Discover the brand new and 100% recycled Monica Vinader x Doina Ciobanu collection

Words: Charlotte Core, Photographer: Paolo Di Lucente

For desirable, brilliantly made and extremely giftable (hint, hint) jewellery, Monica Vinader’s long been our go-to. So, when we learned that – just like us at Selfridges with Project Earth – the team behind Monica Vinader were making business-wide sustainable changes, including a collection made of 100% recycled silver with Eco-Activist and Model Doina Ciobanu, we were sold. Read on to find out more about Monica Vinader’s ongoing earth-conscious commitments (including a genius in-store recycling service pop-up at Selfridges London), get expert sustainability life advice from Doina Ciobanu, and have a little scroll through the brand-new collection.


The recycled collection is an exciting first for the Monica Vinader team, using 100% recycled silver with 18ct gold vermeil and organic cotton packaging. After seeing Activist and Model Doina Ciobanu speak at a Facebook conference on circular fashion, Brand Founder Monica Vinader knew she wanted to collaborate with her to create something truly special. “I was drawn to her passion for advocating change within the fashion industry – and incredible sense of style, of course!” says Monica. “When we knew 2020 was a year in which we’d be focussing heavily on our sustainability journey, I knew we had to work with Doina.”

What followed was a mutual design vision that focussed on timeless vintage jewellery, architectural shapes and gold accents, created with recycled materials. “It’s a materialisation of a combination of emotions and imagination,” says Doina. “[I was inspired by] old photographs and films and Italian glamour during the 1950s.” Crafted from recycled silver and 18-carat gold vermeil, the chains are deceptively lightweight, with one-of-a-kind hammered surfaces and hand-cut stones.

As for the future? Monica Vinader is on track to achieve its goal of using 100% recycled sterling-silver metal across its entire production by the end of this year.


From speaking at seminars on the importance of closing the loop on clothing waste to being an ambassador for the No More Plastic Foundation – a non-profit organisation committed to ending the cycle of single-use plastic – Model and Activist Diona Ciobanu is no stranger to using her voice and platform to raise awareness of the damaging impact the fashion industry can have on the planet.

What was the most important thing you wanted to accomplish with this recycled collection with Monica Vinader?

The biggest priority for me was to create something beautiful that I would genuinely love to wear for years to come. But to simply create more things with no sustainable angle was not an option. We set ourselves a challenge to be as sustainable as possible, and the recycled silver material was the first [part of that], which is very exciting for Monica Vinader as well.

What’s been the most challenging aspect of championing sustainability as a model and influencer, and how did you overcome it?

The fashion industry itself is the biggest challenge – it is, after all, one of the biggest polluters in the world. Sometimes, I’d hit ups and downs with a never-ending dilemma: how can I be in this industry and also advocate for better? I got over that when I realised that the best way to change an industry is from within, especially one so elitist and non-inclusive as the fashion industry. I think you can have a real impact when you’re sat next to a creative director or CEO of a fashion brand at a dinner and tell them about sustainability and why they should be doing it…. I turn down a lot of jobs based on the practices of the companies – fashion or otherwise – but I am all for unsustainable companies wanting to work with me on sustainability projects because they have to start somewhere.


How do you walk the line between being on-trend and keeping sustainability front and centre?

It’s definitely a hard line, and by no means am I doing it well – I'm also always on a journey to a more sustainable lifestyle, and that’s what I always try to communicate. Sometimes sustainability feels very ‘elitist’ and ‘secluded’ – that if you’re not 100% sustainable in every area, you can’t possibly be involved in sustainability, which I find hugely unproductive.

What you should be working on is becoming more sustainable every day. Making a more conscious decision every time you get in a car, buy bottled water, buy a £2 T-shirt, etc. Of course, I absolutely love vintage, and it’s mostly how I purchase my clothing, but I am privileged enough to borrow amazing outfits from brands [because] I work so much on art direction and content creation…. My ‘daily’ style very much evolves around amazing basics that you can re-wear for decades. 


What inspires you most when it comes to your activism?

I think seeing first-hand the awful actions humans have done to the planet, but also how stunning it can be. I’m very much a person that gets motivated when I see things. When I’m out and about and see pollution in places where it shouldn’t be, when I go to the mountains and breathe in the fresh air and realise how it can be.


What books, podcasts or films would you recommend to start learning about living a more planet-friendly life? Why did they strike a chord?

I recommend everyone to watch The War on Plastic by the BBC. And The True Cost [documentary], of course, comes to my mind. Also, Netflix’s Rotten documentary series – it approaches the massive environmental and ethical problems behind our food supply chain.

I love following [Instagram] accounts like @easy_green_tips and @thezerowasteguide for easy, day-to-day sustainable swaps. Also, @futuretechlab, @fastcompany and @testingthings are very future-technology-driven, so I see a lot of new start-up tech and product ideas there that give me hope and help me keep up with sustainability trends.


Avoid single-use plastic wherever you can – it’s unsustainable and unhealthy. New studies keep coming out, showing that plastic packaging leaks into the liquid and food we consume.

Switch to a green-energy supplier for your home – we’ve been using Bulb, for example.

Offsetting! I know it sounds so naïve, but offsetting is definitely better than the alternative of travelling/permanently increasing your footprint. There are amazing UN Gold Standard offsetting programmes that contribute to things like replanting forests, biodiversity, renewable energy around the world – you take your pick.

Buy local or regional produce; it truly makes such a huge difference. Globalisation has been both great for the world economies and catastrophic for the environment.

I know the urge to buy is big, and I don’t want to make people feel guilty about their desire to live their life, but I would recommend looking into a prolonged lifecycle [before] buying. Whether that’s vintage, or new items produced from recycled materials (hello, Monica Vinader x Doina), or extending the life of your products by getting them adjusted or turned into completely new things when you’re done with them (have a look at the Monica Vinader repair and recycling service for your jewellery disposal). Whatever you can do not to generate new waste and to increase your footprint.


To coincide with the launch of their first recycled collection, Monica Vinader has set up the ‘Built to Wear, Built to Last’ pop-up in store at Selfridges London, making it easier than ever to reduce unnecessary landfill waste. Simply head into the space to learn more about their sustainability commitments and recycle, repair or revive any of your own jewellery.

The in-store services:


Got some old or broken sterling silver or gold jewellery lying around at home? Bring it to the team in-store and receive a £20 voucher to spend at Monica Vinader.
Any brand jewellery is welcome to be recycled, and vouchers are valid for six months.



Have any of your Monica Vinader pieces lost their sparkle? Don’t fret; show it to the team in-store and they’ll give your pieces some complimentary TLC with same-day jewellery polishing and engravings.



We’re big believers in mending and repairing our favourite items (especially when we can avoid unnecessarily adding to the landfill pile), and the team at Monica Vinader are, too. If your Monica Vinader jewellery needs fixing or simply re-sizing, the team will be happy to organise this for you. 

Find out more about our Project Earth repair services, right here.


Join us to discover the most exciting design innovations, retail concepts and thought-provoking ideas in sustainability, as we launch a series of new commitments set to radically change our business with the launch of Project Earth.

Discover Project Earth