Fair trade jewelry: what does it mean?

Fair trade jewelry: what does it mean?
Choosing the right path as a jewelry brand in a world full of sustainability issues can be quite challenging. In the process of figuring out the most ethical way for producing and designing our postcool jewelry, we are open to learn new things every single day. That’s why we keep a close eye on the developments in fair trade jewelry. But what does fair trade jewelry really mean?

The definition of fair trade jewelry
When thinking about products with a fair trade label, ideas of sustainability in its broadest sense pop up immediately. In fact, the definition of fair trade revolves around terms like dialogue, respect, transparency and rights. There are, however, strict requirements in the Fairtrade Standard for Gold, and their focus is on fair pricing and better working conditions. Ideally for fair trade jewelry, both the gold or gemstones themselves and the manufacturers of them are labeled as fair trade. This asks for a transparent and traceable supply chain from the small scale miner right up to the seller.

The strengths of fair trade jewelry
It is clear that with fair trade jewelry, the ultimate goal is to provide greater justice for disadvantaged small producers and workers in the jewelry industry. In this way, fair trade jewelry helps to provide development abilities for those communities that really need it. Not only are important human rights respected to improve well-being and empowerment of the miners and producers, but there is also a place for environmental sustainability. It is inspiring to see how getting involved with fair trade jewelry creates so many opportunities for small scale miners. Being able to call themselves a fair trade miner really strengthens their position in international trade and provides them with resources to benefit in many ways.

Fair trade jewelry: the best option?
However, although the fair trade mining process is closely monitored and fulfills a lot of important requirements, it is still a mining process – meaning that the stones and gold that are used for the jewelry still have to be mined and processed. Although the term ‘fair trade’ suggests that the focus is mostly on the ethics of the ‘trade’ part of the jewelry, environmental sustainability is also considered in fair trade jewelry. Despite this, we cannot simply forget about the environmental effects that are involved when mining new gold or gemstones. For instance, although there have already been great improvements in the chemicals used for processing, there are still a lot of practices going on that harm the environment in a significant way.

For this reason amongst others, we decided that for now, we will only use recycled gold and ethically mined gemstones for our jewelry. If you are interested in knowing more about the decision for recycled gold, you can read about it here