Entrepreneur, Ethical Jewellery Maker, Founder of Earthbeat Foundation, Ethical Gold
Guya Merkle is a german entrepreneur, ethical jewellery designer and founder of Earthbeat Foundation.
Guya was 21 years old when she took over the family jewellery company VIERI after her father’s sudden death. Her visit to Peru`s gold mining community changed her relationship to creating and consuming luxury jewellery. She reinvented the three generation family business to stand as an example to all luxury brands with its socially conscious, ethical approach. Her company, VIERI, is working exclusively with ethical and recycled gold.
Guya is a passionate advocate for impact rather than profit maximization. She aims to provoke change in the current system where companies exploit resources and human beings to gain profit.
Guya also founded the EARTHBEAT foundation in order to bring awareness to the brutality of gold mining and its effects on communities. Her foundation helps gold miners to create alternative opportunities to make a living and raises awareness among gold consumers and the industry by exposing the inhuman working conditions including child labor and the usage of highly toxic chemicals.
Part of the Earthbeat project is Heartbeat Garden which supports gold miners in Uganda through permaculture trainings. People learn to cultivate crops, such as coffee, in mixed cultivation and to make valuable compost themselves. In a permaculture garden the plants support each other, so no fertilizer or pesticide use is necessary. With the help of specially selected plants, toxins such as mercury can also be filtered out of the groundwater. Most importantly, people can secure a sustainable income generating activity to gold by selling high-quality organic products
Guya studied in London in the Gemological Institute of America.