Our First Open House

The Fair Luxury Open House is an opportunity to connect with the ethical jewellery community and find support on your fair jewellery journey.

Are you interested in more ethical sourcing in your jewellery-making practice or business? Or perhaps you’ve started on the journey, but at times it can feel like you’re swimming against the tide.

You are not alone!

Join Fair Luxury Open House on Zoom for an informal monthly get together to find support, learn and exchange on all things relating to ethical jewellery practices: sourcing, making tips, and much more. By nurturing a sense of human connection and sharing information we can support each other and help to focus our individual intentions. Established designers, makers, new graduates and independent businesses – whatever stage of the ethical sourcing journey you’re at, you are very welcome.

Our first event took place on Friday 31st July 2020, with a short introduction followed by a breakout into smaller groups of four or five people, each led by a Fair Luxury team member. We explored the challenges we have encountered, discussed progress made and covered any concerns and areas people want to learn more about. We concluded by rejoining the main group and comparing notes on what was discussed in the small group sessions.

Sessions last for an hour in total and are not currently recorded as the Open House is designed to be a space for sharing information and finding peer support in confidence. However we do intend to pick up on any areas of common interest at future events.

Open House free to join via signing up on Eventbrite and you can find details for each meeting on our featured post – so keep an eye out for monthly updates.

Tackling Racism in the Jewellery Industry

In a very short space of time, the Black Lives Matter campaign has amplified awareness of racism in its many forms and given fresh voice to the experience of injustice and inequality faced by Black people. It has also caused many to reflect on the white privilege they’d never considered and address their accountability in both unconscious and conscious racial bias. This is a historic moment and must not pass without real change being the result.

Many of you will have read Kassandra Lauren-Gordon’s open letter to the jewellery industry re. racism, originally published on 17 June and reproduced here with the author’s permission. Alongside a call to action she also recounts some of her own experience of racism during her career.

What are we and our industry doing to make change?

The activity of Fair Luxury is often associated with materials sourcing and the supply chain but when we use the work “equitable” to describe the kind of jewellery industry we want to see, it includes reflecting the diversity of our society and ensuring the colour of someone’s skin is not a barrier to entry and opportunity in the trade.

Looking at the following definition, we know that that silence and passivity will not tackle inequality or bring about change in society:
“Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably.”
(NAC International Perspectives: Women and Global Solidarity from http://www.aclrc.com/antiracism-defined)

Fair Luxury acknowledges that good intentions are not enough to bring about change in our jewellery industry and we believe that, from educators to businesses to institutions, we need to proactively address and counter systemic and structural racism at all levels.

Working for equality and human rights is as important and urgent as tackling the climate crisis if we are serious about a sustainable future for humankind. Both call for action, whether we consider ourselves campaigners or not.

The NAJ and the Goldsmiths’ Company have released statements in response to the new awareness of racism, click their names to link to the statements.

Click the link for the Hardship Fund for Black Jewellers fundraising page

Click here for the Ethical Metalsmiths Social Justice Resources page

Please let us know of any initiatives or other useful links that we can include here.

Gold Supply Chains in the Time of Pandemic

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading source=”post_title” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” css=”.vc_custom_1523290663194{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap=”10″][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”732″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1590423695935{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The Jewelry Industry Summit and Initiatives in Art and Culture partnered to host a webinar as part of their Fast Forwarding Sustainability series.

Uniting industry experts, this webinar covered pressing concerns for gold supply chains, the impacts of the COVID crisis on artisanal mining communities and potential solutions for responsible gold supply chains. The content and ideas shared led to some new and important thinking about the transformed world we now must confront.

Delegates were
Joanne Lebert  Executive Director, IMPACT
Conny Havel, Head of Supply Chains and Markets, Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM)
Aimee Boulanger, Executive Director, Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)
Estelle Levin-Nally, Founder + Director, Levin Sources
Christina T. Miller, Founder + Lead Consultant, Christina T. Miller Sustainable Jewelry Consulting

For those who missed this informative and powerful session we recommend it and you can find it on their webinars page here – or use this link
https://www.jewelryindustrysummit.com/webinars/[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Making Change

Make change by changing the way you make.

POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE – we’ll update you as soon as new details are announced.

The Incorporation of Goldsmiths 4th Ethical Making Symposium, Change Making will focus on how, through innovative design strategies and alternative sourcing methods, jewellers and makers can design out waste, source ethically and create better brands to make for change.

Innovative and thoughtful design and material choice are the cornerstones of ethical making and making to create positive change. Design is where new ideas are born, with the potential to disrupt damaging patterns and enact real change. Material choice can account for up to 95% of a product’s social and environmental impact. Choosing materials that are responsibly sourced, that reduce waste and promote social welfare is critical in the process of making for change. Combining this with innovative design transforms how and why we make, creating a better future of making.

The 2020 Change Making Symposium is open to students, makers and industry professionals and will be hosted by the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) in partnership with GSA Sustainability. The symposium talks will address Scotland’s design culture and legacy of ethical making, what sustainable materials are and how they can make positive change, and circular economy design principles.

