All That Glitters
All that glitters is not always gold – especially when you consider issues of exploitation, labour inequality and environmental degradation that unfortunately almost always go hand-in-hand with mining the precious metals. Originally from the UK and now based in Sydney, jeweller Zoe Pook is the first in Australia to use Fairtrade Certified white, yellow and rose gold for her new Fairtrade Gold Collection, which also uses diamonds mined locally and other gemstones including rubies and emeralds sourced from ethically operated mines around the world. The Fairtrade Collection of custom made rings sits nicely alongside Zoe’s already popular recycled quality scheme, which uses post-consumer metals (from vintage jewellery) to fashion new pieces. Fairtrade Certified Gold isn’t easy to come by – there are only a handful of small-scale, artisanal mines in the world that produce it. One of these, located in Sotrami, Peru, highlights labour rights and environmental protection as well as paying a fair price for gold to miners. Fairtrade certification for gold has been around since 2011 but has only just reached Australian shores, and earlier this year, Fairtrade Silver also made its debut in the UK. Let’s hope Zoe can set a glittering example for other jewellers at home and abroad.