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.

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]