"jewellery that makes a powerful statement.
this sculptural jewellery sets a shining ethical example"
Ethos & Values
UTE DECKER IS A PIONEER OF THE INTERNATIONAL ETHICAL JEWELLERY MOVEMENT AND ONE OF THE VERY FIRST WORLDWIDE TO CREATE PIECES IN FAIRTRADE GOLD.
my gold pieces can be traced all the way from the artisanal mining cooperative in the highlands of peru to my bench in central london. the amazing work of the artisan miners of cecomsap - the source of my Fairtrade Gold - ensures that the gold is mined in an as sustainable and ecologically sound way as possible, thereby preserving the environment for future generations. fairtrade also promotes gender equality, guaranteeing women representatives are involved in all key community decisions, helping to build financial independence.
i am happy to pay a fairtrade premium for my gold, which is guaranteed to go directly to investing in the community.
to verify it is Fairtrade Gold, the Fairtrade logo is engraved right next to the hallmark.
jewellery is my medium of telling a story, of making connections and working as sustainably as we can is certainly one of the most urgent stories of today.
with a degree in political economics and background in news journalism, i try to think carefully about my work, its context in society and the world we live in - from the mindful sourcing of materials to only using non-toxic chemicals in the studio.
a guiding principle is a quotation attributed to gandhi: "be the change you want to see in this world"
as an individual, i might feel anything i do is just a drop in the ocean.
this may be so but, we have to remember the ocean is but an accumulation of endless drops. each one of us is one of these drops. our own choices coupled with public pressure and opinion have more power than we realise.
ethics in jewellery is not just about the environment, it is equally about social, political and economic exploitation, empowerment, diversity and of course women’s rights.
Fairtrade Gold is such a beautiful and empowering story. to me this connectedness adds an important layer of meaning to each Fairtrade Gold piece i create.
nomenclature: Fairtrade / fair-trade / fairtrade
Fairtrade - capitalized, one word is a protected term. it can only be used for products following the strict codes of and are certified by the Fairtrade Foundation. any other spellings are not protected and can be used by anybody for anything.
Resource for ethical jewellery makingethicalmaking.org
The ethical making resource provides practical information for jewellers and silversmiths who want to improve the environmental and social sustainability of their practice, and for buyers and collectors looking for information on purchasing ethically made jewellery and silver.
being passionate about sharing knowledge and facilitating change, i shared over 9 years of research on my previous website which grew into the world's most comprehensive resource on sustainable jewellery practices.
in 2018 this information was moved to ethicalmaking.org. the new dedicated website was created by the incorporation of goldsmiths, scotland who now look after and continue to expand the resource. (press often shortens this to credit me with creating ethicalmaking.org - but while I was the initial principal consultant sharing all my research - the Incorporation of Goldsmiths' does deserve full credit for establishing this new website and for being a trailblazer in supporting and facilitating ethical practices).
it is used by thousands of students, jewellers as well as consumers around the world.
it's been wonderful working with you – i will always remember that first meeting with you when you so generously offered to share your years of research as content for the resource. none of this would have been possible without you! it’s also been great fun and i have really enjoyed getting to know you.
mary michel · (former) director · incorporation of goldsmiths
talks - lectures - panels - seminars - workshops
previous engagments include:
- universities & colleges (rca, csm, nyu, fit ...)
- conferences & symposia
- new designers / crafts council / goldsmiths' centre
- art & jewellery fairs
One day ethical jewellery seminars
greg valerio and myself offer a tailored-made one day training course on ethical jewellery, specifically designed at empowering a new generation of aspirational ethical jewellers who want to be green as well as design gorgeous jewellery.
this course is tailored to meet the challenges faced by designer jewellers. on this course we cover the complex issues of supply chain management for gold, gemstones and diamonds, green studio practices, definitions of ethical, fair trade and conflict minerals and a knowledge based approach of where to source ethically.
greg valerio (winner of observer ethical award, awarded mbe in the queens new year’s honour list 2016 for his work in Fairtrade Gold and with gold mining communities in south america and africa)
Transparency & Tracebility
this is a brand new website and work in progress. I will update and publish more details shortly.
Talksif and once available, you will find links to recodings to re-listen
The Society of Jewellery Historians - LectureUte Decker: Sculptural Minimalism & Fairtrade Gold — philosophy, provenance and process 23 November 2021i am immensely honoured to have been invited by the venerable society of jewellery historians to give the annual artist lecture. the goldsmiths' craft & design council design award winner...
How to Start up Sustainably by Ute DeckerPodcast 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...
Creative Links: Ethical Making and Studio Practicelink to recording - Panel Discussion - Goldsmiths Centre 29 October 2020join ethical-making pioneers and champions greg valerio, ute decker and jos skeates for an evening of inspiration and advice. this online talk will help you consider the ways in which...
Initiatives in Art and Culture - Gold Conference, "All That Glitters" - ethical jewellery panelvision and leadership in incentivizing and supporting more responsible mining in the jewelry supply chain 28 October 2020initiatives in art and culture | ethics & sustainability in the gold and diamond supply chain. virtual conference on ehtical jewellery. jeweler ute decker is a panelist on the session “no going back: supporting responsible mining in the jewelry supply chain.”