Sometimes we will reward ourselves for achieving our goals by purchasing fancy clothes, nice shoes, designer handbags, or elegant jewelry. However, it’s become important to consider the ethics of buying these types of products.
In the jewelry industry, ethical concerns are prevalent, whether it’s regarding the methods of mining golds and diamonds, to the occasionally questionable fabrication practices in the far east. These concerns make some people turn their backs on traditional fine jewelry in favour of creating and purchasing ethical jewelry.
The traceability of a piece defines ethical jewelry. The materials used for a jewelry piece must be traceable for the consumer’s information. Not all countries have similar firm regulations implemented, which gives the consumers an idea when making an informed decision about the jewel’s ethical credentials.
A jewel’s sustainability should also be considered if you have concerns about the environment. Displacement, deforestation, soil contamination and menacing working surroundings can all be commonplace in the mining industry. These unsustainable practices are unfortunately neglected in the industry. This is why a consumer must know where the materials of the piece of jewelry originated. The location and method of production are also essential. All of this information will help you determine whether a piece of jewelry is ethically produced.
Organizations like Fairmined Gold and Fairtrade Gold created certification systems for trading jewelry that makes trading fair among jewelers, consumers, and those in the production stages. Most jewelers favor a certification for their protection, as well as their consumers. It is also a way of helping those living in poverty have a chance at life free from commercial activities.
The World Fair Trade Organization established the ten principles of fair trade that most ethical jewelers like Love & Promise support. A trustworthy, honest jeweler must follow these principles:
- Opportunities for disadvantaged producers
- Transparency and accountability
- Fair trade principles
- Proper payment
- Ensuring no child labor and no forced labor
- Commitment to non-discrimination
- Gender equity, women’s economic empowerment, and freedom of association
- Guaranteeing good working conditions
- Promoting fair trade
- Respect for the environment
- Providing capacity building
A piece of ethical jewelry must be direct and traceable from mine to market.
Know Your Jewelry
The destruction caused by diamond trading and gold mining has increased for at least two decades now. There are toxic spills, thousands of dead animals, and obliterated homes that severely damage the jewelry industry.
You must know your item before making the purchase. Some jewelers offer conflict-free products, which you can check on their official website. If the information is not available to help you make an educated and responsible purchase, ensure that you do more research.
Identify Vague Answers
It is every consumer’s right to ask questions about your purchase. Reputable jewelers can answer with all honesty and provide information about the ethically-sourced gems and their certification. Your queries should involve environmental conditions, labor laws, and sourcing specific jewelry with documentation. This information must always be ready for customers. Avoid any jeweler who refuses to provide it.
Be Aware of Your Options
By obtaining information about ethically sourced jewelry, you will determine if you have a purchase that makes you feel good while you look good. If you need to buy a jewelry piece, make sure that the seller is committed to ethically sourcing it.