fairtrade vs recycled
What is the difference between Fair-trade and recycled jewellery.
Fairtrade vs recycled gold and silver
We use Fairtrade and recycled precious metals in our work. But what is the difference between Fairtrade and recycled and why choose one over the other?
The reason we choose to use Fairtrade certified gold is that it is the best guarantee for us and our customers that throughout the supply chain workers rights and the environment have been respected.
All 18 carat wedding rings are fairtrade, however Fairtrade is still not as widely available on the market as standard mined metals so for our bespoke designs and 9ct pieces where it is not possible to produce a piece in Fairtrade we use 100% recycled metal which we feel is the best alternative.
Our sterling silver jewellery is also 100% recycled. As demand for ethical jewellery grows more Fairtrade silver is newer to the market than gold we are finding feet with ft gold hope to use fairtrade silver in the future.
Although many small jewellers are listening to customer concerns about the provenance of the materials used in their jewellery the industry as a whole still has a lot of work to do. There are those who claim nothing needs to change because jewellers have always recycled the metals they use. This is known in the trade as scrapping, put simply it is the process of carefully collecting all excess metal when making a piece of jewellery, which is natural when working with such expensive materials. The scrap can then be re melted and re used.
And it is true that much of the jewellery sold today contains a high content of recycled precious metal. However it does not address the problem of where the rest of gold or silver has come from. For instance recycled gold can only meet 30% of global demand. Meaning the other 70% comes from a supply chain without the transparency and traceability of Fairtrade with no guarantees on worker safety or on the environmental impact the mining has had.