If you have been following our series ‘Being An Ethical Bride‘ you will know we are passionate about making small changes to the way we plan, shop for and host weddings in order to make them more ethical. Today we are exploring ways in which you can make your wedding jewellery a bit more eco.
This past September and October, the Fairtrade Foundation has launched a huge nationwide push to promote its Fairtrade Gold ‘I Do’ campaign. The aim is to inspire, motivate and equip communities to boost awareness of Fairtrade Gold in their local area, to help drive sales.
If you have been thinking about ethical jewellery, and are inspired to find out more, read on!
Please note – we don’t expect people to follow every single one of these guidelines, and understand we can’t make every single thing in our lives ethical (unless we live in a hole in the woods, probably naked and eating leaves?) but maybe, just maybe by supporting one of these ideas, we could help the world a little bit at a time. Here’s how:
one. fair-trade – behind the bling and the shine, jewellery has a dark side. Gold miners often work long and difficult hours, in hazardous conditions and at the end of their day the gold they mine can be difficult to sell at a fair price. Have a look at the Fairtrade list of suppliers here.
two. shop local – buying from UK or any local, independent jewellery designers means you are supporting your local economy and community. Not only that you can try before you buy, you might get a better deal, personalised advice from those in the know and of course you are being super ethical! Google search for independent jewellery shops or workshops in your area.
three. vintage – always a winner in the ethical game. Speaking from experience (both my engagement ring and wedding ring are antiques) you can get absolutely stunning, original jewellery with a tale to tell. Try eBay, vintage shops, car boot sales, jumble fairs, auction houses and specialist dealers.
four. blood diamonds – you have probably all heard of or seen the film, but what are blood diamonds really all about? Also called conflict diamonds or war diamonds, they are defined by the United Nations as:
diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognised governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.
So basically, diamonds mined in war zones and used to fund rebellions or warlords. Since 2003 the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme has been in place for participating countries to impose their rules and requirements, leading to the end of conflict diamonds being traded to those participants. Try Arctic Circle Diamonds for a great ethical and Fairtrade choice – plus the jewellery is made in the UK.
five. recycled – choose jewellery designers who use recycled metals, diamonds and stones as much as possible to reduce the environmental impact of jewellery. Try the wonderful Glasswing Jewellery or for stunning wedding head pieces try Rosie Weisencrantz.
Have you thought about the ethics behind jewellery? What do you think about buying conflict free, Fairtrade wedding rings and accessories? Let us know in the comments – we love to hear from you all! More ethical bride posts can be found here.
Photography by Jacob Rank