Wedding ring shopping can be exciting and overwhelming in equal parts: chances are you’ve probably not bought too many in your life, and there’s a lot of choice out there. One of the terms you may see a lot is a Fairtrade gold engagement ring, or Fairtrade gold wedding ring – so we asked our resident Fairtrade gold jeweller Alison Macleod to explain exactly what that means, and why it’s so important!
Why we make Fairtrade gold engagement rings & wedding rings
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. We think these rules should be the starting block for any business – as an artisan jewellers, it’s always been really important for us to not only make beautiful work, but do good with it too! We wanted to make sure we were encouraging fair pricing, and ensuring that where we buy our materials is sustainable, so using Fairtrade gold was an easy choice for us. But what does a Fairtrade gold engagement ring or wedding ring mean and represent?
When it comes to your jewellery, the symbol of Fairtrade gold is a special one: it’s your assurance that the gold has come from a sustainable source. Fairtrade gold miners also receive an extra amount of money for investment, to build the future of their families and their communities, through education, medical care or environmental projects. All of these things are imperative to ensure that these communities can not only survive, but thrive.
Without this certification, it’s likely that the gold that ends up on our high streets comes from some of the estimated 16 million small scale miners who work in dangerous conditions around the world. Exploited, and forced to handle hazardous chemicals, small-scale mining is a harsh and precarious way to earn a livelihood that often leaves its miners living in poverty. This stark reality is one that needs addressing – a gold ring is a symbol of love after all, and its materials should reflect that! Fairtrade’s mission is to make a difference to the lives of the people who farm and mine the things we buy by merely making trade fair, ensuring that people don’t have to live on the breadline for others to have amazing jewellery.
With every purchase we make as consumers, we continually face decisions – not only about the design, but about the ethical nature of the products we choose, the usability and the environmental impact that they have to. With our Fairtrade gold engagement rings and the rest of our jewellery designs, we want to ensure that every piece we make not only makes you happy, but has left a trail of happiness in its wake too.
The importance of Fairtrade gold is invaluable to us, empowering miners, empowering us and ultimately creating pieces that enable you to wear your Fairtrade gold with pride – after all, you’ll be wearing it for the rest of your life!
How to find your Fairtrade gold engagement ring
If a jeweller uses Fairtrade gold for their designs, they’ll probably mention it on their website, so keep an eye out for the Fairtrade symbol. And if you can’t see it, then you can always drop them an email asking about the providence of their materials and process – they’ll be happy to answer you.
To see our selection of Fairtrade gold engagement rings, wedding rings, jewellery and bespoke design process, head to our profile here to drop us an email – we’re always up for chatting!
And if you want to see more from the Fairtrade Foundation themselves, check out this video explaining more about the process: