Which pieces of jewellery are you wearing today? Take a moment to look…
Do you know where they came from or how they were made? That beautiful gold ring, was it mined using child labour? In a place where toxic chemicals used for extraction seep into the waterways, causing health issues for the locals? Or was it mined in a safe environment where workers are paid a good wage and have access to schools and healthcare?
A piece of jewellery is an important investment, it’s something most people take time to think about, the piece could become a family heirloom or something you cherish for the rest of your life.
Why then in this thought process is so little time given to considering how this beautiful piece came about?
I’m passionate about the story behind the jewellery and love the fact that with Fairtrade Gold I know that all of my gold has come from mines with safe working conditions, no child labour and responsible use of chemicals.
The community in Peru where my Fairtrade Gold comes from was able to invest in healthcare, build an extension to the primary school and buy computers for their senior school, all in its first year of certification.
Then, they also opened a not-for-profit convenience store, which means the 500-strong community can buy food at reasonable prices!
More and more emphasis is now being placed on working conditions, especially after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh last year.
Every purchase we make has environmental and social impacts. Greg Valerio, UK Fairtrade jewellery activist explained: “The Fairtrade Gold standard has now created a verifiable and trusted way for the consumer to know that the source of their gold comes from a legitimate, democratic, transparent and socially responsible source.”
What better way to start the story of your family heirloom?