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Christmas proposals get ethical with ready-to-wear-rings
We know we shouldn't have favourites but sometimes we can't help it and Ingle & Rhode will become your favourite jeweller too when you set eyes on their new collection of ready-to-wear ethical engagement rings just launched this week.
This stunning new collection of 15 timeless engagement rings includes a range of styles spanning vintage, Art Deco, classic and contemporary made with certified Fairtrade or recycled gold and platinum, set with conflict-free diamonds from Canada and Australia and ethically sourced sapphires from Sri Lanka.
'Till now Ingle & Rhode has designed and made all it's exclusive jewellery to order but, due to many couples asking for ready-to-wear engagement rings, they thought it was high time they created a new collection of ready made rings so you can choose off the shelf, because, let's face it, when you want to go on bended knee spontaneously with ring in hand, the bespoke design process, which is still available of course, may not be for you.
So, if you're planning to pop the question, you can see the rings in all their glory at Ingle & Rhode's central London showroom, or buy your engagement ring directly off their website.
Tim Ingle, co-founder of Ingle & Rhode said of this new launch “We are very excited about the Ingle & Rhode Collection. While our bespoke business continues to go from strength to strength, we have always had clients come to us that would like to be able to choose a ready made ring, or who are unable to wait for a ring to be made to order. We've spent months designing and creating a collection that we believe will appeal to a very wide range of customers.”
And we think you should get online and visit www.ingleandrhode.co.uk/collection for more information about the new range and to see examples and videos of the exquisite designs before taking the plunge.
Glasswing Jewellery now in East sussex
Kate Pearse at Glasswing Jewellery recently told us that she is now settled with her jewelry workshop at the forest edge right in the very heart of the beautiful National South Downs Park in West Sussex. She says she has been totally blessed to have lived for the last ten years in Cornwall, a stunning, rugged and remote region in the UK, but is excited about a new environment and the inspiration it brings to her creative work.
Cornwall is where she collected most of the sea glass she uses in her jewellery, but following the big move, she is now the surrounded by a completely different countryside which continues to inform and inspire her lifestyle and work.
Kate and her family are passionate about getting out and exploring the countryside as often as possible and committed to promoting the protection of the environment. This, of course, is reflected in her workshop practice and the ethical jewellery she designs and produces which incorporates recycled metals and found materials.
Kate designs and creates wedding and engagement rings and will tailor them especially for you, even going so far as stamping a special message on the inside of the rings. Her wedding and committment sets made from one piece of recycled silver are going down a storm!
Her other jewellery includes sweet sea glass pendents that can make wonderful personalised thank you gifts for bridesmaids and mums. Although Kate is now in South East UK, she still works with brides countrywide and even as far afield as the US and Australia!
Ethical wedding rings that fit your ethical engagement ring
We're really excited to find out that brides with ethical values and unusual shaped engagement rings are no longer restricted to having to have a bespoke wedding ring made to match. CRED's new range of shaped wedding rings are made in Fairtrade gold or recycled platinum, and include shapes to fit a range of engagement ring settings, including their ever popular and quirky-shaped Princess Wrap.
These unique 'off-the-shelf' shaped wedding rings available in Fairtrade gold, will fit a wide range of engagement rings, not just those from the CRED, so are perfect for brides who have only recently discovered the availability of fairtrade.
Prices start from £290 for a ladies sweep wedding band.
See the selection on CRED's website.
CRED is also offering some fabulous rings in their spring promotion so check out their website for something you love.
Posted in Green Wedding Jewellery
Arabel Lebrusan's new collection of ethical and conflict free wedding rings
Fantastically creative award winning jewellery designer, and long time partner of Green Union, Arabel Lebrusan has just launched an exciting new collection of ethical wedding rings for couples with a conscience.
Arabel told us that the wedding bands have been inspired by both traditional and modern wedding symbolism and are made right here in the UK using mostly ethical resources.
The collection of six rings also includes the Beloved Ethical Diamond Wedding Ring, with a choice of one, three, five or eight diamonds, the Cherish Full Diamond Wedding Ring, a grain set, baroque-style band and the Promise Full Diamond Wedding Ring, a stunning channel set band. In-line with the big trend for more delicately sized wedding rings, the bands are available in a more slender 2mm width.
Arabel said: “As one of the first Fairtrade gold licencees I’m really excited about the launch of my new wonderfully charming and elegant wedding band collection, full of narrative and symbolism, which I’m proud to say has been made right here in the UK and produced using certified ethical resources.”
