Diamonds – the hot topic

Diamonds – the hot topic

Alongside our autumn Fair Luxury Open House events, a series of webinars and talks on the theme of diamonds and the ethical issues and challenges faced and created by the diamond industry have been taking place across the globe. These eye-opening and positive events shine a light on what needs to change in the industry and offer possibilities for change.

kimberley process diamonds seminar

We all know that the lack of traceability in diamond supply chains is a huge issue. Knowing the origin and the path is the first step to know if diamonds are mined, cut, and processed with humanitarian and environmental considerations.
The webinar will explore how Blockchain and other emerging technologies can and are beginning to be used to help supply chains be traceable and accountable.

Other subjects addressed with open eyes and a realistic perspective to date include:  Human rights violations in the Kimberley Process, environmental destruction, the diamond industry viewed through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The great thing is that alongside highlighting the problems are proposals for solutions and positive activities that have been implemented to date.

Thank you Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, Diamonds for Peace and others for creating a critical mass of content and to Human Rights Watch, The International Peace Information Service (IPIS), the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition and everyone who is bringing these important matters to the fore.

Open House: Diamonds – What’s Next?

[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=”894″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” onclick=”custom_link” css=”.vc_custom_1605261463068{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}” link=”https://www.fairluxury.co.uk/featured/open-house-on-diamonds”][vc_column_text el_class=”caption” css=”.vc_custom_1594667135820{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]The fifth Open House concludes our series on diamonds with a real­‑life look at diamond mining, human rights and the environment.

 

Join us on Friday 27 November 3pm (GMT)

Book your place here.

 

We’ll be addressing some difficult questions and challenges:

What the Kimberley Process is and what it isn’t. Flaws and potential solutions.

What it is really like on the ground; what would improve the situation? What if everyone just bought lab grown diamonds?

Our own Clara Breen and David Crump will host with guest speakers who have experience in African diamond mining and have conducted independent research in the field. Their short presentations will be followed by small group discussions, a chance to reflect and connect with others on what you’ve heard and learned.

 

Guest Speakers

Shamiso Mtisi         Deputy Director at the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association and
                              Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition Coordinator

Hans Merket           Researcher, International Peace Information Service (IPIS Research)

Chie Murakami        Founder & Director General, NGO Diamonds for Peace

 

find out more and register

 

This session will round up the Fair Luxury Open House series on diamonds and their impact on people and planet. We’ve looked at natural diamonds and mining, explored developments and challenges in the lab-grown diamond industry and faced up to some of the challenges and changes in the industry, including a hard look at the Kimberley Process. Together we are developing our understanding of the ethics of this most fascinating of gemstones and finding out about the diamond industry in relation to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. You can find out more about the UNSDGs here.

Get together with the ethical jewellery community and find support on your fair jewellery journey. Established designers, makers, new graduates and independent businesses – whatever stage of the ethical sourcing journey you’re at, you are very welcome.

If you enjoy regular updates from Fair Luxury, sign up to hear about or events and activities, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Just click the social buttons at the top of the page.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Fashion Gets Active!

[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=”568″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1599068151080{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”caption” css=”.vc_custom_1599067770933{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”]Gold Spiral Earrings   Ute Decker[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Those of us with long standing commitment to ethical sourcing have been working towards creating greater public awareness of the somewhat murkier challenges faced by the jewellery industry for some time now. It is often a difficult message to convey to an audience previously unaware that such issues exist and a tricky subject to broach with those only wishing to feel joy and hope for their own future with the purchase of that special ring.

 

How can something so representative of love be tainted by the struggles of those in the supply chain that created it?

 

Fifteen years ago, Hollywood focused public attention on the atrocities committed in the sourcing of what had become known as a ‘Blood Diamond’ with its release of a film of that name. However, since then wider public awareness has somewhat plateaued. Have we simply assumed that because there has been a film about it the issues highlighted have somehow been resolved?

 

We in the privileged western world are continuing to realise the power we hold as consumers but that can be overwhelming. Can we find ourselves dampened by a feeling of eco overload when everything that we choose to spend our money on seems to have some negative impact on our precious planet somewhere down the line?

 

Independent jewellers have long been conscientiously sharing their own best practice with their individual client bases and the number of such jewellers committed to ethical practice has grown exponentially over recent years – but it has still been a story that’s fermenting rather than exploding. Reaching a wider audience takes a louder voice.

 

And so, to see an entire feature in September’s edition of British Vogue dedicated to ethical sourcing and transparency in the supply chain does feel like a pretty substantial bump up the ladder.

 

The global fashion behemoth has again put itself one step ahead of what its readership wants before they knew they want it and dedicated a glossy 4-page spread – dripping with gorgeous jewels – to discuss, in user friendly terms, the complexities of today’s jewellery industry.

 

In an edition dedicated entirely to defining what modern activism looks like, Vogue UK’s Jewellery and Watch Director Rachel Garrahan digs into the many challenges facing the jewellery industry supply chain but also celebrates its many achievements.

 

‘Now more than ever, jewellers are committing to responsible sourcing via supply chains as lucid as the gems themselves’ she writes. ‘In a global jewellery industry estimated to be worth £230 billion, there is a growing demand among consumers to be able to make ethically sound choices’

 

The article features sound bites from numerous long committed jewellers alongside a dazzling display of the precious creations themselves – such as those of Fair Luxury friend and co-conspirator Ute Decker. In addition to the glossy images it is also pleasing to see a number of the development initiatives and supply chain trailblazers gain recognition – including our very own, ever glamorous and fashion forward Stuart Pool of Nineteen48!

