There is no shortage of buzz words to grab your attention regarding Sustainability in Business, and it is important not to confuse those words for specific certifications. You have likely seen the label “Fair trade” on products you buy but have you ever thought about what Fairtrade means in the jewelry industry?
According to EthicalMetalsmiths.org the term “Fair trade” is very generalized and can be used by anyone with out third party verification. However, just by implementing general fair trade principles helps producers in developing countries attain better health, environmental, safety and economic conditions.
Did you know that the terms Fairtrade, Fair Trade Certified, and fair trade/Fair Trade all mean very different things? Yes indeed despite looking and sounding identical. No wonder its confusing. Products described as “fair trade” or
“Fair Trade” are not associated and shouldn’t be mistaken for Fairtrade International , Fair Trade USA or FairTrade America
According to my research as of 2019 there are only Fair Trade certifications for Silver and Gold and no certifications for jewelry related products (beads, clasps, etc)
Certifications in silver and gold can be third party verified and a public standard or protocol exists.
There are products that exist labeled as Fair Trade/ fair trade in which the supplier themselves created a standard and protocol but it is NOT verified by a third party leaving the actual verifications to you the consumer. However, that also means there are products labeled as “fair trade/ Fair Trade” that have not been evaluated by a third party verification and no protocol or public standard of any kind if followed. Again that leaves the burden to you, the purchaser.
I am committed to continue my journey uncovering ways to become more ethical and implement sustainability into my handcrafted jewelry business. Fair Trade certifications are very costly and when it becomes feasible Aprilierre Jewelry will seek those certifications in the future however, in the meantime I will continue to use recycled silver and gold in productionof my pieces to help reduce the need for new mining.