What’s not to love?
The jewelry collection will be available to purchase from the online boutique: www.arabellebrusan.com in May 2013.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Faritrade & Fairmined Gold revealed
At the end of last year April Doubleday, ethical jewellery designer of beautifully crafted Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold wedding and engagement rings told us she was about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. We asked her to tell us all about it on her return. Over to you April...
"Christmas 2012, after much planning my son and myself were heading out to Columbia.
I am a designer and maker of jewellery and have been using ethical gold and recycled silver since becoming a jeweller. From 2011 quite a lot of gold from the Choco Region of Columbia has been certified Fairtrade and Fairmined Ecological Gold.
Since 2006 I have been passionate about visiting the miners and the source of my gold, a dream that now, on Christmas Day flying into Bogotá, was going to be realised.
The Story of an Ethical Wedding Ring
Lovely couple Lottie & Derek threw a stunning cliff-top wedding in Devon last Summer (they were lucky with the weather!) and fairtrade jewellers CRED have just launched a video featuring the wedding, Derek sharing their proposal story, and the background of their CRED wedding & engagement rings:
CRED Jewellery, the original pioneers in fairtrade jewellery, proudly boasts a totally transparent ethical supply chain. But you won't find anything in their of wedding and engagement ring collections that isn't gorgeous and up-to-the-minute in design terms.
For more information on CRED's credentials and their jewellery collections, check out their website.
Or search our wedding directory for more eco friendly engagement and wedding rings.
Share the Love with an ethical engagement
It's Valentine Day tomorrow and maybe you've decided to pop the question? You're just going to use a curtain ring for the proposal and let her choose a ring, you may also be thinking she'll want to not only go ethical but also individual. Steer her in the direction of April Doubleday one of the jewellers who is leading the ethical pack with her individually designed hand crafted jewellery.
On the use of gold, she says "I only use 18ct FTFM Eco gold as I have to know where exactly the gold I use was mined, insisting that workers have been fairly paid and that their working conditions are safe, hygienic and humane. It's also essential for me to know that no child labour has been used in the extraction of the gold. I use Colombian gold which is Fair Trade accredited by the Cred Foundation. Greg Valerio of that organisation traces the gold from source to customer every step of the way."
Posted in Green Wedding Jewellery
In-CRED-ible ethical jewellery offers for Christmas!
And while we're on the subject of ethical jewellery we're excited to let you know that, in the lead-up to Christmas, Ethical Fashion Awards finalists CRED Jewellery are giving some amazing offers on their ethical jewelry collections.
CRED's fabulous ethical, fairmined and fairly traded engagement rings are on 10% discount for the rest of November. Go to CRED's website for more details.
In addition, CRED are also giving weekly promotions online and in their Chichester boutique.
Each Offer of the Week will give 20% off one of their ethical jewellery collections, while their Product of the Week will be an online exclusive, giving up to 25% off a specific product or set.
And to cap it all, LA Jewellery's recycled silver jewellery is 10% off until Christmas. You can find out more on CRED's website.
You can also find more ethical jewelry collections in our own wedding directory.
Ethical jewellery Christmas event
If you're not going to the Rolling Stones concert in London on the weekend of 24th and 25th November and you happen to be in or near North Devon, or if you fancy a country escape down to the West Country, then this is a must do...
April Doubleday is Devon's (and arguably one of the UK's) leading designer maker of ethical, Fairtrade and Fairmined jewellery, a leading light in all things conflict free. Not only that but her jewellery is contemporary, unique, individual and fabulous!
This is a wonderful opportunity to grab a beautiful bargain for Christmas or even for your forthcoming proposal. Don't miss it!
Ethical jubilee jewels fit for a Queen
CRED, the pioneer Fair Trade jewellery company that is constantly stepping up to the mark, is also bang on trend with their latest stunning Limited Edition Jubilee collection, launched yesterday.
We absolutely love this new range of jewellery, not only because it's a very wearable alternative to the 'commemorative mug' for stylistas, but the collection has design longevity and the individual pieces are definitely destined to become classic collectibles to hand down to the next generation without the risk of being damaged through use!
Inspired by British icons, and made from recycled silver, the set of three pieces includes a long-chain crown pendant and crown stud earrings, plus a statement ring set with stones in a choice of three pastels - colours that featured up and down the Spring/Summer 2012 catwalks.
