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ABOUT

Are you a treehugger in heels? Are you a cool chick, who loves effortless chic designs as well as mama nature? Then you have landed in the right place. RAW Copenhagen marries your desire for fuss free Scandi simple and effortless chic designs with that for a more sustainable way of life. All designs are made to celebrate your femininity, elegance and playful boho spirit. 

My name is Karina Johansen, I am the founder and designer behind RAW, and I am very pleased you have landed here.

Picture of Karina Johansen, Creative Director and Designer at RAW Copenhagen, she marries ethics with aesthetics in her designs with her background in human rights and international politics

Do you share my belief that it is possible to look good, feel good and do good at the same time? And that you can marry chic with being sustainable?

Women are beautiful and jewellery can easily enhance our best features like having a pair of long earrings swing by the jawline or necklaces accentuating the collar bone. Jewellery should make you look and feel good, which is what is aim to do with my designs, but can also make you feel like you are doing good as well.  ​I source almost all my materials, including my packaging, ethically and sustainable, as well as donate 10% of my annual profit to charity. Since 2019 all donations go the the NGO Women for Women. An NGO that helps women survivors of war in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Nigeria, the DRC, Rwanda and Iraq. The Charity helps women rebuild their lives through vocational training, human rights awareness ad ensuring they have a viable and sustainable future of their own choosing. With a background in human rights and sustainable development running a ethical business model is very important to me. 

I handmade all designs myself in the RAW Studio in Kent, and am currently experimenting with the old age technique of wax carving to ensure that my pendant can be made of recycled Sterling silver and plated with recycled or fair mined gold.

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Picture of Karina Johansen, the designer at RAW Copenhagen, creating earrings with ethically sourced gemstones

MISSION

My mission with RAW is to create fuss free, Scandi chic, feminine jewellery that marries your desire for an effortless chic look with you wish to live a more sustainable way of life, with the goal to make you look, feel and do good.

 

RAW'S DESIGNS

RAW Copenhagen designs are inherently Danish in their DNA. They are minimalist and RAW, no sweetening thrills or ornate settings. I mean, why complicate life, when you can go Scandi simple? 

My pieces focus on the raw origins and natural beauty of the materials to play against each other and speak for themselves. The designs conjoin rough against smooth - and matt against shiny, and are highly inspired by nature, not least the light and texture of the Danish beaches I grew up by. However, haven lived and worked for years in and on West Africa, this region's beading tradition also highly inspires me.

 

THE RAW ETHOS AND VALUES

In Danish we have a saying that goes 'råt for usødet', which means ‘raw unsweetened’. It relates to putting things directly as they are - without any niceties. Well, the RAW fact is that the jewellery industry can be a dirty one, environmentally and ethically not least in the developing countries, from where many of the raw materials for the jewellery sector originate. This include the use of child labour, poor and unsafe working conditions, pollution and infringement on indigenous peoples’ rights, when mining, refining and making the jewellery. However, the good news is, it does not have to be this way.  

It is my objective with RAW to help lay the foundation for an alternative sustainable way of making jewellery along with jewellery lovers like you and other makers.

Within the clothing industry, Fashion Revolution (Click here to learn more), is already shaking up the way in which business is done, seeking to ensure minimal environmental and social impact of extracting the raw materials, protection and respect of fundamental human rights as well as to ensure fair remuneration of workers.

Pushing and supporting the sustainability agenda is at the core of RAW Copenhagen’s ethos along with my love for jewellery design. There is still a long way to go, however, things are starting to change. You can now get recycled silver, as well as fair mined and fair trade gold and silver.

Coloured gemstones, however, are amongst the most difficult commodities to source ethically. They change hands many times across many countries and lack codification like there is for the diamond trade. RAW Copenhagen can currently only secure ethical sourcing at the gemstone cutters’ stage of the supply chain, but I keep pushing and looking for new suppliers. Further coloured gemstones provides the livelihood for millions of the world's poorest and most vulnerable groups, so from a social sustainability point the view, you shouldn’t stop trading in coloured gemstones, but rather push for them to be traded on fair trade like principle from mine to market to ensure everyone involved in the jewellery sector has a sustainable livelihood and the environment suffers the least harm possible during mining.

Welcome to RAW Copenhagen. If you have any questions, please just pop me an e-mail: raw@rawcopenhagen.co.uk

Karina

xxx