|Marmalade Good as Gold
Local jeweller restates ethical standpoint
Following the recent screening on Channel 4 of the Dispatches ‘No Dirty Gold’ programme Marmalade in Turnham Green Terrace have made clear their position and ethical standpoint.
Store owner Simon told us, "We are very aware that the relationship between the jeweller, the client and their jewellery is a very precious one and one that needs careful management at all times. Marmalade has always been fastidious where we source our raw materials from in order that we can make and present jewellery that will be loved, confident in the knowledge that it has come from a ‘good’ place. We can confidently state that over 80% of the gold we use is from recycled sources, we only ever allow ‘conflict free diamonds’ into our supply chain and the platinum we use comes from sources that adhere to a set of ethical standards that outstrips many other similar operations."
Whilst there are many ethical issues involved with large-scale mining as there are with large scale farming, logging and manufacturing, they believe that the jewellery industry is taking significant steps to reduce the impact as much as possible.
Gold mining is vital to the fragile economies of the developing countries that collectively account for around two-thirds of global gold production. As well as generating export revenue, gold production also provides royalty and tax income for their governments; it fosters technology transfer, worker training and the development of a skilled workforce. It also brings substantial improvements in physical, social, legal and financial infrastructures. In many countries, gold mining is a foundation industry, providing the critical mass needed for the development of electricity and water supply and road and rail transport. The fact that there is this valuable raw material in developing countries helps pay for education, food and health care in communities where otherwise there would be none.
Newly mined gold whether large scale or artisanal mined, is critically important to countries such as Ghana, Mali and Peru who benefit from the investment and tax revenues generated. Artisanal miner’s lives depend on the sale of the gold they mine and whilst many developing countries have regulations to control and support artisanal mines, many small-scale mines are in fact illegal. This is true of many artisanal mines and while they continue to operate out with the formal sector, it will remain impossible to regulate their activities. To reduce the consumption of newly mined gold only pushes these communities deeper into poverty.
Organizations’ like the National Association of Goldsmiths and The British Jewellery Association, which together represent over 1900 British jewellery companies have long established standards and Ethics Working Committees in order to establish the traceability of gold supplies. Through their links with international bodies such as the World Jewellery Federation (CIBJO) and the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), both national bodies have sought to keep themselves fully informed on the progress that is being made towards an international fully transparent supply chain.
Simon added, "There are a number of initiatives in development that will offer either a chain of custody or a system of warranties that will provide even greater assurances that Members like Marmalade can pass on to our customers about the ethical credentials and history of their jewellery."
August 6, 2011