Perfect either for everyday or occasion wear, and very affordable, we think these pieces would not only be a great alternative choice of affordable engagement pledge but also make ideal 'thank you' gifts for bridesmaids and mother-in-laws.
But they're only available until October 2012, so don't wait around, they will be gone in a jiffy!
For more information about this beautiful new collection, and to purchase an iconic heirloom, go to www.credjewellery.com.
Arabel Lebrusan's ethical jewellery
We're delighted to say that Arabel Lebrusan, previously Creative Director of Leblas Jewellery, has re-emerged under her own label to offer couples the same iconic and uniquely ethical pieces (worn by the likes of Princess Letizia of Spain and Sienna and Savannnah Miller) that we had become familiar with. Arabel’s statement jewellery is a mix of delicate metal latticework and excellence of craftsmanship with ethics at its core.
One of the first licensees for Fairtrade and Fairmined gold, Arabel offers a great collection of ethical gold wedding and engagement rings, plus her renowned bespoke service. All her jewelry is made using Canadian diamonds, Fairtrade gemstones and Ecological Fairtrade and Fairmined gold.
Fabulous ethical wedding ring offer - 30% discount!
CRED Jewellery are offering Green Union readers a fabulous 30% off their bestselling Fairtrade classic court wedding rings. The original and best, as the well known phrase goes!
Use voucher code GULOVES for 30% off CRED court wedding rings, meaning the prices start at just £196, why are you waiting!
CRED's court wedding ring comes in 18ct Fairtrade gold and you can choose either classic yellow gold or a more contemporary white gold in a Matt or Polished finish, allowing you to get the complimentary match for your engagement ring.
Has the Kimberley Process been undermined?
The recent news, reported to us recently by Ingle & Rhode, that Zimbabwe will once again be included within the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is hugely disappointing.
The Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe contain the most significant find of diamonds the world has seen for many years. Since 2009 these diamonds had been refused Kimberley Process (KP) accreditation as a result of human rights abuses and alleged non-compliance with the KP certification requirements.
Ethical jewellery bargains
We are very sad to announce the closure of one of our lovely ethical jewellers, Leblas Fine Jewellery, due to family pressures.
Leblas is an ethical fine jewellery boutique founded by Arabel Lebrusan and Clare Winfield in 2008. They put heaps of energy into creating a range of wedding and engagement rings using 100% recycled silver and 18ct yellow and white gold. They also sourced Canadian traceable diamonds that are conflict free and ethically mined.
But its not all bad news as they now have a CLOSING DOWN SALE and are offering up to 30% off all wedding and engagement rings while stocks last!
Hurry over to their website to find out more ... www.leblas.com
Posted in Green Wedding Jewellery
Celebrate Fair Trade Gold
With Fair Trade Fortnight just round the corner it seems the perfect time to tell you about the recent launch of the new Fair-trade Gold standard for jewellery. Its been a long time coming but now we're delighted to tell you it's become a reality.
February 14th 2011 marked the launch of Fair mined and Fair-trade gold, an exciting prospect for the jewellery industry, and one that we have long supported. Historically, gold mining has been a harsh and often unfair business for artisanal miners who are often left at the mercy of unfair supply chains making it difficult to get a fair price. Thanks to the new Fair-trade gold system, each stage of the gold mining process is monitored to ensure the money that the consumer spends will genuinely go back to those who worked to extract the gold from the earth.
To mark this positive development, one of our favourite jewellers, Leblas has just launched its latest collection of beautiful, timeless wedding bands for 2011. Each ring is made using fair trade white or yellow gold and conflict-free Canadian sourced diamonds. With rings starting from £220 right through to 18ct wedding bands, so whatever your budget, you can own a stunning wedding ring, safe in the knowledge that it has been responsibly and ethically mined.
Perfect rings for a perfect match
Valentines day is fast approaching, a busy time for proposals and, since Wills popped the question to Kate with that sapphire ring, it seems alternative coloured gemstones are all the rage for engagements.
And with impeccable timing CRED have launched their Eden range of engagement and wedding rings with a fabulous collection of traceable and naturally coloured stones set in Oro Verde Fair Trade 18 ct green gold and platinum.
They’re not only gorgeous but also ethical and completely comparative in price to un-ethical rings!
Ethical diamonds are a girl's best friend - 15% discount!
Following Prince William's proposal to Kate Middleton with his mother's sapphire engagement ring, alternative gemstones will be all the rage for engagements in 2011, and we think ethical diamonds are a part of that alternative choice.
