It has been just about a year (maybe 2) that we've heard mention of ethical jewelry MAKING practices and fair trade issues. We've always worried about ethical deals (think retailers switching stones, manufacturers underkarating, etc.) but ethical creation? A new concept that has just started to take hold as witnessed by the first-ever Ethical Jewelry Summit last month in Washington, DC.
This event brought together a broad spectrum of industry leaders and Represented at the conference was World Bank, Ethical Metalmiths, JA, Cartier, ARM, Tiffany, DeBeers, CJRP, GIA, Rapaport, as well as major suppliers, such as The Bell Group and Hoover and Strong. Some of the retailers and manufacturers included: Leber Jewelers, Brilliant Earth, Toby Pomeroy, Lori Bonn, Cred Jewelers, Vukani-Ubuntu, and Columbia Gem House. Fair Labeling Organization, FLO international, represented by Transfair USA, was also in attendance.
I personally know three leaders in this movement --- Martin Rappaport, Marc Choyt and Lori Bonn -- and their progress has been remarkable.
I advise anyone interested in this topic to visit:
Martin's site at www.diamonds.net/FairTrade/
Lori Bonn's site ClearConscienceJewelry.org
Ethical mining practices, fair trade with the people who work the gems and metals from the ground and environmentally responsible manufacturing are all growing practices and marketing trends. [TIP: From an ethical standpoint I urge you to learn more -- from a marketing standpoint I cannot help but recommend you consider some levels of support, as well. It's a very good PR thing to do!]