Jewellery is a gift, a piece of integrity often bought as a token of love and thus needs to be treasured. So, it’s very important to note that whenever we make that investment, no matter big or small in monetary terms, do dare to ask about its traceability.
Because if you’re not asking where your jewellery originates from, then there’s a high chance that you might be funding weapons for terrorists in war-torn countries. Or perhaps companies which force people to work in mines at gunpoint or knifepoint and abuse children, making them work 10-hour days.
Even though these sound like exaggerations, they’re not. Rio Tinto, a leading global mining group blew up two rock-shelters in Juukan Gorge, sacred indigenous sites in western Australia, to expand one of the company’s open-cut iron-ore mines.
As for gold linked to militias, Kaloti, UAE-based refiner and gold trader, sourced at least 20 tonnes of gold connected to armed groups that carried out long-running conflict and alleged genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
Do Dare To Question Your Jewellery Origins
Most of the renowned jewellery companies market their beautiful jewellery pieces with no emphasis and mention of the true origin of gold and gems used in the jewellery.
And what’s worse is, some try to hide behind certifications that are nowhere near strong to guarantee the traceability of the metals and gemstones. The widely-held belief that the Kimberley Process that claims to reduce the flow of conflict diamonds is barely worth the paper it’s written on. Yes, that’s how nonsensical it is.
Even though the Responsible Jewellery Council is better than nothing, however, it’s too not anywhere near robust enough.
That’s because 100 per cent traceability of any jewellery supply chains is just not possible – yet. Genuinely ethical and sustainable jewellery is exceptionally hard to come by.
Read more: The Rubble From The 2015 Nepal Earthquake Is Now Being Turned To Jewellery By An Australian Organization
And ethical jewellery doesn’t just mean recycled metals or ethically sourcing gemstones for jewellery, the sustainability efforts of such pieces go way beyond that.
These practices range from a series of activities which includes supporting local communities where the pieces are commissioned to offer full transparency and tracing, and to committing to zero-waste programs to prevent excess materials ending up in landfills.
Sustainable Jewellery: A Thorny Subject
Sustainability is a thorny subject in an industry whose raw materials are gold and gemstones which come from the earth itself. With the inevitable impact of mining on the environment and the complex and mysterious supply chain of “ethical jewellery”, the concept of recycled jewellery dusts off too easily.
However, despite that, many independent jewellery designers such as ‘Bayou with love’, ‘Ana Khouri’, ‘Sian Evans’, ‘Sarah and Sebastian’, ‘Anabela Chan’ and ‘Sarah Ho’ are addressing the issue as best they can, by sourcing recycled materials and responsibly mined gemstones to protect artisanal miners and minimise the environmental impact of mining.
And as customers and appreciators of this integral art of jewellery, it’s our duty to try to switch to recycled/sustainable jewellery, be a part of this movement and celebrate their efforts to make progress within the limitations of what can be achieved.
Image Credits: Unsplash, Google Images
Find the blogger at: @sejalsejals38
This post is tagged under: Jewellery, Jewellery trends, Sustainability, Ethical Jewellery, Bayou with love, Ana Khouri, Sian Evans, Sarah and Sebastian, Anabela Chan and Sarah Ho