Three questions for Dr. Joseph Taylor
What inspired you to be become interested in pearls and jewellery?
Pearling was an opportunity to launch a career in the marine field and work on a product that had minimal environmental impact and potentially great positive benefits in terms of marine protection and social engagement, especially in remote areas of Indonesia. The pearl is a great symbol for the beauty and fragility of nature and, as such, so much more than a jewel. The cultural, historical and environmental significance of the pearl makes part of meaningful fashion.
What are the top issues affecting the industry at the moment?
The biggest concerns for the pearling industry are environmental: specifically climate change. Over the past decade we have witnessed a rise in sea temperature and increasing frequency of massive storm systems. The pearl oyster is incredibly sensitive. If we don’t do something to abate the continuing erosion of sea quality and the accelerating pace of climate change there is a very strong likelihood that pearls will cease to exist.
What is your vision for the pearl industry?
The pearl is a potent symbol for the environment - an opportunity to champion sustainable and renewable jewellery and provide consumers with an ethical choice in fashion. My vision is to use the pearl to help change the conversation in the fashion industry: to prove that fashion need not be a disposable and that positive choice in purchasing can have significant impact on marine management and community development.