Oceans Collection – Alex Monroe’s New Luxury Jewellery Collection with Friends of the Earth
We previewed the new Oceans Collection from London based jewellery designer Alex Monroe in September last year. As with so many of his new collection, making a choice of which treats to stock in the shop was such a challenge, but this one I found particularly difficult because I loved every single piece.
Any Alex Monroe stockist or fan will know that what makes his luxury jewellery so special is the incredible detail that is achieved in hand crafting his pieces. This coupled with his slightly eccentric fairytale perspective makes each collection unique.
The Oceans Collection includes animals from the underwater world as well as shells and corals.
The Starfish & Shell Hoop Earrings are amazing. The hoop is textured to mirror the look of branch coral, the starfish and shells are designed to look like they are travelling across the coral. The detail is incredible showing the beautiful contours of the tiny shells and starfish.
Alex Monroe has also designed some asymmetric starfish earrings, which are a great on trend addition. Again, even on these tiny earrings, the detail of the textured surface of the starfish is beautifully created. We have these entry price point studs in sterling silver and also in gold plated silver.
The piece that is getting the most gorgeous reaction is the sea turtle pendant necklace. Sea turtles are mesmerising and Alex Monroe has captured the beauty of this independent traveller of the oceans in his typically detailed design.
Why I loved it so so much
Most children have a fascination with the underwater world; the unexplored, exotic and unknown. We’ve all had out trips to the Sealife Centre or the local aquarium. This interest I had initially as a young child was rekindled when I was in my early twenties and the sea shells and fish and the beautiful creations by Alex Monroe in his newest Oceans Collection tug at my heart strings.
I first learned to dive in the early 1990s, in a tiny virtually unspoilt little known bay town on the Red Sea by the name of Sharm el Sheikh. When I first visited you could only stay in a handful of places, mainly connected to the small, but growing number of dive centres. There was only really one privately owned hotel in the resort. It was called Sanafir, named after one of the islands in The Straits of Tiran, to the east of Sharm el Sheikh. It was a basic hotel by today’s standards, but authentic Egyptian. It had about 30 rooms built around a central fire pit, where fresh pitta bread was cooked each evening. After dark, all the divers would congregate to watch Luc Besson’s The Big Blue on a make shift big screen. It is unrecognisable today; the change from small Bedouin village to holiday resort town has been rapid.
I invested in scuba gear and spent almost all of my annual leave on diving holidays in my twenties and thirties. The area immediately around Sharm el Sheikh and to the East and South offered incredible diving. Even shore dives, where you didn’t need to travel out into the bay on a dive boat, had huge amounts of coral and fish to see. I was hooked from the first dive in the sea. On most trips you’d be lucky enough to see big fish, certainly Napoleon Wrasse were common, a strange hump head fish which grew to up two metres. Sharks were pretty common, moray eels easy to find, if you knew where to look in little caves and holes in the coral reef or rock. Further to the south is the World famous dive site, Ras Mohammad where currents form at the tip of the Sinai peninsula attracting huge quantities of fish of all sizes. A sheer wall drop off to over 50 metres is dramatic. For me, it was a magical, relatively pristine world that I felt very lucky to experience. I’d happily spend an hour hovering over a family of clown fish watching what they were up to and hope that a turtle or manta ray might just pass by.
Part of my degree in Geography, back in the early 1990s touched on Ecotourism. A new word for a changing world, where tourists with a conscience could choose to holiday responsibly. I remember being on holiday in Morocco with my husband and realising that we were in the same tiny hotel as Jonathon Porritt, the British environmental trailblazer, a prominent member of the Ecology Party, now the Green Party and a director of Friends of the Earth in the late ‘80s, that was my own eco tourist pat on the back. The insight my time at University gave me into our impact on the environment has stayed with me. In the early ‘90s we were mainly worrying about recycling paper and saving the trees and I was worrying about less capable scuba divers kicking bits of coral off with their fins or worse, breaking it off for a souvenir. Our problems are bigger now, more frightening and it seems more urgent that we do something to help. Even over those early years that I regularly visited the Sharm el Sheikh area, I witnessed the rapid increase in tourism, encouraging a huge rise in building, and the inevitable change to the whole environment on land and off shore; the decline in not only the fish in the sea, but also the health of the coral. I most recently visited in 2010 and it was a pretty depressing experience. The whole area is struggling. The new and relatively new hotels built to cater for the predicted volume of tourists are under filled, local restaurants are struggling for business with the political danger in the area. This downturn in tourism though, could well be the saviour of the underwater environment, giving it a chance to stabilise. Almost the last thing on local people’s minds though will be the health of the sea and plastic pollution. Their problems are more of making ends meet, supporting their families, so any help or funding we might be able to offer and work carried out by the likes of Friends of the Earth is vital.
Who is Friends of the Earth?
Since the early 1970s Friends of the Earth has been the driving force behind many campaigns to make positive changes to protect our environment; from promoting recycling to saving our whales, from hi-lighting traffic pollution to protecting our green space. Alex Monroe was getting ‘drastic on plastic’ in February 2019 The connection with Friends of the Earth marked a commitment of his and the company to protect the environment.
The Perfect Collaboration
£10 from the sale of each piece of Alex Monroe’s Oceans collection is donated to Friends of the Earth. Alex has always been passionate about nature, he grew up in Suffolk and plants and animals of all shapes and sizes have inspired him. He is increasingly concerned about his environment and the impact he has on it. The company is committed to using recycled metals where ever possible and limited packaging waste through their production.
Not only does the new Alex Monroe Oceans Collection tick the beautifully designed and intricate box for luxury handmade jewellery, it also ticks the environmental box, Alex Monroe continues to consider the environment in all his jewellery production and processes, but also raising vital funds for Friends of the Earth through each piece sold of his Oceans Collection.
If I were to buy one piece from the collection it would be the sea turtle in gold plated silver. It’s a piece of treasure and it’s the Ocean’s Collection equivalent of my favourite Alex Monroe Bumblebee necklace.
We are so pleased to be Alex Monroe stockists, we’ve been falling in love with his beautiful creations for years. If you have ever considered buying from this luxury jeweller, you are always assured that each of his pieces is lovingly handmade in London and entirely produced in England. You are also assured of his eco credentials and that by buying from his new Oceans Collection, you are helping to support the work of Friends of the Earth. Have a look at what we have or email us if you need any further information.