Tickets can be purchased once the new date is announced.

Speakers and suppliers will include:

  • Dr Stacey Hunter, Design Curator and Producer
  • Kira Kampmann, Marc’Harit Pearls
  • Mary Michel, Ostrero, Circular Economy Research
  • Maira Toledo Rodrigues, Gemstones Brazil
  • Stuart Pool, Nineteen48 Gemstones
  • Betts Metals
  • Fairtrade
  • Fairmined

And more to be announced!

After a morning of engaging talks from makers, suppliers and researchers, there will be an ethical supplier fair in the afternoon for attendees to talk to suppliers and learn more about ethically sourced materials, followed by a drinks reception.

We will then be screening The Shadow of Gold, a new documentary examining the global gold trade, the second screening as part of the film’s UK premiere followed by a Q&A session.

Attendees may also register for a workshop in the afternoon (tickets are first come first serve and sold separately).
Scotland-based maker Jo Pudelko will be leading a practical jewellery workshop in which attendees will be reconstructing pre-owned jewellery into new pieces.

The Incorporation of Goldsmiths is committed to helping makers on their journey towards ethical making and do this through their annual Symposiums, a range of grants, the Ethical Making Resource and the Ethical Making Pledge with the Scottish Art Colleges. The Ethical Making Resource has been created by the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh, which trades as the Edinburgh Assay Office, and is Scotland’s oldest consumer protection group. They have hundreds of years of experience in third-party, independent assessment and are now applying that experience to one of the most important issues in the industry today: making ethically and sustainably in a global world.

For more updates on the symposium and the Incorporation of Goldsmiths, follow @incorporationofgoldsmiths on Instagram and subscribe to their newsletter at www.incorporationofgoldsmiths.org. Head to www.ethicalmaking.org to learn more about the Ethical Making Resource.

Fairmined Europe Meeting

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading source=”post_title” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” css=”.vc_custom_1523290663194{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap=”10″][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”723″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1586903235645{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The Fairmined Meeting in Munich, February 2020, brought European jewellers and refiners together with Conny Havel and Natalia Uribe Martínez from the Alliance for Responsible Mining. It was an opportunity to hear Fairmined news and updates, celebrate 15 years of the Alliance for Responsible Mining, make new contacts and explore how ARM can better support and meet the needs of all the people and organisations it is involved with. This included the news that Fairmined gold plating is coming on-stream – you may have seen the announcement that D&M are offering this in the UK.

 

For the first time there was a Fairmined presence at the Inhorgenta jewellery fair, alongside the campaign for Mercury Free Mining and a programme of talks focusing on sustainability.

You can download a synopsis of the updates here and read more in the Fairmined blog about their Europe events here.

 

See also below links to some inspiring and informative films about the work of ARM

 

ARM celebrates it’s 15th Anniversary

ARM 15 years

Fairmined: a path to a better future   a great way to show your clients why Fairmined Gold is Gold to be Proud Of

and two movies that really show the difference Fairmined certification makes to communities.

Transforming mining communities

MACDESA: Creating a future for everyone[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Diamonds of Botswana

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading source=”post_title” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” css=”.vc_custom_1523290663194{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap=”10″][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”687″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” onclick=”custom_link” css=”.vc_custom_1582222625880{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}” link=”https://www.fairluxury.co.uk/featured/ethicalmakingresource/”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The Diamonds of Botswana is the latest in the Fashionscapes series of documentaries from Eco-Age that explores aspects of the global fashion supply chain. Directed by Andrew Morgan it follows Livia Firth as she discovers the diamond industry in Botswana and how an industry with a questionable history can transform and create positive impact.

 

Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading source=”post_title” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” css=”.vc_custom_1523290770768{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap=”10″][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”660″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” onclick=”custom_link” css=”.vc_custom_1576437000703{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}” link=”https://www.fairluxury.co.uk/featured/gold-supply/”][vc_column_text el_class=”caption” css=”.vc_custom_1564614296186{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The news of Cred ceasing trading has been a surprise to many of us and we’d like to acknowledge the pioneering work of Cred and the incredible achievements and commitment of Greg Valerio, Alan Frampton and the Cred team in bringing about and sourcing Fairtrade Gold for the UK market. We know this has an impact on UK jewellers working with Fairtrade Gold and appreciate that the supply challenges facing Cred were partly due to mining organisations seeking greater order quantity and consistency.

The good news is that there is ongoing availability of Fairtrade Gold in Peru and Europe and European players in the supply chain have the mechanism for purchasing in sufficient quantities – just not a current distribution chain in place with UK suppliers. The Fairtrade Foundation is in ongoing discussions with a range of new traders to facilitate bringing increased volumes of Fairtrade Gold to UK manufacturers and we hope to host a session early in the New Year with Fairtrade once these arrangements are confirmed to share information and answer questions.

