Fair trade in the jewellery industry, luckily now slowly coming..

October 28, 2009 | No Comments

It’s about mining, social responsibility, chemical-free technology, education, training, creating chances etc.

Starting this weblog “Fair Trade” was my first subject that runs through my mind. With a clear view; What can I personally add to it? & What is the industry doing right now? Let’s start with the industry.

Although the first initiatives by CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, were made in 2000 I think it really all started with the film “Blood diamonds”. At that time the jewellery industry had to face, in front of the whole world, that they all had to be ashamed of many facets of the trade and had to come with new standards.


So I went on the Internet, looking for answers & initiatives. Like you probably, I had no idea “What ” and “If” I would find something that would be interesting and hopeful. But luckily my answer is “Yes, they are working on it”. Initiated by The Rapaport Group the first Fair Trade Jewellery Conference was held during the prestigious “Baselworld, Watch & Jewellery Show”, March 30,  2009 in Basel (Switzerland) & JCK, Las Vegas (USA) 2009. More information you can find at: www.diamonds.net/fairtrade/

Increadably interesting lectures were given, with subjects like “Corporate Social  Responsibility in the Jewellery Industry”, “A practical way to introduce a Worldwide Jewellery Ethical Trade System”, “The Responsible Jewellery Council Certification System”, “Sustainable Issues & Opportunities for Brands & Luxury” and “Initiative for responsible ASM: Standard zero for Fair Trade Gold” . So please take a look at them; 

CIBJO, Mr. G. Cavalieri,
“Corporate Social Responsibility” (view presentation)

ICA, Mr. A. Cody & Mr. Hopkins,
“A Jewellery Ethical Trade System” (view presentation)

WBCSD, Mrs. C. Hicks,
“Sustainable Issues & Oppotunities for brands & luxury Goods” (view presentation)

ARM, Mr. P. Schein,
“Initiative for Responsible Mining: Standard Zero for Fair Trade Gold” (view presentation)

RJC, Mrs. P. Caillens,
“The Responsible Jewellery Council Certification System” (view presentation)

It’s clear that the initiatives & scopes they give are realistic & hopeful!  And it’s even more greater to read, at the web-site of the Financial Times, that Cartier truly has been started with it. Cartier is going to start sustainable mining; “The Eurocantera mine”! Please read this highly interesting article “Political correctnes: Cartier provides new gold standard” (read article) , published September 14, 2009. 

Hopefully there will be a second Fair Trade Conference at Basel 2010, because this Conference clearly had an positive impact on Fair Trade worldwide.

And now me, myself.  As I said my personal question was; What can I do about this subject? I thought about it for a while and found it; Creating chances! Creating chances for talented children, up-coming artists from the developing countries creating jewellery was my idea. So the first project has already been started in the favela’s (the slums) of  Rio de Janeiro! It’s too early to give you already detailed information. But of course I will inform you as soon as possible when the time is right for it!


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Margriet Sopers

Margriet Sopers, FGA

Having a diploma in jewellery, FGA and a propaedeutic of the Academy of Art followed-up by interesting years as a jewellery expert at Sotheby's & Gemeentelijke Krediet Bank, as well as being a member for years of the Society of Jewellery Historians, I am glad to share with you today's world of jewellery.

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