do you have a keen interest in the ethics of jewellery?
would you like to help facilitate change and share knowledge?
then volunteer a few hours / days / weeks - to help compile & format information so it can be share widely.
Ute has compiled an enormous amout of information - to be published it needs to be organized, categorized and formated (such as the still very messy section at the end of the page) .
If you would like to help, get in touch
ethical - @ - utedecker.com
below are just a few links to articles and interesting information. all of the ethical jewellery information previously on my website has now moved to ethicalmaking.org.
great ethical jewellery resources
for jewellery buyers
https://amazonaid.org/gold-buyers-guide/ with one caveat about the description of RJC - see Who’s Responsible? The RJC and the Burden of Proof
Chicago Responsible Jewellery Conference.com
B Corp - https://bcorporation.net/ (for all companies / sectors)
a Roundup of Books on Gold and Extractives compiled by Christina Malle - Ethical Metalsmiths Board Member
Swiss Psychotropic Gold
Switzerland plays a central role in the global commodity trade with gold and especially in its refining. Having fueled early modern industrialization as well as contemporary finance, Swiss trading and refining activities have influenced vivid cultural, affective and moral economies. They have contributed to Swiss wealth, but also to national narratives of independence, safety and white supremacy. The volume follows the entanglements of the global metabolism of gold by tracking down the elusive and often invisible paths of molecules, affects and violence: Swiss Psychotropic Gold.
Is recycled gold an ethical jewellery option?various articles
Can "Recycled Gold" Be an Ethical Gold Source At All?
Saskia Shutt, guest editor, Ethical Metalsmiths, May 2033
In this piece, guest author Saskia Shutt gets into the details of why she believes people shouldn’t be touting “recycled gold” as a more responsible option than newly mined gold.
Responsible, recycled or mined gold, who’s using what?
thefrenchjewelrypost.com, Sandrine Merle, 09 January 2023
Over the past 10 years, most designers and jewelers have opted for responsible gold. Some defend mined gold, extracted by local communities which have adopted respectful practices, and bearing labels such as Fairmined, Fairtrade, SMO (Single Mine Origin) for larger-scaled mines, etc. Others advocate recycled gold, metal that’s already been used in jewelry, electronics, ingots, etc. A third approach is to mix the two.
Who’s using what? Recycled or/and mined gold ? In this issue we offer a non-exhaustive overview of pieces heralding these new jewelry values.
Related articles - Pros & Cons of recycled gold:
Patrick Schein, the voice of responsibly mined gold
5 things you need to know about the impact of gold mining on nature
Christina MillerWhat do you really want to accomplish by sourcing recycled gold?Our February Living Room brought together varying perspectives to examine recycled gold in the context of responsible sourcing. This Living Room session sought to identify what we know and don’t know about recycled gold, the true impacts of the material, how it fits into a responsible sourcing practice, and other considerations to explore such as how the material is marketed.Living Room Session: Recycled Gold Mar 03, 2021
What Constitutes “Recycled” Gold?
Christina Malle - Ethical Metalsmiths Board Member
October 15, 2020
To recycle or not to recycle that is the question
by Greg Valerio
May 30, 2010
Recycled Gold Jewelry – How ethical is it really?
By Greg Valerio
September 14, 2016
Is recycled gold an ethical choice?
Consumer Advice - for publishing - compiled by Ute Decker
For Consumers & journalists
1. introduction - where can I buy ethical jewellery
2020 extract from livefrankly.co.uk/
Ethical jewellery: your guide to sourcing the best silver, gold and diamonds
Faced with mounting consumer pressure, and fears that gold might become as taboo as elephant tusks or sealskin coats, the jewelry industry also set up a certification standard called the Responsible Jewellery Council. Launched in March of 2012, the program claims to trace gold from its origins to consumers. Its members include major gold and jewelry companies. The catch is that the code is voluntary: there’s no enforcement mechanism if companies don’t comply.
Most of the jewellery companies you know are highly likely to be marketing beautiful items with no mention of the true origin of where their gold and gems come from.
