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Jewelery dossier:is your jewelery ethical?

Have you ever wondered if your jewelry is ethical? The notion of responsible consumption has already taken over many parts of our daily lives:cooking, cosmetics, make-up, ready-to-wear... What if jewelry could also help make our world more virtuous? Find out everything you need to know about ethical jewelry in this article:social and environmental commitments, certifications, actors... We tell you everything!

What is ethical jewelry?

Let's start at the beginning:what exactly is ethical jewelry ? We talk about "ethical jewelry » when the manufacture of it meets strict criteria of respect for people and the environment, and that the entire production chain is transparent for the consumer. Here are a few more details on the notion of ethical jewelry .

Human and social issues

We have known for some time now that the exploitation of precious metals and jewelery stones is often associated with dangerous working conditions for miners , and this, for extremely low wages. Very often, the living conditions of miners are terribly precarious and jewelry made without ethical concerns unfortunately helps to maintain this dynamic.

The first axis of commitment of an ethical jewelry store concerns the working conditions of the men and women involved in the manufacture of jewellery. The stones that set the ethical jewelry, for example, will have been extracted in a secure environment for the miners, who are also paid according to their skills, the work carried out and the economic conditions of the country in which they reside. The notion of ethics in jewelry also requires taking into account the political situation of the country of extraction, and ensuring that the trade in precious metals does not finance dangerous political actions for the population.

In short, by making the choice to buy an ethical jewel , you ensure that everyone involved in its manufacture has benefited from fair working conditions and compensation.

Environmental commitment

Second fundamental commitment of ethical jewellery such as in particular:extraction and manufacturing conditions that respect the environment. The traditional jewelry industry is indeed devastating for the environment:deforestation, use of mercury or cyanide, pollution of groundwater...

Faced with the extent of the destruction caused by the extraction of gold and natural stones, responsible jewelry ensures, through innovative processes, that the environmental impact of their activities is controlled and reduced. This reduction can be achieved through the development of new extraction processes or the use of recycled and traceable gold .

Transparency on the production line

The ethical commitment in jewelry , it is also to be transparent on the manufacturing chain of the jewelry sold:origin of the gold and stones used, transport, transformation... Each step must be known to the consumer.

Pendant, ring, bracelets… How do you know if a piece of jewelery is ethical?

Although responsible jewelry is becoming more and more important, it is not always easy, as a buyer, to know if a piece of jewelery corresponds to the standards of ethical jewelery or not. To help you make the best choice, there are several labels that allow you to recognize an ethical jewel , like these gold pendants or medals on which are labeled RJC-Coc (Responsible Jewelry Council) by recycled gold and natural stones . This label guarantees that the jewel comes from a production chain that meets the best practices of ethical jewellery.

@ Min&ral Jewelry

Who are the players in ethical jewelry?

If it is obvious that the consumer, through his purchases, is the most important actor of a more virtuous jewelry production chain, he is not the only one, far from it! Many jewelry stores have already committed to responsible jewelry , more respectful of people and the planet, and these values ​​have also benefited from the support and exposure of several international stars. Many renowned actresses such as Marion Cotillard, Cate Blanchett and Julianne Moore have indeed appeared on red carpets around the world, proudly wearing sublime pieces of jewelry resulting from an ethical and responsible manufacturing process .

@Marion Cotillard /Featureflash Photo Agency

Beyond the big stars, more and more women today choose to wear ethical jewelry , without it necessarily being luxury jewelry. On the contrary, a growing number of small independent designers are choosing to work in a responsible and virtuous way, which allows consumers to offer and afford ethical jewelery at very affordable prices . One might think that ethical jewelry rhymes with high price, but this is to be put into perspective! On the contrary, it is possible to find trendy and modern jewelry, made by independent and passionate designers, for a reasonable budget.

Cover photo:@ Min&ral Joaillerie