Just when I wasn’t sure that I could love PANDORA any more…
… we were invited to visit their fabulous factory in Chiang Mai to discover how our favourite pieces are made – and oh wow – my love for them has reached new heights! For some reason, I never truly appreciated how much love, care and attention goes into every single piece. For a jewellery company the size of PANDORA, one of the largest jewellery companies in the world, I just kind of expected everything to be created on mass by giant machines. You know the drill, press one button and thousands of charms are churned out in their masses. Oh no, how wrong I was.
Upon arriving at the PANDORA factory in Chiang Mai, my expectations were completely blown away. Firstly the facility is bright, modern and has sustainability at its core – a far more pleasant working environment than many of the offices I’ve worked in here in London, that’s for sure! It was soon clear how well the workers are treated (there are currently over 3000 workers here, but this number is soon to increase to closer to 5000) with fair wages and working hours, a wonderful working environment, educational classes and support for all members of staff as well as a fabulous subsidised canteen – the food pop ups change regularly so they never get bored of the lunch options!
Sustainability lies at the core of the factory too, from the rainwater lakes at the centre of the development (which is architecturally designed to look like the iconic charm bracelet!) to the re-using of the wax and other materials used to make the moulds and the charms. Waste is limited and controlled through every stage of development and efficiency and sustainability have been considered as a top priority throughout all of the intricate processes. The factory is also LEED ( Leaders in Energy + Efficiency Design) gold star rated and the PANDORA Ethics programme has been created to implement incentives and guidelines to ensure human rights, healthy and safety and responsible sourcing are a top priority within every aspect of the business.
As for the creation process, it was startling to see just how many of the processes are done by hand, in fact the production manager who showed us around the factory floor explained how as many of 30 skilled workers may have worked on each individual jewellery piece. Each of the cubic zirconia stones is applied expertly by hand, and any glass or coloured sections have also been completed by hand – the experience certainly made me appreciate and cherish every piece so much more!
Discover more about the brands sustainability and responsible jewellery ethics here.
As well as discovering the PANDORA factory, we were also treated to trips to the most spectacular temples in Chiang Mai, as well as a Tuk Tuk tour of the bustling city, we whizzed through the streets discovering local food markets, authentic Thai restaurants and historic temples!
While I adored discovering more about the creation of the jewellery, another favourite aspect of the trip was spending quality time with the other PANDORA Ambassadors – we had the best time getting to know each other even better at the wonderful resort, we stayed at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai and it was one of the most fabulous places I’ve ever visited – already desperate to return!
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For more on our fabulous trip, head over to my Youtube channel to watch the vlog!
Have you got any favourite PANDORA pieces?