This Earth Month, we're taking a deep dive into what certain certifications or labels mean that we see used within the sustainable fashion landscape. This week, we’re shining a light on Fairmined Gold.
Gold jewellery is something that we tend to turn a blind eye to when it comes to how sustainable it is, usually because it’s less throw-away than fast-fashion jewellery due to its durability and high price tag.
However, that’s not to say that gold has a pretty murky background. The truth is, the vast majority of us don’t know where our gold originates from. Gold mining, according to Earthworks.org, is one of the most destructive industries worldwide, due to both its environmental and community impacts. Yet, 150 million people depend on the mining industry to make a living.
Unregulated mining has become associated with the violation of both human rights and the environmental wellbeing.
The mining process pollutes water with mercury and cyanide, causing damage to both ecosystems and the people. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), just 1% of the world’s labour force is engaged in mining, yet the industry as a whole accounts for 5% of the world’s on the job fatalities. It can also displace communities; indigenous peoples can often be evicted when a mining lease is granted, due to them not holding legal titles of their lands.
So, how can we ensure that we’re buying gold that is both traceable and respects people and the environment?
Fairmind is an organisation and assurance label that only works with empowered, responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organisations. According to Fairmined, they are backed by a rigorous 3rd party certification and audit system which meets world leading standards for responsible practices.
'Connection' Pendant Necklace - made from 18ct Fairmined Gold Vermeil
T-Bar 'Gratitude' Bracelet - made from 18ct Fairmined Gold Vermeil
Find out more about Fairmined and their initiatives here.