Brides determined to express their individual style and avoid conflict diamonds are demanding rings designed with Canadian traceable diamonds, synthetic diamonds and traceable coloured stones like sapphires, amethysts, emeralds and rubies.
The Leblas Ethical Jewellery boutique in Chelsea, London, who is offering all our readers a 15% discount on any purchase in their boutique, has a unique variety of gorgeous wedding, engagement, and commitment rings. They are committed to providing high quality design as well as upholding a clear ethical stance: making modern designed jewellery through sustainable practices.
Ethical jewelry Holiday sale & party
One of our favourite ethical jewellers from across the pond, Bario-Neal is holding a Holiday sale over the next few days, with a generous 35% off their Boutique Jewelry. Until Thursday 16th December just use the code BNHOLIDAY at the checkout on their website and bobs your uncle!
And if you happen to be in Philadelphia this Thursday you are also invited to their Holiday Party, sponsored by the Philadelphia Brewing Co., with special guests Loop handcrafted Paper & Marina Borker Stained Glass.
Enjoy snacks, complimentary beer, and 35% off all Bario-Neal boutique jewelry, 20% off Loop Wrapping Paper, and 15% on Marina Borker stained glass votives and ornaments.
Thursday December 16th from 5.30pm to 9.30pm at Bario-Neal Studio & Showroom, 700 South 6th Street, corner of 6th & Bainbridge. 215.454.2164
Ethical jewellery shop opens in Philadelphia
As many of you may know, this spring our favourite stateside ethical jeweller, Bario Neal, started renovating an old skateboard shop to create their first store and open workshop. They have just let us know that the renovations are now complete and they had a grand opening of their brand new store last Saturday.
We were really sorry not to have been able to be there to celebrate on such a great occasion, but everyone here at GU HQ wish them every success in their new venture.
If you live nearby do pop along and see designers Anna Bario and Page Neal handcrafting beautiful jewelry with reclaimed precious metals and ethically-sourced stones using low-impact, environmentally conscious practices in Philadelphia.
For more information, contact Bario-Neal Jewelry at 215.454.2164 or visit their website bario-neal.com
Ethical pearls on sale!
Mai Pearls is throwing a sizzling summer sale for the next 72 hours so if you haven't already chosen the jewellery for your upcoming green wedding, take time out to search the pearl chest for fabulous bargains!
All the pearls used within the Mai Pearls collection are Chinese farmed freshwater pearls and each piece of jewellery is handmade by a small group of mainland Chinese women. Mai Pearls supports fair trade and local community initiatives. This means that they ensure their suppliers are paid fair wages for their work; working conditions are safe and of a good standard and no children are exploited.
Mai Pearls also gives 10% of it's profits to Operation Blessings, Chinese orphan care program.
For more information and to take advantage of this great summer offer go to www.maipearls.co.uk.
20% discount off ethical wedding & engagement rings
We're delighted to announce that Leblas Ethical Jewellery is offering GreenUnion visitors a 20% discount off all its ethical wedding and engagement rings until 31st July 2010. For more information and to take advantage of this offer go to their website www.leblas.com and quote promotional code “greenunion”.
You can choose from their unique collection of ethical wedding, engagement and commitment rings which are all made using only recycled 18ct white and yellow gold, traceable gemstones, and conflict-free diamonds. Every ring is made with traditional artistry and modern design.
With their 4 distinct band shapes: Almond, Together, Round, and Double Leblas carries a unique variety of beautiful diamond sets, such as “The Leaf Diamond Band” and “The Double Diamond” - this season’s hottest sellers.
Fair trade jewellery on show
We're celebrating the very first international collective show of the best designers in the emerging ethical jewellery movement.
ESSENCE, hosted by CRED, is a space set aside to showcase a group of designers who share the vision that sustainable products do not have to sacrifice design or quality and are committed to sourcing all their materials and managing their business in a way that is socially, environmentally and culturally responsible.
ESSENCE is part of the Treasure exhibition, a centrepiece for London Jewellery Week, and is showcasing leading ethical jewelry designers including GreenUnion partners April Doubleday, Leblas and CRED's own stunning designer collections made from Oro Verde Fair Trade gold and platinum, recycled silver plus a range of jewellery from 6 emerging student designers from London Metropolitan University. All these dedicated and committed ethical jewellers offer stunning bridal collections and prices start from just £20.
New ethical jeweller joins us!
Today we are delighted to welcome Ness Bird Jewellery to our Wedding Directory. Ness Bird, a jewelry maker based in Glastonbury, Somerset, carefully hand crafts fairtrade bespoke wedding and engagement rings.
