The sustainable Irish jewellery brand that will be one to watch in 2020
Introducing the sustainable Irish jewellery brand you're going to want to keep an eye out for in 2020.
Founded by Cillian Hilliard, Dána Project first began four years ago - when, as he recalled to Her, he came across a YouTube video about how to turn Guinness cans into molten aluminium.
"Very randomly, I decided to do some DIY. After two weekends of trying, I was able to melt down a Guinness can. I thought it was so cool, but at the same time, I was like - what will I do with that?" he said.
"So, I always wanted to have a ring. My friends would have school rings, or family crest rings - I never really wanted that, but I thought if I made my own ring it would be super cool.
"It took about six months trial-and-error [to make the ring], having no background in jewellery making or casting or anything like that. But I finally figured it out, and I made a ring. I loved making jewellery, I just kept doing it and doing it - making rings for friends and family, that kind of thing."
After a few years, he thought it was time to take the next step and use his skills to create a jewellery brand.
"I called it Dána Project," he continued. "The idea was - I have a full time job, so it wasn't about 'I need to make money and sell loads of rings.' I just wanted to start a brand that I could be proud of, but I always wanted it to be different.
"Obviously with jewellery, there's so many brands out there. I wanted [Dána Project] to be different - to be a forward company, not the traditional kind of way."
With a focus on sustainability, all of Dána Project's work is now made with 100 per cent recycled silver - something which Cillian told Her took a little while too spruce.
"The two main values we focus on are sustainability; we don't use aluminium anymore, we use silver. We source 100 per cent recycled silver, which took a little while - and took longer to find someone who would cast with that, but we finally got there.
"And all of our rings are handmade, so it's not mass produced. Even the packaging will last for life. On the flip side, we put up the cost information of all our rings - to gain the customers' trust."
The company is still currently selling its work online, although he said that they are in discussions with some retailers to possibly start selling in stores.
And while there are plans to expand the range in the future, Dána Project's current collection consists of three silver signet rings: the Ciorcal, the Cearnach and the Croí.
You can find out more about DÁNA PROJECT on their website here.