufacturing Diploma.

Alex Monroe commented: “The jewellery industry has given me a wonderful professional life. I’m very keen to make sure that routes into the industry are open to everyone.

“I am very aware that the route I took, university then setting up my own studio, may no longer be viable for a many young people.

“The BAJ offers an entry into the industry for all. And we need real diversity if we’re going to survive and prosper in the future.”

Monroe will also join the BAJ’s Sofie Boons for a podcast discussing his start in the industry and commitment to sustainability.

“Sustainability is an increasingly pressing issue in the jewellery industry,” said Kate Rieppel, head of academy at the British Academy of Jewellery. “BAJ’s latest live project with Alex Monroe is an excellent opportunity for our students, not only to consider the implications of this conversation in their design process, but also to develop their practical skills according to a real industry brief and to receive feedback from a renowned professional jeweller.”