How to know if an item of jewellery is sustainable
When is an item of jewellery sustainable? This is a very important question since it involves, environmental, labour rights and social impact factors. The question of sustainability has emerged in many economic and business sectors, driven by an even greater public awareness. Nevertheless, in our sector, that of jewellery, there are still very few of us with an uncompromising commitment to the social and environmental sustainability of the sector.
But how can we know if an item of jewellery is sustainable. To be certain that an item of jewellery has not contributed to destroying the environment or mistreating any human group, firstly we must identify which brands are more sensitive to these concerns. At the time of going to the establishment, if we purchase a sustainable item, they must provide us with certain guarantees. One of them will be the Fairmined certification. This certification guarantees that the extraction of the raw material has been respectful to the environment and people. Majoral was the first distributor of Fairmined metals in Spain.
The Fairmined certification, promoted by the Alliance for Responsible Mining guarantees the sustainability of a jewel. Sustainability that, from jewellery making, we should consider from the beginning to the end of the production process of a piece of jewellery.
And the beginning of any piece of jewellery, knowing its sustainability lies in the raw material (). Choosing a product with the Fairmined certification ensures us that the following aspects are complied with.
- Environmentally, the mineral will come from mines that work respecting the environment. The use of chemicals must be minimum and they must protect water sources in order not to pollute rivers and seas.
- These mines must also guarantee the recognition of the workers’ rights. Among these, for the Alliance for Responsible Mining, this comprises the following:
- Right to organisation and trade union membership
- Job stability.
- Prioritising health and safety of the miners.
- Ensuring the eradication of child labour.
- Return part of the wealth produced to the community.
- Finally, a sustainable item of jewellery takes into account the impact caused on mining in the places of extraction:
- They must be mines that remain on the margin of aggressions and conflicts and conflicts between armed groups.
- It must be proven that the mining activity is totally legal.
- It must be ensured that the mining activity promotes the wellbeing of society.
The environmental impact of the minerals should not only be measured on the scale of ecological damage caused by the mine. If jewellery is sustainable, it must take into account the environmental footprint produced during the whole commercialisation process, and until the moment it is sold.
The mines where the raw materials are extracted are usually found in countries with high rates of poverty and under-development, above all in Africa and Latin America. These places often have a delicate political and economic stability, so it is important to be able to certify the traceability of the product.
However, the sustainability of jewellery should also be measured during its process of commercialisation. Some years ago, at Majoral we decided to apply social balance, also called the balance of the Common Good, because we are convinced that the sustainability of our brand does not only depend on the origin of the precious metals or the commitment of our suppliers. We believe that for jewellery to be sustainable we must also look at its packaging and sales process. This is why at Majoral we make the declaration of packaging, and we endeavour to always use easily recyclable products, such as cardboard.
From the extraction of the raw material, to the sales process, the sustainability of jewellery depends mainly on the commitment of the brand. A commitment that at Majoral, as part of a society that is increasingly collaborative and aware, we are convinced of maintaining.