A Golden Globe
In early May, four additional companies announced their support for the No Dirty Gold campaign, according to organizer Earthworks, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group.
The latest to sign on to the group’s Golden Rules?are Robbins Brothers, a Los Angeles-based retail chain; Meghan Connolly Haupt, an Oakland, Calif.-based sustainable jewelry designer; Battle Creek, Mich.-based D.NEA, which sells lab-grown diamonds; and Bario-Neal, a Philadelphia manufacturer.
The Golden Rules support cleaner sources of gold and other precious metals and raise concern over environmentally destructive mining practices, like water and soil contamination. They also call on gold-extracting companies to meet certain basic social standards, including respect for human rights. The list of signatories now includes 70 jewelry companies. —Rob Bates
On Your Mark
The Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) announced March 17 it will certify gold, making it the first jewelry material to carry the Fairtrade label.
Working in partnership with the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), FLO will add its widely recognized mark to gold that adheres to certain standards. Workers must receive fair wages, no child labor can be involved in the extraction, the sale cannot contribute to violence, and the mine must have solid safety and environmental checks.
While FLO certifies more than 4,500 Fairtrade products—from pineapples to yogurt—gold will be the first mined item to carry the mark. Gemma Cartwright, new product and standards development manager for the United Kingdom-based Fairtrade Foundation, hinted other jewelry materials like diamonds may be next.
“We want to see how consumers react to these products, but we are looking at the mining sector,” she said.
The program was piloted with nine legally established artisanal mining groups in Latin America, although in the future FLO will look at collectives in Africa and Asia.
The first Fairtrade gold is due to be produced this year and introduced in the United Kingdom. Interested jewelry companies should contact the Fairtrade Foundation, Cartwright said. —RB