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Before leaving for Thailand, I went into the shop Pandora from the airport of Rome to take a look at the jewels. By now we are all used to the brilliance of the shops, the shining lights of the exhibitors, the courtesy and smiles of the shop assistants and especially the final product: new and sparkling. Seeing the jewel in its white box, lying on the soft fabric, makes it seem as if it had never been touched by anyone, immaculate, as if we were the first to hold it in our hand; the reality is even more fascinating because we are definitely not the first as the jewels of Pandora they are handmade, and to complete one you need the artisan touch of at least 24 hands, up to even 70 hands for the most complex jewels.
This is what I was able to observe in the new production plant just inaugurated in Lamphun, a city in the north of Thailand immersed in nature and surrounded by temples: many hands of girls and boys who with great precision manually painted the flower petals of the earrings, set the stones and with extreme care molded the silver checking that each piece was perfect.
Walking through the pale pink alleys of the factory, submerged by flowers, the green of the palm trees and the grass that reaches almost into the water of the artificial lakes, a sense of peace reigns. A few steps from me, a small Buddhist shrine, in front of which carbonated drinks are offered (already open and with the straw inserted, perhaps to facilitate consumption?), Bananas, flowers and exotic fruit of all kinds, to ensure karma positive and a beautiful reincarnation.
The grocery store is still empty as is the medical center, with the exception of the two reception areas. At lunchtime, the silence is interrupted by hundreds of boys and girls, who slowly leave the main building and fill the common areas: those who immediately enter the canteen to secure the first place in line, those who instead animate the fields of football-tennis for a match before lunch and those who cheer on the sidelines. In all 1500 people (at full capacity it will reach 5000) which makes the atmosphere similar to that of an American school campus rather than a workplace.
The building, which develops horizontally, resembles the shape of a bracelet, and is surrounded by the greenery of its gardens. Green is not just an aesthetic question but a real symbol for Pandora, representing the company's "green" commitment.
The Lamphun office has obtained the certification LEED (Leadership Energy and Environmental Design), the use of water is reduced by 45% and the consumption of electricity by 18%, thanks to the latest generation machinery that accompanies the workers in production. This is because, as the CMO, Minna Philipson: “Diamonds are not girls best friends, values are.
The modern woman does not put vanity first but values, and wants to wear a jewel that has been created with respect for workers and the environment and not at the expense of them ". A campaign focused on the word "DO" that invites women to act and celebrate their successes, the fruit of their past and present. For Pandora this is not the first experience in Thailand, in fact the one in Lamphun is only the second production plant in this country; the company has been producing its jewels on the outskirts of Bangkok since 1982, combining the craftsmanship of Thais, who boast a well-known tradition in the making of jewels, with Italian and Danish design.
What in the early years was a small workshop in the residential suburb of Bangkok, in 2005 became a large-scale production plant in Gemopolis which, together with the new headquarters in Lamphun, pursues the goal in 2019 of producing 200 million jewels.
Despite Pandora boasting exorbitant numbers in terms of employees (22 thousand), points of sale (8 thousand) and turnover (270 million in Italy only), walking into the new plant one perceived the commitment to make it a company of people, and not of numbers: the signatures of all the employees who have finished the training course on the huge white giraffe, Radio Pandora, animated by the workers themselves, the particular attention to pregnant women who are identified with the blue uniforms, give a real face to the agency.
I go back to Milan wearing the same jewels I started with, but this time after having discovered their history and having seen the faces of the people who made them, making them even more precious than they already were.