Ness also produces the Finger Print Ring, a signature jewel. The ultimate in personal jewellery captures dynamic details of your loved one's fingerprint which creates the design of the ring. Ness only uses gold, silver and platinum sourced from socially and environmentally responsible mines.
Generous jewellery offer for World Fair Trade Day
Celebrate World Fair Trade Day this Saturday 8th May by choosing some great fashion picks from CRED Jewellery.
Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to get a fair deal from one of our favourite fair trade jewellers. CRED Jewellery are offering an amazing 20% off on their Silver collections and 10% off on their Fair Trade Gold collections for this weekend only.
To take part in CRED's World Fair Trade Day Promotion just shop on line.
PLEASE NOTE: the full price will show on checkout but you will find the discount has been calculated and confirmed on your confirmation email. If you are unsure just phone 01243 773588 or email email@example.com to place your order.
Gold can't get fairer than this
Congratulations to Greg Valero and CRED!
Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) have announced the long-awaited launch of the first international independent third-party certification for gold production.
The new Fairtrade and Fairmined standards will mean that millions of impoverished artisanal small-scale miners around the world will be able to receive independent certification and recognition for their efforts, bringing economic security to millions of families and their communities around the world.
Yesterday CRED told us "We have long recognised the value in knowing exactly where our gold comes from, the way it was mined and all the hands it has passed through. Along with our mining partners Oro Verde we have championed the cause of the artisanal miner and the Fair Trade approach that seeks to put control back in the hands of the producer and pay a Fair Price for their work."
Turn heads with a statement ring
One of the biggest fashion trends this season is Statement Jewellery. Statement rings are all about standing out from the crowd and exhibiting your glamorous side.
Nothing makes more of an impact than one of these bold and sumptuous Statement Rings from CRED. These rings are in every sense the epitome of glamour and elegance; each crafted in stunning 18ct Fair Trade Oro Verde Gold and Platinum, set with ethically-sourced precious gemstones and diamonds.
Find out more information and prices by going to CRED's website www.credjewellery.com, or visiting their Boutique in Chichester or their new London Studio.
Fabulous wedding jewellery offer!
To celebrate their 'union' with us, ethical jewellers Leblas are offering our readers a fabulous 25% discount if you order an ethical engagement ring or wedding ring from them.
Your engagement and wedding are special and precious moments in life so you will want to choose a special ring to mark the occasion. Leblas jewellery creates beautiful and socially responsible ethical engagement and wedding rings. They use conflict-free diamonds, and recycled precious white and yellow gold for their jewellery. Choose from their range of contemporary ethical diamond rings and wedding bands, or get your discount on a custom made bespoke ring if you order before 31st January 2010.
Claim your 25% discount by entering the code 'Green Union' at checkout on the Leblas website or find out more by visiting their boutique on Sloane Street, London, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling them for a chat on 020 7730 3418.
Don't forget to quote 'Green Union' when you purchase or commission your engagement ring or wedding band!
Offer lasts until 31st January 2010.
Bario-Neal Holiday Jewelry Sale
Bario-Neal Jewelry, our friends from across the 'pond', are wishing you all Happy Holidays with this fantastic offer!
In the holiday spirit, they are offering all website customers 50% off a purchase of $150 or more from the Alluvial, Camac, & Base Ten Collections.
Visit www.bario-neal.com and use the discount code holiday150 when checking out.
Hurry though - the 50% discount is only valid until Saturday December 12th.
Deal of the Day!
Bario-Neal & Lucky Magazine Knottedrush Ring Deal of the Day!
Starting today until tomorrow 25 September 2009 at midnight US time, in collaboration with Lucky Magazine, Bario-Neal are offering 50% off their Knottedrush Ring in silver and 10kt gold.
Visit bario-neal.com and enter the discount code luckydaily3 when checking out to receive your discount.
We're so loving Lorna Henderson's sublimely beautiful and affordable range of bright jewels. Expertly and lovingly crafted by Lorna herself in Bedfordshire, right here in the UK, she creates intricate designs of semi-precious gems woven amongst hand forged silver flowers and delicately strung between silver links.
What we especially love about this new range is that you can splash out on a statement piece for yourself like the Rose Quartz Flower Cluster Bracelet, or you can afford to buy all your bridesmaids a beautiful Gem Twister Necklace as a gift.
The colourful collection includes, crystals, blues, citrus, pinks and pearls.
