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‘Fairtrade Gold’ by Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery

Earlier this month fairandfunky joined businesses, campaigners, government and producers in the Fairtrade at 20 celebrations with the Fairtrade Foundation’s Fair Future event in London.

 

We were challenged by many of the speakers with the need to collaborate and innovate – even with existing campaigners and businesses. With this in mind we were delighted to meet Harriet Kelsall. We wanted you to meet her too, and find out about Fairtrade Gold:

 

“Hello and thanks for giving us the opportunity to share our passion about Fairtrade gold with you all!

 

White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring

White Gold Diamond Engagement Ring

Firstly a little about us …Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery .. In essence we offer a very interactive  way for our customers to tell their personal story as a key part of the creative design process.  We are privileged that they choose to share with us their beautiful, thoughtful ideas  from very diverse & quirky sources – a favourite  place,  type of stone, car, journey, tree, planet, scientific formula, pet,  scuba diving…whatever it is, we have the pleasure of designing a piece of jewellery to reflect it.  Our customers can also be anywhere in the world as we often do consultations by phone/skype.

 

We have always believed in the importance of ethical sourcing within our industry and saw that our customers were becoming ever more socially aware. This prompted us to initiate the sourcing of more ethical jewellery materials including Fairtrade gold.

 

So we  were thrilled in 2011 to have been amongst the first to introduce Fairtrade metals into the UK jewellery industry – but you are probably wondering what it actually means  to our customer?

 

Fairtrade Satinised Diamond Ring

Fairtrade Satinised Diamond Ring

Well, we offer a range of Fairtrade metals as an option, including Fairtrade Platinum and Silver-  its a simple way for customers to support small scale artisanal miners to have a sustainable livelihood for themselves & their communities. The customer pays a small ”Fairtrade Premium” as part of the cost of their ring and this in turn helps towards projects such as community centres, schooling and other initiatives.  The actual amount of the premium varies, but to give you a rough idea, it’s usually around the cost of a takeaway…which in the grand scheme of having a precious bespoke ring made seems entirely feasible!

 

Our customers value the fact that they know miners will receive a fair price for the gold, and that the miners have direct involvement  in deciding how the monies from the Fairtrade Premium is invested in their communities. (Mostly our Fairtrade gold comes from Bolivia.)

 

To put in global context, there are 15 million artisanal and small scale miners (ASM) with over 100 million people who depend directly or indirectly on ASM.  They often have high levels of poverty and exploitation due to unfair terms with gold traders.

 

Suppliers who are part ot the Fairtrade scheme will be required to abide by national environmental legislation, preserve environmental balance in the forests, minimise water use and the use of toxic chemicals and help preserve ecosystems, particularly those that from the environment of indigenous peoples.

 

With Fairtrade Metals, there is no actual difference in the quality or type of metal – gold is an element, so gold sourced from artisan miners is the same as gold sourced elsewhere – the only difference being the Fairtrade premium which is passed to the miners.

 

Citrine Fairtrade Gold Engagement Wedding Ring Set

Citrine Fairtrade Gold Engagement Wedding Ring Set

We also are proud to have “Responsible Jewellery Certification”. This means that our company has been independently audited by them and we have been able to prove that every aspect of our business is operated and sourced in an ethically sound way.  They looked at everything from our accounting and banking procedures to the traceability of our metals and gemstones. (Whilst there aren’t any Fairtrade gemstones as such yet, there are a few mines operating using principles of a very similar nature so we can source those for customers too.) The certification process was very rigorous and involved but we felt it was important to achieve the certification as it reflects how committed we are.  It also acts as further assurance for the customer –  important for both them and us!

 

Each piece of Fairtrade jewellery piece carries a special Hallmark of the Fairtrade logo – this is stamped into the piece by the “Assay Office” (who independently test the purity of metals). It’s  really important that the customer understands that only jewellers who are licenced to use the Fairtrade logo are able to have it Hallmarked as such. It is all part of the traceable process which determines that it is truly sourced as Fairtrade.

 

Our long term goal is that all our bespoke jewellery uses Fairtrade metal, but it will of course, always be an option for the customer to decide what’s best for them… Thank you for taking the time to find out more about this topic –  hopefully we have conveyed our absolute passion for its importance!”

 

Read more about Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery and their ethical sourcing  here.

 

 

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