Open House – up-and-coming

Open House – 29 July 2021

Pledge update and get-together

Thursday 29 July, 10.00am (BST) online via Zoom

This Pledge-themed Open House session is set to be a casual affair, designed for you to drop in, discuss your experiences so far, set out your plans moving forwards, and exchange nuggets of advice with your fellow Pledgers.

Having now surpassed 2021’s halfway point, we’re growing ever-excited to hear about your Pledge progress.

On registering your free place, you’ll be given the opportunity to pre-select a topic that you’re keen to discuss. This will help us to streamline our session, ensure that it’s as useful as possible for everyone who attends.

No matter where you’re at on your ethical jewellery journey, the Pledge exists to enable us to set realistic goals for ourselves and our businesses, breaking them down into manageable steps. It’s not necessarily about completion, but being accountable and celebrating progress.

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

A date for your diary – September Open House

Thursday 16 September July, 13.00 (BST) online via Zoom

2021 sees ten years since the launch of Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold in the UK.

We’ll be celebrating what has been achieved, examining at where we are now and asking what still needs to be done.

More details to follow but we promise this will be an informative and thought-provoking session

About Open House

The Fair Luxury Open House sessions are an opportunity to get together with the jewellery community, get inspired 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.

Join Fair Luxury Open House on Zoom to learn and exchange on all things relating to ethical jewellery. By nurturing a sense of human connection and sharing information we can support each other and help to focus our individual intentions.

Open House – 17 June 2021

Open House – 17 June 2021

Coloured Gemstones: Pioneering Responsible Mining

Thursday 17 June, 1.30pm (BST) online via Zoom

Want to know more about ethical gemstones?

Join our Open House discussion with two pioneering coloured gemstone companies, explore their different business models and what can make an ethical, responsible, sustainable business.

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

We are pleased to be joined by

Pia Tonna (Chief Marketing Officer at Fuli Gemstones)

Fuli Gemstones is developing the largest known peridot deposit in the world. Embracing a core ‘mine-to-market’ business model and a progressive business philosophy, it’s committed to becoming a world-class mining group. Fuli Gemstones is resolute in its offering of a consistent supply of superior gemstones with full traceability, adhering to the strictest safety standards for its mining production, and supported by active global marketing and brand awareness initiatives.

Hayley Henning (Chief Commercial Officer of Greenland Ruby

Unearthed at a pristine location in the south-west of Greenland, Greenland Ruby gems are believed to be the oldest on earth. The company officially began mining in May 2017 and has since been preparing to enter the market with this new source of rubies and pink sapphires. Each gem is mined under the strictest Northern European standards and is fastidiously tracked from the mine.

Come along to hear from our guests about how they operate and the ways in which they are at the forefront of traceable and responsibly sourced gemstones.

The session will be hosted by our own Stuart Pool; a specialist in responsibly mined and fully traceable coloured gemstones, mainly sourced directly from mines in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. He runs gem trading companies Nineteen48, Rubyfair and Crown Gems, as well as being one of the co-founders of Fair Luxury and a key member of the Moyo Gemstones Project.

About Open House

The Fair Luxury Open Housse sessions are an opportunity to get together with the jewellery community, get inspired 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.

Join Fair Luxury Open House on Zoom to learn and exchange on all things relating to ethical jewellery. By nurturing a sense of human connection and sharing information we can support each other and help to focus our individual intentions.

Open House – April 2021

Open House – April 2021

April Open House: The Fair Luxury Pledge – learn more and share progress.

Thursday 29 April (BST) online via Zoom

At the time of writing almost 100 members of the jewellery industry have signed up to the Fair Luxury Pledge since January – committing to make positive changes to their business.

We’re over the moon to report this and now invite you to our second Pledge-themed Open House get-together, a chance to reflect on progress so far, trade ideas and acknowledge any challenges faced along the way.

If you have not yet made the Pledge but are interested in learning more please join us – when it comes to embarking on a journey towards responsible business, there’s no time like the present!

No matter where you’re at on your ethical jewellery journey, the Pledge exists to enable us to set realistic goals for ourselves and our businesses, breaking them down into manageable steps. It’s not necessarily about completion, but being accountable and celebrating progress.

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

WE’LL BE HEARING FROM

Attendees will be split into breakout rooms based on the main Pledge categories and themes that our Pledgees have flagged up as useful topics for discussion. These rooms are an opportunity to engage in organic chat with others about your challenges and learnings. When you register for the event you’ll have the chance to choose which room you’d like to join,

BREAKOUT ROOM CATEGORIES:

1. Metal Sourcing (Recycled, Fairmined, Fairtrade etc)

2. Responsibly Sourced Gems & Diamonds

3. Sustainable Packaging

4. Educating/Communicating with Customers

5. Working Sustainably
: General learning, strategy, understanding your business’s impact

6. New Pledges: For those yet to make a Pledge and wishing to learn more

About Open House

The Fair Luxury Open Housse sessions are an opportunity to get together with the jewellery community, get inspired 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.

Join Fair Luxury Open House on Zoom to learn and exchange on all things relating to ethical jewellery. By nurturing a sense of human connection and sharing information we can support each other and help to focus our individual intentions.

Building an Ethical Jewellery Industry

Our first guest author is Kassandra Lauren Gordon, jeweller, poet and activist.

The Fair Luxury website states: “Each of us is at a different place on our journey to responsible business, but we are working on it. No matter how small, collectively our actions will transform our industry for the better.”

I couldn’t agree more.

I have always seen myself as an ethical jeweller and have tried my best to live up to that in my jewellery practice by giving clients the option to buy ethical materials. I have used fair trade gold, recycled gold, recycled silver and buy the most ethical gemstones I can find as much as possible.

