At the end of March, Maira Toledo from Gemstones Brazil was delighted to be able to attend a brilliant symposium on 'ethical making' in Edinburgh, Scotland. This symposium, organised by Edinburgh's Incorporation of Goldsmiths and The Precious Metals Workshop, aimed to educate silversmiths and jewellers about the impact and importance of ethical making.
'Ethical making' was the chosen term to describe a way of designing and creating jewellery that takes into consideration the way that its production impacts people's lives and the environment. In a world where environmental and fair trade issues are becoming increasingly high-profile, the concept of ethical making is gaining steam amongst businesses who want to ensure that they operate as ethically as possible.
The symposium was a great learning experience for the participants. It focused on the importance of ethical making, ways of communicating these positive values to buyers, and advice on how to adopt ethical practices in the jewellery industry. In several talks and workshops by inspiring activists and makers, the public learned about embracing an ethical approach to sourcing and supplying metals and gemstones. The day was filled with uplifting stories that reinforced our belief that even small business can help to make positive changes in their industry. By increasing our transparency and traceability, we can improve the sustainability of the craft - and when we do this, everybody wins!
This symposium also saw the launch of agreat makers' resource: an website created by the Incorporation of Goldsmiths that brings together lots of informative material on issues of social and environmental sustainability. There are sections on responsible studio practices, as well as an useful directory of makers and suppliers who are committed to ethical business practices. Gemstones Brazil is proudly listed on the "Responsibly Sourced Gemstone Suppliers" section. If you want to find out more about this valuable source of information, visit the Ethical Making website, or search #ethicalmaking on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Following the recent events and the increasing demand of traceable gemstones suppliers in the market, we are also taking part in a collaborative fair trade gem fair in Edinburgh on May 3rd, where we and two other ethical gemstones suppliers will have a variety of fairly mined gemstones for you to view and purchase! These stones are all fully traceable and responsibly sourced from Sri Lanka, Brazil, Malawi, Tanzania, Australia and the USA, and details of their origin will be available to every customer.
We hope to see you there!