Jewellery is fraught with difficulties; diamonds and gold come with heavy ethical and environmental costs. The average 18-karat gold wedding band, for example, is responsible for twenty tonnes of toxic mine waste, according to mining watchdog group Earthwork.
But new ethical jewellers are stepping up by working with local communities, buying fairtrade materials and giving back to the craftspeople who make the jewels. This Christmas, make sure your jewels have a positive impact.
SACET’s pieces come straight to customers from the craftsperson. All profits from its artisan workshop go to providing its craftspeople, who you can read about individually on its website, with skills development, healthcare and children’s education. Pictured: Ornate Stacked Ring, from £460
Founded by Jennifer Ewah, EDEN DIODATI is a tale of rebirth through creativity and personal journey, and about a group of brave and resilient women from Rwanda, seeking to rebuild their lives following the devastation of civil war and genocide. Pictured: Kalifa bangle, £320, www.positiveluxury.com
Initially studying in São Paulo, FERNANDO JORGE moved to London for an MA in Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins. He uses locally and ethically sourced gemstones and minerals and works closely with small workshops and craftsmen in central São Paulo. Pictured: Steam Cycle Ring, POA. http://fernandojorge.co.uk
EDGE OF EMBER’s pieces are made using materials like recycled brass and semi-precious stones by craftsmen including women-run businesses, fair-trade organisations and home-based workers across Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia. Pictured: Dual Moonstone Studs, £58. www.wolfandbadger.com
Each unique piece in the MADE collection is hand crafted by highly skilled artisans in the brand’s workshop in Kibera, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. The brand’s goal is to create sustainable jobs, teach new skills and empower developing communities through the creation of beautiful jewellery. Pictured: shaped cuff, £40. www.made.uk.com
CRED established the first transparent supply chain of gold and platinum from Oro Verde in Columbia and were the first jewellery company to pay social premiums for ecological gold. It was the first company to produce a Fair-trade Gold wedding ring. Pictured: Entwined knot ring, £89 www.credjewellery.com