Arguably even worse, some are hiding behind certifications that are nowhere near robust enough. It’s a widely-held belief that The Kimberley Process (which claims to reduce the flow of conflict diamonds) is barely worth the paper it is written on. The Responsible Jewellery Council is better than nothing, but not good enough.
To be candid, it’s highly unlikely even the best jewellers will have 100 per cent traceability of their supply chains. It’s just not possible – yet.
... That said, there are some brilliant jewellers out there who are battling to change the system, working with trusted suppliers and operating to much higher standards.
Amazon Aid - CLEANER GOLD BUYER’S GUIDE
With one caveat: I would not recommend RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) or Kimberley as an indication of ethical sourcing **see ## The Responsible Jewellery Council—A Weak Assurance
The Kimberley Process—An Inadequate Model
List of ethical jewellers
- Fairtrade Gold jewellers - Fairtrade Website
- Fairmined Jewellers - Fairmined Website
- ask how many % is actually Fairtrade or Fairmined ?
2. deeper understanding of ethical jewellery
Why gold in your phone could be funding drug gangs
By Andy Verity, BBC Panorama
A gold refiner that was used by criminals to launder drug money has been allowed to sell gold into global supply chains
Watch River of Gold
A clandestine journey into Peru’s Amazon rainforest to uncover the savage unraveling of pristine jungle by illicit small scale gold mining.
Watch the Movie
"Complicity in Destruction"
Christian Poirier, Program Director | Amazon Watch
Amazon Watch's campaign around gold mining in the indigenous territories of Brazil. Large scale gold mines and the refineries that supply to the jewelry industry are listed in the Blood Gold report.
Jewelry and the Environment: Navigating The World of Sustainability Claims
Jewelry Industry Summit
This webinar explored how businesses can navigate their way through claims being made by their suppliers and make the best choices when sourcing sustainable products.
Moderated by Jared Holstein of D’Amadeo, panelists were Avi Krawitz from Rapaport, Sara Yood from JVC, Tobias Shultz from SCS Global Services and Kesha Frank from FTJCo. Areas that were covered included; understanding sustainable claims, the role of sustainable standards, how they are developed and how to evaluate suppliers.
Watch Recording of webinar
US Green Guides
Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has released the Green Claims Code: a new anti-greenwash guide for all brands making environmental claims.
1. jewellers - beginning the ethical journey
Responsible suppliers, green studio practices, inspirational articles, symposia, Ethical Making Pledge for colleges, etc
The Source - blog
Fair Luxury is a collaboration of jewellery industry changemakers with a vision for a responsible and sustainable future. Based in the UK, monthly podcasts
Is recycled gold an ethical jewellery option?
The Living Room Sessions Video Archive
Great conversation, a respectful and safe space. A community of makers, doers and shakers from the jewelry industry who really want to make a difference!
2. on the ethical road
Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference (CRJC)
The CRJC's mission is to engage everyone in the jewelry industry; miners, makers, professionals, educators, and students. To address all the ways that individuals and companies can be involved in the responsible jewelry movement. To make a difference by making things happen.
