It’s all too easy to get blinded by the bling when you’re shopping for wedding jewellery, but for a diamond-clear conscience when you’re walking down the aisle, it’s worth considering where the metals and stones come from, and what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ before you even see the finished pieces in boutiques. The Fairtrade Foundation has taken this on as its mission for 2015…
What is Fairtrade jewellery?
Fairtrade provides independent certification that economic, social and environmental standards have been met and that producers have been paid a fairer, stable price. Fairtrade miners also earn a Fairtrade premium, which is invested in product quality and projects that will benefit their community.
The ‘I do’ campaign
The Fairtrade Foundation’s bridal campaign – ‘I Do’ – is set to encourage couples getting married in 2015 about the merits of shopping fairtrade jewellery. Its newly launched website www.fairtrade.org.uk offers inspiration, ideas and the latest news, alongside information on how to choose the perfect engagement and wedding rings.
“The purity of Fairtrade gold’s provenance means that the ceremony of swapping rings with your betrothed is more meaningful. The Fairtrade gold stamp enriches each piece with its additional layer of story and meaning,” advises Victoria Waugh at the Fairtrade Foundation. “The new collections will offer innovative and creative designs that contribute towards changing the world for the better, piece by piece.”
The UK is home to 57 jewellers who are licensed to use the Fairtrade gold stamp, with a further 102 goldsmiths registered to sell Fairtrade gold.
The campaign is aiming to sell 100,000 gold fairtrade wedding rings in order to give $1 million back to the artisanal and small-scale miners who supply the gold.
Amy Ross, Project Manager at Fairtrade International, adds that, “By putting the interest of the most disadvantaged miners around the world, and the environment, at the centre of their work, Fairtrade jewellery designers are revolutionising the industry and paving the way for a fairer, and truly beautiful, wedding ring for UK’s couples.”
The website includes a list of designers, goldsmiths and retailers who offer Fairtrade gold collections, as well as jewellers offering bespoke ethical services. Some of Britain’s most talented jewellery designers are creating stylish new ranges of engagement rings and wedding bands, for example Glasgow-based luxury jewellery designer Fifi Bijoux and Mahaila .