In the short term Fairtrade Gold is available from existing registered UK suppliers, click here for details. In addition, Fair Ever (formerly Traid Gold), a German trader with a UK distribution network already in place, has good volumes of semi-finished materials in Fairtrade Gold on their website available to buy. You can visit their site here.

We also have an update from ARM confirming that there is a good and consistent supply of Fairmined Gold in the UK, through Vipa Designs and Betts Metals. Click here to access details of global suppliers from the Fairmined website. The 8 Fairmined certified mining organisations in Peru, Colombia and Mongolia are producing stable quantities of around 35kg gold a month with 5 more coming on stream in the next year or so.

We know there are challenges in balancing certified gold supply and demand, particularly with the artisanal nature of both ends of the supply chain, but as you can see, the big picture is positive and we’ll continue working to build commitment from our industry, increase awareness and demand for responsibly sourced gold which in turn creates an even stronger environment for a sustainable certified gold supply.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The CO Jewellery Hub

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading source=”post_title” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” css=”.vc_custom_1523290770768{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap=”10″][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”650″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1574018284300{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”caption” css=”.vc_custom_1564614296186{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Common Objective (CO), a pioneering tech solution for sustainable fashion sourcing, has launched a Responsible Jewellery Handbook designed to support the jewellery trade to make more ethical business decisions. The site brings together resources from industry experts, including the Incorporation of Goldsmiths,  to create a consolidated hub of information, tools and suppliers.

The pressure on luxury brands to take responsibility for their impact continues to grow, however the majority of campaigns to-date have been dedicated to the apparel and footwear sectors – the G7 Fashion Pact and London Fashion Week Extinction Rebellion protests being the most recent organised efforts from both industry and consumers.

Common Objective believe the jewellery industry will ultimately fall under similar scrutiny and therefore jewellers have a real need to understand how to work responsibly whilst continuing to run a financially viable business.
The Responsible Jewellery Handbook aims to help the trade do just that.

The handbook explores topics such as:

  • Supply chain transparency
  • Circularity in jewellery manufacturing
  • Ethical materials
  • Industry accreditation

CO’s platform also provides tools on understanding risks and opportunities, and how to put in place strategies to set and meet your responsibility goals

Fair Luxury’s own Victoria Waugh, has been supporting CO to develop the handbook and believes it’s essential for the trade, ‘CO brings together resources from across the sector to create a comprehensive tool for the jewellery industry and, crucially, provides a platform for responsible suppliers, brands and retailers to connect across the globe.  It builds on learnings from the fashion and textile sectors, to provide jewellers with proven strategies for working responsibly.’

The handbook will continue to be co-created with experts and partners throughout 2019-20, the end goal being a comprehensive and practical reference point for the jewellery trade.  It is free for individuals to sign up www.commonobjective.co[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Fair Luxury at IJL

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading source=”post_title” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” css=”.vc_custom_1523290770768{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap=”10″][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”428″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1564614242598{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”caption” css=”.vc_custom_1564614296186{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]For 2019 at London’s annual jewellery fair we presented a series of talks covering different aspects of responsible sourcing with both practical advice and news of inspirational projects to explore how both small organisations and international collaborations can and are bringing about real change:

Gold with Heart
David Finlay, Manager, Fairtrade Gold, Fairtrade Foundation

Fairtrade Gold promises benefits for mining communities, the environment and gold-buying businesses. But what do these benefits look like in practice? And what first steps can businesses take to benefit from a relationship with Fairtrade and small-scale mining communities? This talk answered these questions and pointed towards the future direction of travel for Fairtrade Gold in the UK and beyond.

Using Partnerships to Bring Traceable and Responsibly Mined Gemstones to the International Jewellery Market
Stuart Pool, Nineteen48

Stuart presented the Moyo Gemstones project – an ethical gemstone collaboration born in Tanzania between Nineteen 48, Pact and Anza Gems to bring traceable, responsibly mined gemstones to the international market which really benefit artisanal mining communities. They are developing relationships and processes with the female artisanal gem miners of the Uba Valley to deliver their rubies, sapphires, tourmalines, and garnets from mine-to-market and working to empower women miners to work safely, mine better, improve financial security, and create stable, equitable markets for fair trade.

Responsible Sourcing for Small Jewellers: Easier than you Think
Levin Sources and Fair Luxury

This practical seminar gave actionable strategies for jewellers to develop policies and procedures to live up to their ethical commitment, transform their own business and gain a competitive advantage in a market where jewellery customers are increasingly keen to purchase ethical, sustainable and compassionate pieces.

This inclluded the steps on the journey to achieving an ethical supply chain – assessing existing suppliers and practice, drafting ethical policies, considering human and environmental impact and communicating ethical commitment to an increasingly questioning jewellery buying public. Our expert panel showed from experience how it can be done.

Rosanna Tufo, Researcher and Project Manager, Levin Sources
Susi Smither, Founder, The Rock Hound
Arabel Lebrusan, Founder, Lebrusan Studio
Stuart Pool, Founder, Nineteen 48[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]