The Multiple Facets of Katherine Parr

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The jewelry industry has been associated with poor labor practices, including low wages, long working hours, and unsafe working conditions. In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need for sustainable and ethical practices in the industry. One way to bring sustainability for workers who make jewelry is by addressing the social impact of the industry. Captivated by the thought of bringing justice to the labor force, Katherine Parr expanded her career from being a fashion model to becoming a full-time jewelry designer. 

In order to bring sustainability to the industry, one approach is to ensure that workers in the jewelry industry are paid a fair wage and work in safe and healthy conditions. This can be achieved through fair trade certifications, which ensure that workers receive fair pay and are treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, companies can work with local organizations and unions to provide workers with access to healthcare, education, and training programs.

Another approach is to promote environmentally sustainable practices in the industry. This includes using sustainable materials, reducing waste, and minimizing the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. Companies can also work to reduce their carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources and implementing energy-efficient technologies.

Bringing sustainability to the jewelry industry can have a significant impact on the lives of workers who make jewelry, as well as the environment. By promoting sustainable and ethical practices, we can ensure that workers receive fair pay and are treated with respect, while also protecting the planet for future generations. Making sustainability for workers who make jewelry a social cause is an important step in creating a more just and sustainable world.

Born on August 14, 1978, Katherine Parr (née Gibbs) is an American individual with a diverse professional background. She is an entrepreneur, designer, philanthropic advisor, public schoolteacher, and former fashion model. Katherine is the creator and proprietor of Katherine Parr Jewelry and one of the co-founders and head of social responsibility for Parré Chocolat, an ethical chocolate brand. Currently, she is participating in the Fulbright Specialist Program.

At the age of 17, Katherine’s talent was discovered at a shopping center, and it was then when she was subsequently invited to participate in the Elite Look of the Year competition. Despite being offered several modeling contracts, she decided to attend Villanova University’s School of Business in 1997. After graduating in 2001, she relocated to New York City to participate in an advertising campaign. Katherine was featured in Elle Magazine’s inaugural campaign for Adrienne Landau, a luxury outerwear designer. She then began modeling in runway shows, advertisements, commercials, and showrooms for various designers, including Diane Von Furstenberg, and Gerard Darel, and for a commercial promoting non-smoking laws in New York City.

Throughout her career as a model, Katherine’s work has been showcased in prominent publications such as Elle Magazine and Vogue Magazine. She has also appeared in television commercials for Piaggio Vespa and for the announcement of the non-smoking laws in public areas in New York City. Additionally, she has worked with the beauty brand Vincent Longo and participated in several shows, including those for renowned designer Diane Von Furstenberg.

In 2009, Katherine established Kate Gibbs Studio, LLC, which is now known as Katherine Parr Jewelry. Her creative pursuits include designing jewelry and crafting mixed-media decorative art. Her jewelry art and design work has been featured in exhibitions across the globe, including in Barcelona, Spain (at Galeria RED03) in 2010, New York City (at Rockefeller Center) in 2013, and Clarence House for King Charles III in 2018. Katherine’s unique pieces have been adorned by a diverse clientele, including CNN International Correspondent Clarissa Ward, violinist Joshua Bell, tennis player Rafael Nadal, and Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, as well as pianist ELEW. The jewelry has been sold both online and in various boutiques and museums, including, the Morgan Library and Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Katherine’s work has been featured in numerous publications, such as Town & Country MagazineTatler Hong Kong, Tatler Malaysia, L‘Officiel, and Elle.

Alongside her husband Gary W Parr, Katherine co-founded Parré Chocolat, an ethical luxury chocolate company that operates on a business-to-consumer model. The brand partners with farmers in Latin America to source premium chocolate for its United States customer base. Parré Chocolat’s delicious products have been made available at the U.S. Open’s luxury lounges and Aces Restaurant, the New York City Opera, the Museum of Modern Art, and several corporate dining rooms in New York City.

With the launch of her Spring jewelry collection, visionary designer and advocate, Katherine Parr looks forward to incorporating a social cause into her jewelry collection. Katherine Parr Jewelry’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the strict audits of the Responsible Jewelry Council, as she believes in conducting in-person visits to artisan facilities to ensure that workers are being treated fairly and working in safe conditions. The company also considers environmental factors. Through their partnership with the Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council of the Government of India, they have established close relationships with facilities in their supply chain, communicating with them regularly. Katherine prioritizes paying her artisans a living wage and ensuring they have access to healthcare for their families.

The company works exclusively with artisan facilities certified by the Responsible Jewelry Council and uses recycled metals in the casting process to minimize waste. All gemstones are cut and polished by hand. Furthermore, the polishing, setting, and finishing of each metal jewelry piece are done manually, using a cloth instead of machines that often require hazardous chemicals. This approach minimizes the use of harmful chemicals and promotes sustainability in the production process. The company produces its jewelry in small batches for various reasons. Apart from managing expenses and reducing excess, they aim to minimize wasteful surplus of leftover inventory. The remaining excess is repurposed into future collections or utilized in the materials such as gemstones.

The company sources only traceable gemstones and collaborates with partners who either personally visit gemstone mines in locations such as Brazil, Africa, and the United States or source exclusively from certified sources. Additionally, they procure gemstones from MOYO mines in Tanzania, which have been featured in Town and Country magazine and can also be found on All diamonds sourced in the United States and India undergo Kimberley Process certification to prevent conflict diamonds and human rights violations in the supply chain. Alternatively, Katherina Parr Jewelry sources diamond from antique jewelry dealers, ensuring direct recycling.

Katherine currently holds positions on the advisory councils of two nonprofit organizations: Education for Employment, which focuses on educating and connecting youth in the Middle East North Africa region to job opportunities, and Custom Collaborative, a Harlem-based nonprofit that assists immigrant women of color with education and job opportunities in the fashion industry. Additionally, she has been a designer for Turquoise Mountain since 2016, collaborating with artisans in conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Syrian refugees in Jordan. Katherine is a member of the Accessories Council in New York and has been accepted into the Fulbright Specialist Program for entrepreneurship and advisory, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State that enlists American industry experts to consult for overseas universities and governments.

Katherine has been a fashion model, stylist, jewelry designer, and teacher. Her recent recognition by the Fulbright Program and the launch of her latest jewelry collection are clear examples of her dedication to making a difference. Katherine’s long-standing commitment to social impact has molded her into a dynamic woman with a strong drive to effect change, and her extensive industry experience has allowed her to achieve her ambitions in a refined and sophisticated manner. Throughout her career, she has remained determined to achieve whatever she puts her mind to. Moreover, their multiple facets of Katherine are a true example of the combination of classic elegance and contemporary versatility which makes her a true inspiration for the fashion world.

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