Jewelry Industry Summit
relisten to webinars
Reports & longer articles
Human Rights Watch
Sparkling Jewels, Opaque Supply Chains 2020, November
Jewelry Companies, Changing Sourcing Practices, and Covid-19 - November 24, 2020
The Hidden Cost of Jewelry, 2018 February
Human Rights in Supply Chains and the Responsibility of Jewelry Companies February 8, 2018
Uplifting the Earth
Towards an Ethical Jewellery Business, 2003
Unearth Justice - Counting the Cost of Gold, 2006
World Wildlife Fund
Deeper Luxury, Dated, 2007 but seminal report
London Mining Network
3. advance knowledge
Conflict Gold to Responsible Gold
A Roadmap for Companies & Governments, 2021
The technology, jewelry, financial, and automotive sectors are increasingly at risk of purchasing gold via Dubai that benefits armed groups responsible for mass atrocities in multiple countries in East and Central Africa. Five main policy issues continue to incentivize the conflict gold trade and disincentivize the responsible artisanal trade, presenting key opportunities for action by governments, companies, and banks._
The Jewelry Development Impact Index (JDI)
- Diamonds, Tin, Copper & Gold – Impact on Communities in the DRC
- Artisanal & Small Scale Mining: Children, Forced Labor and Mining in Southern Africa
- Global Gold Sources
- JEWELRY DEVELOPMENT IMPACT INDEX: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe
- JEWELRY DEVELOPMENT IMPACT INDEX: Brazil and Tanzania
- JEWELRY DEVELOPMENT IMPACT INDEX: Colombia and Zambia
- JEWELRY DEVELOPMENT IMPACT INDEX : South Africa and Madagascar
- JEWELRY DEVELOPMENT IMPACT INDEX : Afghanistan and Myanmar
- JEWELRY DEVELOPMENT IMPACT INDEX : Botswana and Peru**
The Jewelry Development Impact index (JDI) is a signature evaluative project of Minerals, Materials and Society (MMS). Launched from group discussions at a Jewelry Industry Summit in February 2017, the JDI project was spearheaded by Elizabeth Orlando, Foreign Service Officer in the Office of Threat Finance Countermeasures at the US Department of State and Patricia Syvrud, immediate past Executive Director of the World Diamond Council and current program manager for the University of Delaware’s Minerals, Materials and Society program. The JDI is now partnering with the US Department of Labor’s Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking; Bureau of International Labor Affairs to further the work of the JDI.
Making Trouble: Fighting for Fair Trade Jewellery by Greg Valerio
Swiss Psychotropic Gold
knowbotiq, Nina Bandi, (2020)
For more than three centuries, Swiss commodity trade has been caught up in colonial, postcolonial, and neoliberal entanglements. Having fuelled early modern industrialisation, as well as contemporary finance, Swiss trading activities have inﬂuenced cultural, fective, and moral economies. they have contributed to Swiss wealth, but also to national narratives of independence, safety, and white supremacy. Yet, public debate on colonial involvement is almost absent. thee Swiss mythology of neutrality transforms the often violent and ‘dirty’ material complexities of mining and trading into an opaque and orderly form of technocracy, discretion, and virtual ﬁnance.
An artistic and ethnographic project, Swiss Psychothopic Gold re-narrates global gold trade—from mining in former colonies to its reﬁning and many diversions in and out of Switzerland—as a series of transformative immediations of primary materials, values and aspects.
Currently, more than 50 percent of global gold is reﬁned in Switzerland, including gold, appropriated during the recent commodity wars in Central Africa. In the 1970s, Switzerland traded and reﬁned 75 percent of South African gold and in doing so saved the apartheid regime from an existential economic crisis. Switzerland was also an important gold trader for Nazi Germany during World War II.
These examples mark how, in recent history, Switzerland has fashioned itself as a political and economic hotspot for neutralising the origin of gold. Gold is quasi-alchemically cleaned of its violent and physical history and transformed into an ephemeral symbol of power, status, and purity—into condensed wealth. Besides the invisible gold, reﬁned in securitised spaces at the Swiss border or stored in underground safes, there is also visible gold: Swiss involvement in the global commodity and gold trade has been investigated and brought to light by recent NGO reports and historical research.
How to Start up Sustainably by Ute Decker: Podcast with Juliet FallowfieldPodcast with Juliet FallowfieldIn this new podcast, Ute Decker discusses how to start up a sustainable business with Juliet Fallowfield. Listen to the podcast - find it on all major platforms 'As this...
Initiatives in Art and Culture's - Gold Virtual conference, "All That Glitters".Vision and Leadership in Incentivizing and Supporting More Responsible Mining in the Jewelry Supply Chain October 25, 2020Initiatives In Art And Culture | Ethics & Sustainability In Gold And Diamond Enterprise Virtual Conference. Jeweler Ute Decker is a panelist on the session “No Going Back: Supporting Responsible Mining in the Jewelry Supply Chain.”