Milestone for ethical jewelry: Fairmined Gold now available in North America

Milestone for ethical jewelry: Fairmined Gold now available in North America

The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) is happy to announce that Fairmined metals are now available to ethical jewelers in North America through FairSources, the recent joint venture between the Fair Trade Jewellery Company (Canada) and S&P Trading (Gold by Gold group — France). The availability of Fairmined Gold on the North American market represents a monumental achievement not only for the fair jewelry movement, but for Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASM) globally.

FairSources is the first authorized trader of Fairmined Gold in America, and their recent success merges the world’s largest consumer market for fairly traded goods with one of the world’s largest consumer markets for jewelry. Offering Fairmined Gold to North American markets was a deliberate and intuitive step for both the Fair Trade Jewellery Company, whose exemplary business model operates in an ethical and responsible manner; and for S&P Trading, whose strategy is to promote certified responsible precious metals from ASM globally.

The arrival of Fairmined Gold to the U.S. and Canada will improve the livelihoods of two ASM communities in Peru, Sotrami and Aurelsa; and the Cotapata Cooperative in Bolivia. All three communities thrive at high altitudes, in harsh conditions where mining has historically been the only stable livelihood. These communities often lived and worked in impoverished dangerous conditions, lacking the ability to improve their circumstances. However, with the support of the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), its local partners Red Social and Cumbre del Sajama and its global network, all three communities have worked diligently to achieve the Fairmined certification and now offer socially, environmentally and sustainably produced gold to cutting-edge ventures like FairSources.

FairSources will be offering the following Fairmined casting grains Gold from Sotrami, Aurelsa and Cotapata: 18K gold (yellow, nickel white, nickel free white with palladium) and 14K gold (yellow and nickel white). The silver and palladium used in the alloys are from consumer recycling sources. FairSources will also be ushering Fairmined Silver on to the market in the near future in addition to other Gold alloys according to demand.

In addition to casting grain, FairSources will be offering finished semi-mounts and wedding bands to retail jewelers as well as white-label contract manufacturing for chains and brand holders.

Commenting on the arrival of Fairmined gold to North America, Executive Director for the Alliance for Responsible Mining, Lina Villa Cordoba says:

“For several years North American jewelers have been working to make Fairmined gold available to their markets. The recent arrival of the gold is a great achievement that offers ASM miners the opportunities they deserve for sustainable livelihoods and ensuring them that their diligent efforts to mine in a socially and environmentally responsible manner will be recognized and rewarded.”

Commenting on FairSources’s pioneering efforts, the founders expressed:

“This initiative is important because it makes sourcing easier for all jewellers. Our goal has always been to expand market access for responsibly sourced minerals.  With ARM’s new Fairmined standard, we can continue our mission using their expansive framework for licensing.  In the end it’s really about helping these mining communities and making consumers feel confident about their jewellery again.” said Ryan Taylor, Co-Founder & Chief Designer of the Fair Trade Jewellery Co.

“We are excited to have a continued presence in Canada while also opening the U.S. market to artisanal miners who have made the effort to extract gold responsibly whilst breaking the vicious circle of poverty in their community. We are proud to partner with Fair Trade Jewellery Co. an organisation who pioneered certified and responsibly sourced jewellery. By launching a new line of products tailored specially for jewellers, artists and manufacturers they can continue to offer luxury goods traced refined and fabricated in our certified refinery to a wider audience.” said Patrick Schein, founder and CEO of S&P Trading (Gold by Gold group).

ARM continues to work with various actors in North America to increase market opportunities for the Fairmined certified mining communities. The Fairmined certification has served to bolster livelihoods and sustainable development internationally, and jewelers and companies are encouraged to register with ARM and obtain their Fairmined license to continue supporting ARM’s powerful impact and innovative work with ASM miners worldwide.

Photo: ARM