Team: Tina Boes, Jasmina Brinke, Alexander Luna



Gold is officially one of four conflict metals. Its exploitation almost always goes along with environmental and human rights violations, e.g. in Congo it finances the civil war. This is often the background story of people’s jewelry, such as wedding rings. The ring is a cultural artifact that has existed for millennia and that can be found in almost every region of the world. A lot of marriages today are about connection and individuality. This should be reflected in the symbols that remain the most durable after the ceremony.


Kauri is a website that raises awareness for the value and the value chain of resources by providing information and a sales platform for more individual and sustainable rings. Kauri creates the first ring collection made of sand collected by the bearer itself before providing a sales channel for different designers guaranteeing more diversity. At that point the main focus will be on wedding rings. These are of special emotional value which helps to spread knowledge about Kauri and its mission by posing the question: Why do lovers use a conflict metal to start into a common future?

Kauri rings serve the bearer as a symbol and a reminder for a beautiful moment or life phase as well as for sustainable, responsible behavior in daily life. The latter is promoted through vivid information on the website as well as at trade fairs, at selling points within eco fashion stores or, in the case of wedding rings, it showcases at registry offices.

Kauri always communicates how buyers and people involved in the value chain before the design process are connected to each other, along with landscapes in emerging and developing countries.

One strategy to acquire design partners is by giving presentations on gold/extraction/sustainability at art colleges, motivating them to work with sustainable material and presenting the prospect of a sales opportunity through the sales platform.

In short, we take a cultural artifact as a core element for an economic solution and, linked with communication design make aware of certain social problems to contribute to intra- and inter-generational justice. Part of the earnings are going to support NGOs, e.g. Grufides in Peru that provides assistance of lawyers for accused mining resisters like Máxima Acuña, winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize 2016.

Key activities

Our key activities are the production of the rings of sand plus finding distribution channels within eco fashion stores, updating and maintenance of the website as well as on and offline marketing which includes drumming up customers and designers that are interested in collaborating. So our key partners in the first phase are the customers providing us with sand, the manager of the concrete workshop at university Duisburg Essen, who helps to develop the binder material for the rings of sand, managers of eco fashion stores and professors of art universities. In the second phase designers working with more sustainable, fair material an marriage registrars are going to broaden the set of our key partners as well as our key activities, which will include validation of partners and contract management.

About the team

Tina Boes, cultural economist, social designer, came up with the idea after having participated in a documentary project “Guardianes del Agua” with Alexander in Peru. It is about the artistic resistance of indigenous peasant communities against one of the biggest goldmines in Peru. She comes from Berlin, Germany and has a B.A. in International Cultural and Business Studies. In her Bachelor thesis, she analyzed the German raw material demand and the associated potential for conflict maximization shown by the example of Peru. Tina is now participating in a Graduate Program focusing on Transformation and Social Design at Folkwang University of Arts in Essen.

Jasmina Brinke, media designer and mastermind behind the website and the illustrations, met Tina during a workshop for social entrepreneurship at Folkwang University of Arts in December 2017. She was excited by Tina’s idea and decided to join the project. Jasmina has a B.A. in Media Design and Interactive Media and currently works as a freelance designer. She comes from Duisburg, Germany where Kauri has its co-working space provided by the Social Impact Lab.

Alexander Luna, visual communicator overwhelming with his photography and film skills, comes from Lima, Peru and lives in Essen, Germany to complete his second Master in Digital Narratives at international film school (ifs) in Cologne. He has a B.A. in Media Design and Fotography and a M.A. in Visual Communication. All his projects deal with current and social events, such as “Guardianes del Agua”.