 

In the long game towards creating a more transparent and responsible business practice this is an encouraging indication of what can be achieved with greater consumer awareness. The continued commitment of those working in all sectors of our industry combined with our shared collaborative passion means that we can enjoy, with growing confidence, a sense that we are moving towards something that can sincerely be defined as Fair Luxury.

 

Anna Loucah, September 2020

 

 

 

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Open House August

[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=”828″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1597910927536{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”caption” css=”.vc_custom_1594667135820{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Our second Open House will take place on Friday 28th August, 4-5pm BST.
Thank you to everyone who participated in July, we hope you found it fruitful and look forward to seeing everyone who can join us next time.

This month’s theme for discussion is
Does sustainability kill the romance of selling jewellery?

Do you ever speak with your clients about the serious issues in ‘standard’ practices in metal or gemstone mining (e.g. child labour, mercury etc…) to encourage them to choose the more sustainable options? Do you find that speaking about those issues kills the romance of the jewellery buying experience?

We will have a similar format to last month with small breakout groups for the middle section of the Open House. with participants asked to have a think about three questions beforehand which we will discuss in small groups.

 

-What options do you offer your clients?

-What response have you had from them?

-In what ways have you raised this topic effectively?

 

It is free to attend but please register in advance to join us.

Here’s the link in full just in case you need it

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fair-luxury-open-house-tickets-116250499373

See you there![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Our First Open House

[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=”816″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1595690031790{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”caption” css=”.vc_custom_1594667135820{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

 

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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Tackling Racism in the Jewellery Industry

[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=”798″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1594667123797{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”caption” css=”.vc_custom_1594667135820{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]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.[/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]

Fashion Revolution

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading source=”post_title” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” css=”.vc_custom_1526566852539{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap=”10″][vc_column width=”1/3″][rev_slider alias=”whomadeyourjewellery”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]This Fashion Revolution Week, April 22 to 28 2019, we want jewellery lovers to start asking their favourite jewellery brands ‘who made my jewellery?’ and ‘who mined my gold?’

 

We’re campaigning to bring more transparency to the jewellery industry and spotlight jewellers who are already making impact so it’s a great opportunity to highlight your own responsible practice and let others know what you are doing.

 

Everyone in the jewellery supply chain, from designer makers and brands to stone cutters, manufacturers and miners is invited to join in – here’s how:

Ask the people in your supply chain to take a selfie with the campaign’s ‘I made your jewellery’ banner. You can download it in pdf form here

Post your images on social media during Fashion Revolution Week and beyond, using the hashtags

#whomademyjewellery
#whomadeyourjewellery
#whominedyourgold
#imadeyourjewellery
#iminedyourgold
#iminedyourgemstone
#fashionrevolution

Tag us at @fairluxuk so we can share your posts and amplify the message. @fairtrade and @fairmined are getting behind our campaign too so tag them and @fash_rev too.

Ask your clients and friends to get involved and share the message too by asking “who made my jewellery?” (click here to download “who made my jewellery”)
Encourage them and your suppliers to post on social media too – and don’t forget to respond!

 

The Fashion Revolution movement has raised awareness of the challenges in fashion manufacturing and caused people to question brands on where and how clothing is made. We want people to think the same way about the story and people behind their jewellery and asking where their gold and gemstones came from. Find out more about Fashion Revolution and download campaign resources and artwork at fashionrevolution.org

 

Let’s get together and make some noise for the jewellery world this Fashion Revolution Week[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Making Impact Conference

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“Thank you for the wonderful Fair Luxury Making Impact Conference”

“I had a really great day and left feeling inspired by all the amazing speakers and buzzing with energy!”

Just two responses to Making Impact – our 2019 conference with the Incorporation of Goldsmiths in Edinburgh which took place at Edinburgh College of Art on 3rd April.

A broad audience, including jewellers and silversmiths, gemstone dealers and mining experts, students and academics amongst others, explored how the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relate to jewellery and metalwork practice in the UK and in our industry globally. More and more businesses are using the SDGs to help them prioritise and communicate areas for social, environmental and economic impact and we looked at how they can become a set of tools to enable us to make a positive impact in our field and in our practice.

 

Speakers and subject included:

Keynote speaker – Emily Auckland from the UK Stake Holders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD)
UKSSD is a cross-sector network of organisations who work together to drive action on the UN sustainable development goals in the UK. Emily introduced the SDGs and talked about how they can be used by individuals, organisations and globally to effect change.

Vivienne Low from Fashion Revolution Scotland reported on the ongoing Fashion Revolution campaign and highlighted ways in which we can question and change our outlook and lifestyle and join the campaign in order to improve the lives of others.

Simon Forrester introduced the National Association of Jewellers Better Business Pathway and talked about their other work and member resources.

Stuart Pool presented the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) and PACT Tanzania Project, helping artisanal women miners in Tanzania build better livelihoods.

Dr Sandra Wilson – Urban Gold Rush: Recovering precious metals from electronic waste.

Hannah Bedford and Stefanie Cheong talked about Ethical Jewellery in Practice.

Jennifer Gray from Edinburgh College of Art and the Student Ambassadors brought updates on progress in the Scottish Art colleges following the signing of the Ethical Making Pledge and talked about new independent initiatives they are taking, plus exciting news about the proposed introduction of an ethics course which goes beyond the jewellery and silversmithing departments.
For more about the Ethical Making Programme click here 

You can see and download the full event programme here

Special thanks to the Incorporation of Goldsmiths and Edinburgh College of Art for working with us to host and create this inspiring and energising event.

If you would like to be kept informed of future events please sign up to our mailing list and we’ll let you know of our news and upcoming events[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading source=”post_title” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” css=”.vc_custom_1526566852539{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row gap=”10″][vc_column width=”1/3″][rev_slider alias=”making-impact-2019″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]