Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Visit Essence, the ethical jewellery pavilion at Treasure 2012

Penelope Pendant by CRED
Everyone loves a bit of bling but the shine is somewhat tarnished when you think of the negative effect the gold mining industry has, both socially and environmentally. Fear not fellow magpies; following the launch of the world’s first responsibly mined Fairtrade and Fairmined gold from South America last year by the Fairtrade Foundation and Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), next week sees an exhibition of the very best new ethical collections.

Leading ethical jewellery designers Cred Jewellery, Candescent, Linnie McLarty, Erica Sharpe and Jon Dibben are showcasing their latest Fairtrade and Fairmined gold collections alongside other jewellers at Essence, the ethical jewellery pavilion at Treasure, Somerset House, 14-17 June 2012, as part of London Jewellery Week.

As a platform for pioneering exhibitors from the very best in contemporary jewellery design, expect visionary design and cutting-edge technology. All the pieces are imprinted with the Fairtrade and Fairmined Mark, the stamp of reassurance that the miners are getting a better deal.

Now in its fifth year, Treasure is open to the public from Thursday 14 June.  Tickets priced from £8 (concessions).
 'Jealous much?' Ring by Linnie McLarty (100% recycled silver with 18ct eco gold plating)
How is Fairtrade and Fairmined gold different?
All Fairtrade and Fairmined gold is mined from small-scale and artisanal mines in a way that seeks to reduce dependence on harmful chemicals. Good news for mining communities in South America and good news for the people who live and mine there.

What difference does it make?
People living in the isolated Peruvian community of Santa Filomena high in the Andes mountains have already reaped the benefits when Sotrami, the first Peruvian mining organisation to be certified, began working with Cred Jewellery. Thanks to the Fairtrade premium, the community invested in healthcare, built an extension to the primary school and bought computers for the senior school. They opened a not-for-profit convenience store which means the 500-strong community can buy food at reasonable prices.

The Fairtrade Foundation is currently working with 45 jewellers in the UK, with supplies of gold set to increase further. Thanks to a grant of over £820,000 from Comic Relief over the next three years, the Fairtrade Foundation and ARM will be partnering with Fairtrade Africa and Solidaridad to develop gold supplies from artisanal and small-scale miners in Africa.

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