Why choose ethical jewellery using Fairtrade gold?
Proud to be Fairtrade…
When I first heard about some of the horrors that occurred in the mining of gold, I was shocked beyond belief. How could something so precious to me cause so much destruction? Something I was, unwittingly, part of?
I began to hear stories of miners getting paid less than even enough to feed their families; these families were working in mines that were unsafe, leading to many unnecessary deaths and injuries; as well as working with dangerous chemicals, such as mercury and cyanide, that harmed them and their children and the natural ecosystems surrounding them. These chemicals were being poured into rivers, destroying everything they came into contact with: trees, fish, plants.
These artisanal miners have been at the end of a very long supply chain, often working illegally without rights.
Such stories are heartbreaking and led me to look at alternatives. I knew I wanted to be part of the solution rather than the problem. I began to use recycled gold in my designs in 2011 and became registered to buy Fairtrade gold in an endeavour to make more ethical jewellery.
From July 2015, Shakti Ellenwood became a full licensee with the Fairtrade Foundation and a commitment was made to use ONLY Fairtrade Gold.
What does this mean?
Fairtrade have introduced the world’s first independent ethical certification system for gold with Fairtrade Certified Gold.
Mines certified by Fairtrade, pay miners the Fairtrade Mininum Price and Premium ($2000 per kg). This Fairtrade Premium is used by the community to democratically reinvest in buying new equipment, building schools for their children, providing healthcare and getting access to clean water. It also gives them more financial security.
Becoming Fairtrade certified and meeting Fairtrade Standards for gold helps miners formalise and improve their mining and business practices. Fairtrade Standards are met on working conditions, health and safety, handling chemicals, women’s rights, child labour and protection of the environment.
Want more information? Go to: http://www.fairgold.org
Would you like to buy ethical jewellery that is produced fairly and transparently? Would you like to help make a difference to the lives of these people and the environment in which they live?
When we learn the facts do we really have a choice?
Below are two of the mining communities where Fairtrade Certified Gold is sourced:
SOTRAMI FAIRTRADE GOLD MINING COMMUNITY
Set in a remote and desolate part of the Andes mountains, 70 miles from the nearest town, SOTRAMI is a lifeline for the 500 families of the Santa Filomena community who depend on the mine to provide employment, education, health, and clean water. Within their first year of Fairtrade certification in 2011, SOTRAMI earned over £80,000 in Fairtrade Premium from sales of Fairtrade Certified Gold.
The miners have used their Fairtrade Premium to buy beds and mattresses for the local clinic, provide electricity for primary and secondary schools and set up a bursary fund for families to help pay for school fees.
If you would like to learn more about the SOTRAMI go here:
AURELSA FAIRTRADE GOLD MINING COMMUNITY
Is located in the village of Relave, district of Pullo, province of Parinacochas, department of Ayacucho, Peru. In the mid-1980s Peru was troubled with economic hardship, internal violence and conflict. As a result, many Peruvian families and individuals were driven from their homes and into the Peruvian Atacama desert where they came together seeking refuge and the opportunity to establish a new life. In Relave, these citizens eventually settled as informal, artisanal and small-scale miners working the tailings left by previous large-scale international mining operations.