Oct. 19 2014
The F&L Designer News Room

Fairtrade Goldsmiths Registration Scheme Makes Its Mark

Most people love the idea of Fairtrade gold engagement rings but if you go bespoke you can’t always source one. Fairtrade is now making a stand.

Fairtrade has long been an important feature in the world of jewellery, but since April this year, thanks to the Fairtrade Foundation’s Goldsmiths’ Registration Scheme, sourcing Fairtrade gold in the UK market has become much more accessible to smaller designers who previously could not meet the minimum purchasing requirements.

This is fantastic news for the F&L Designer community that is made up of less commercial bespoke designers, many of whom support the ethos behind Fairtrade and want to be able to offer Fairtrade gold engagement rings to their client base.

In the three months since the initiation of the scheme there has been a incredibly positive uptake and Farah Qureshi is one of F&L Designer Guide’s featured designers who is now very much involved. Soon she will be able to produce Fairtrade gold engagement rings amongst other bespoke pieces of ethically sourced materials.

F, from the online publication, says: “the scheme is so user friendly and easy to apply for. The online application form is checked by the Fairtrade committee but otherwise the registration is free and offers designers the chance to buy Fairtrade gold and precious metals from a master licensee.” L goes on to add:

There is little doubt that this scheme is going to widen the use of Fairtrade metals and increase customer awareness.

Our designers take great pride in their bespoke jewellery and the design of their platinum, gold and white gold engagement rings, and being able to offer Fairtrade will only help to cement the values and morals behind what small designers do. It can only widen the scope for our designers, which is very exciting.”

While the scheme will certainly serve to benefit small scale bespoke designers, who in fact make up a large percentage of our jewellery market and who are rising in stature and gaining more and more accolades amongst the professional, well-heeled members of the public, the far reaching benefits of the scheme must not be forgotten.

When you buy your Fairtrade gold engagement rings, do you know what’s happening at the grass routes level?

Buying ethically sourced jewellery means that money reaches the people who are entitled to it. It helps gold mining communities, improves safety standards, funds the installation of water supplies, helps with education and healthcare of the local people and much more. All too often the start of a supply chain is ignored, but Fairtrade aims to change this. So remember, when you are wearing Fairtrade gold engagement rings, you have made a vital difference to the lives of the miners at the elementary end of the production line.

Registration with the scheme also has potential benefits for the designers in the future. There have been hints that a full licence could be granted in time and this would allow designers to stamp their jewellery with the Fairtrade mark too, further increasing their prestige.

Fairtrade metals are making their mark and their inauguration into the world of smaller scale bespoke designers who are every bit as important as the larger commercial brands, is a positive step in more ways than one.

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Engagement Ring Designers that we like best

Andrew LeggettSussex
Christopher AndersonStamford
Jana ReinhardtSussex
Julia Lloyd GeorgeLondon
Jo BellLondon