Giving jewellery as a token of love or affection is a time worn tradition. It often poses an ethical dilemma, however, for those who prefer to shop with a conscience. Particularly when you are giving a gift that is supposed to represent love or friendship, it seems absurd if the gift itself was not sourced ethically. Thanks to reforms in the gold trade and an increased awareness of the importance in ethical trading, it’s now far easier to choose fairly traded jewellery.
For thousands of years, perhaps even tens of thousands, both genders have enjoyed giving, receiving and wearing jewellery. The jewellery industry has suffered a fair amount of bad press in recent years and issues have been highlighted in films such as the 2006 movie Blood Diamond. But it has been thanks to the public and media interest on these issues that has ensured many jewellery buyers and producers have cleaned up their act. Of course, many traders have been bringing Fairtrade jewellery to the market for years already.
The gold trade in particular has become more transparent thanks to the partnership of Fairtrade International and the Alliance of Responsible Mining. Together they created the Fair trade and Fairmined gold certificate, which enables makers, buyers and consumers to have more choice about the gold they purchase. The increased availability of Fair trade jewellery also means we have a widened choice of styles and products. Rather than the same old classic styles, we have been exposed to the beautiful craftsmanship of local tribes or groups from the other side of the world.
Buying jewellery that has been fairly traded is a ‘no-brainer’ for the ethical consumer and thanks to changes in the industry and a heightened demand from the buying public, it’s now easier than ever to find fair trade jewellery. As a symbolic gesture of your love for someone, a gift that is both beautiful and ‘fair’ is a winner every time.