But ultimately I can’t offer ethically sourced materials that I can’t find or that are too expensive for my customers. And if these materials are going to be more than branding for me they have to be as ethically sourced as they are claimed to be or we can’t rely on the effects of using ethical suppliers to materialise. However, I have no realistic way of verifying the claims to ‘ethicalness’ that a supplier makes, so I must take it on trust.

It’s just not possible to be ‘ethical’ in the sense of what we want this word to mean without the industry, or at least part of it, also being as ethical as we want to be.

I think one of the best vehicles for spreading the impact of the use of ethical supplies is combining our buying power and signposting to others which suppliers we believe are providing the best quality and ethically reliable supplies. As our influence grows and consumer tastes become more ethical, more suppliers would have the incentive to also start selling ethical supplies.

I am very inspired by the changes we’ve seen in the food industry. It was not long ago that to be vegetarian almost meant to not be able to eat at all if you were out. Perhaps there would be one token vegetarian option on the menu. But the industry has responded very robustly to the change in consumer tastes. Now some vegetarian substitutes are indistinguishable from traditional recipes because of the work that has been done on recipes and ingredients. Today, diners of a variety of diets have real options.

If we can build a network or a directory of ethical product and service providers, this could be a very good step in the direction of us being able to be the ethical jewellers we want to be ourselves and then expanding that impact through the industry.

To truly be ethical jewellers we must see our values manifested in the work of others.

Kassandra Lauren Gordon
September 2020

Is your jewellery brand really responsible?

Ethical jewellery. Fair trade products.  Responsible brands. Sustainable business. All sounds good, right?

Over the last few years there has been an explosion in the number of brands promoting themselves as all of these things.

Maybe your brand is one of them.  Maybe you feel passionately about doing the right thing and have taken steps to do something positive in your business.

But are you truly creating a responsible business?

When thinking about impact or sustainability, most brands focus inwards – analysing the inner workings of their business model.  Where do my materials come from?  How are my pieces manufactured?  What’s my carbon footprint?

These are great starting points (and ones we should all be tackling!), but they are just one piece of a much bigger puzzle.

Running a responsible business means going beyond just our main, day to day activities.  It requires us to think about our values, our business as a whole, our wider impact on the world, and our sphere of influence.

A recent blog by sustainability consultancy V&V, talks about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and how they can help you build a more resilient business model.  Whilst, at first glance, some of the goals can feel pretty daunting, they all provide a starting point to explore innovative ways of working, empowering, and giving.

Here are five of the Goals brought to life with examples from brands already embracing them.  They aim to inspire you to develop a more outwardly focused strategy that will benefit your brand and the world around it.  Ideas for all 17 of the Goals can be downloaded from the V&V website.

Goal 1 No Poverty

This Goal asks us all to think about how we can reduce poverty. Brands like Yala Jewellery and SOKO Kenya have chosen to work directly with the people in their supply chains to empower them to improve their livelihoods. According to Yala, one of the workshops they work with ‘enables its artisans to look after themselves and their families, as well as neighbours and friends who are dependent on them. In total, their work has a positive impact on over 300 households in the area’.

If you aren’t able to work directly with producers, could you explore opportunities to work with NGOs that do? Both the Fairtrade certification scheme and the Fairmined standard for gold both aim to support people out of poverty.

Goal 5 – Gender Equality

One way you can support gender equality is to commit to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principals. These are 7 actions that advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Jewellery brand, Swarovski, have brought them to life through their work with BSR’s (Business for Social Responsibility) HERproject.  For example, one project trained women in their supply chain on health issues, and empowered them to share their knowledge with their peers.

You don’t have to employ hundreds of people to put equality on your brand’s agenda. Have a look at how Purpose Jewellery support women who have escaped human trafficking to ‘find hope, dignity and freedom for the future’.

Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Empowerment.

Here’s some inspiration for Goal 8:  Jewellery brand Little by Little’s business model goes way beyond just making jewellery. The team have established a charitable partnership with Luminary Bakeries. Every piece of Little by Little jewellery sold provides a disadvantaged woman with a career-boosting day of training at the bakery to help build employment skills and experience.

Your brand’s support for the goals doesn’t have to directly link to fashion and jewellery to be beneficial to all involved. Could your brand partner with other local businesses or groups to improve someone’s access to work?

Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption & Production

Choosing more sustainable materials, such as certified recycled or artisanal metals, is obviously crucial for this goal.  As is having a supplier code-of-conduct in place to ensure you are working with responsible manufacturers.   But what about the rest of your business?  Why not conduct a waste audit to see what you are wasting and why.  Then find ways to reduce, reuse & recycle.

Ellie Air Jewellery has found ways to produce better and consume less across their business: ensuring packaging is plastic-free and fully recyclable, minimising the use of hazardous chemicals in their workshop, making the business paperless where possible, and running their studio on renewable energy.  What small changes could you make?  Often making changes like this can create efficiencies in the way your work, resulting in cost savings.  Win-win.

Goal 14 – Life Below Water

Now this one sounds tricky, especially for a jewellery business!  But if you are passionate about protecting our oceans you can find a way to make a difference.

Have a look at how jewellery brand Alex Monroe supports Goal 14, through their Ocean’s Collection in partnership with Friends of the Earth.  This project raises money for a cause that the brand is passionate about and educates their customers on the issue of plastic waste in our oceans.  It’s also a great PR story for the brand.  Another win-win!

Focusing on just one of the goals does not make a sustainable business.  Thinking carefully about what you believe and where you can have the most positive impact across the goals will help you to build a strategy that can lead to a truly sustainable way of working.  Your starting point might still be to look at where your materials come from or how your pieces are made, but perhaps through the choices you make you can also contribute to reducing gender inequality, empowering others to find decent work, or even saving our oceans.

Victoria Waugh, October 2020