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Olympic Medalist Makes History

February 21, 2010
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For the first time in Olympic history the games partnered with a luxury jewelry company as one of the sponsors of the world competitions. Birks & Mayors, Canada’s iconic jewelry company, nearly as old as the country it has sprung from, has proved itself a Golden choice for this partnership.

Birks & Mayors,  along with Tiffany’s, has been rated #1 by the internationally recognized Earthworks organization for their adherence to the Golden Rules, a set of social, environmental, and human rights principles that are part of the No Dirty Gold campaign which guides more responsible and ethically sourced gold production. “Responsible is beautiful” is their motto and the reasoning behind their multiple programs to give back to the environment and the community.

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Birks & Mayors, a “world-class brand with heart,” has done more than simply gift 42,000 pieces of fine jewelry to the Olympic family, they have also stepped forward with designs commemorating the games, from charm bracelets fashioned with 3D replicas of the Olympic mascots, to pendants inspired by the Four Host First Nations artistic symbols, to a complete line of earrings, pendants and bracelets designed by Brand Ambassador and Olympic Silver Medalist, Canadian Jenn Heil.

Heil was asked by Birks & Mayors to not only be the brand ambassador for the Olympic games but also to design a line of jewelry. She chose to use the five rings of the Olympics as her design motif. Five percent of the proceeds from these pieces are donated to the Canadian Olympic Committee to benefit the Olympics and Paralympics.

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“Everyone at Birks & Mayors have been so behind me. Thanks to Birks for trusting me and giving me carte blanche when it came to designing the Olympic-inspired jewelry designs.”

She explained that the five rings, each with a distinctive demarcation imprinted on the silver rings, symbolize:

1. Dream – “It’s important that we dream big and that we go after our dreams.”
2. Focus – the design motif is like “a target.”
3. Team – to symbolize that a great achievement such as the Olympics are a “team effort”
4. Courage – “It takes a lot of courage to go after our own dreams, carrying with us our own values.”
5. Joy – “I constantly have this bubbling up feeling of joy with everything I do. That feeling of joy needs to come with me everywhere I go and with everything I do.”

Heil spoke to an assembled crowd of journalists and dignitaries recently on a bright Vancouver morning.

Mr. Thomas Andruskevich, President and CEO of Birks & Mayors, said to Heil, “You not only won the Medal, you won the hearts of all Canadians.”

The Honorable Gary Lunn, Minister of State Sport & 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games, said, “The relationship we’ve had with Birks is amazing. They’ve been very involved in the torch celebration. Fifteen million Canadians came out at some point along the torch relay to welcome it here in Canada. Birks made the commemorative plaques that now mark the route all across our country.” He also had nothing but great esteem for Heil, of whom he said, “A more genuine human being as you’d ever like to meet.”

Heil’s values match those of the iconic Birk’s: playful, stylish, fluid fun. And ethical. In 2003 Birks subscribed to the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, a commitment to the long-term sustainability of Canada’s Boreal region. In addition, their Mammoth Tusk Gold program, “includes partnering with the local mining community and respecting their right to engage, with self determination, in every aspect of the mining operation.  This initiative is not only a pledge but a certified operational business practice unique to Birks.”

For More Information About the Green Gold Standard, Read Here.

In addition, Canada’s North West Territories are the world’s third largest producer of rough-cut diamonds. They are clean diamonds, as opposed to much of Africa’s “blood diamonds.” In 2008 over $2 billion diamonds were produced from the region.  Read More Here about North West Territory Diamonds.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2010 22:21

    Wow, it seems like Vancouver is navigating some uncharted territory by greening this year’s Olympics. Still, I’m skeptical about the reduced ecological impact- all those athletes had to fly there!

    If you get a chance, you should check out my blog entry about Olympic sustainability:

    Let me know what you think!

  2. March 11, 2010 00:30

    I really like your writing style, its not generic and extremly long and tedious like a lot of blog posts I read, you get to the point and I really enjoy reading your articles!

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