‘I like to think of my jewels as works of art that can adorn the body, which have life, are unusual and make the wearer happy,’ says Lorna.
Go to our Eco Chic Boutique to view the whole collection.
Congratulations to Michelle from Preston who has won our fantastic jewellery prize draw competition in assoiciation with Cred the fair trade jeweller. This gorgeous silver ring will be winging its way to you very soon!
A big thank you to all who participated. If you want to verify your participation in this draw you can do so by clicking on the following link:
Our fantastic jewellery prize draw competition, in association with fair trade jewellers Cred, closes at midnight tonight so if you haven't already answered to two easy peasy questions we put, don't delay. Get answering!
There's not much time left for the chance to win this elegant and contemporary recycled silver, satin finished ring worth £70.00. To find out more, and enter our competition, just click here.
The winner will be announced tomorrow, so check in and find out if you were the lucky one!
Fantastic jewellery prize draw competition!
Moody, morose skies and wintery coastlines are captured in this elegant and contemporary recycled silver, satin finished ring. The sensitive and sculptural design evokes the power of the waves through its free flowing form.
The ring, designed by Laura Strand, is part of CRED's Graduate Collection featuring the work of four designers who were winners of their Responsible Jewellery Design Competition which was set to the students of Central St Martin's in London.
For a chance to win this gorgeous and uniquely designed recycled silver ring worth £70.00 all you need to do is answer the following two questions correctly:
1. What principal chemical is used in the processing of gold from large scale mining?
2. What principal chemical is used in the processing of gold from small scale mining?
Competition closes midnight GMT 13th July 2009. By entering this competition you agree to be bound by our competition terms & conditions.
The Purest Jewellery in the World
We're absolutely delighted, this month, to have partnered with CRED, the original fair trade jewellers with a passion for beauty fashioned from fair trade and environmentally responsible materials. It is simply the purest jewellery in the world.
And to give you more of an insight we asked Greg Valerio, founder of CRED, to tell us a bit more about how his company ticks. Over to you Greg ...
Jewellery that leaves an environmental legacy
Buying jewellery is the most personal purchase one ever makes. What you wear speaks to the world of what is intimately valuable to you. It is a timeless purchase that should reflect the values you aspire to; personal expression, freedom of choice, social and environmental well-being and exquisite beauty. CRED is the fair trade jeweller who understands these values as we have been pioneering ethical and environmentally responsible jewellery since 1996. For us the inherent beauty and value of jewellery rests not only in its exquisite design but also in the social and environmental footprint it leaves. This we believe is what beauty is all about and we have found that our customers share these important values.
The ring, the ring my kingdom for a ring!!
Probably the hardest jewellery purchase I think I’ll ever make, mostly because I will wear it every day for the rest of my life… no pressure then.
Although I didn’t go for incorporating the vintage stones I had wanted originally, I feel now I made the right choice, knowing that my ring has been crafted locally, handmade by a local craftsman who I have met and who has helped me make my ring a reality. It's something I’m very happy with, et vola!
Posted by Esther - Blogger Bride
Is your wedding ring dirty?
With the wedding season getting well under the way, you're probably thinking about that little band of gold, the symbol of our marriage vows. But before you plump for that potent icon, you may want to know an itsy bit more about the true cost of dirty gold mining.
Watch No Dirty Gold campaigners, community members and jewellery retailers on the Sundance Channel's series, Ecotrip: the Real Cost of Living. Starting today, the series will air its "gold ring" episode chronicling the environmental and community impacts of gold mining.
Holiday discounts from Bario-Neal
Happy Holidays from Bario-Neal!
For the month of December, in the holiday spirit, Bario-Neal are offering all customers a 35% discount on any jewellery from the Alluvial & Camac Collections. You can visit their website at www.bario-neal.com & use the discount code BN35OFF when checking out.
Also tomorrow 11 December they will be at Arcadia Boutique in Philadelphia for a holiday trunk show from 6-9 pm. They are also part of a holiday sale at Secret Project Robot from 11am - 7pm in Brooklyn on Saturday the 13th.
Bario-Neal jewellery is handcrafted in Philadelphia with reclaimed precious metals; ethically-sourced stones; and low-impact, environmentally conscious practices. 1% of all Bario-Neal profits is donated to the Association for Responsible Mining.
Ethical jewellery practices
So it's always a worry that the jewels you choose could hold some dark and dirty secret. If you are determined to be as eco conscious as possible with your wedding plans and outfits, then the only way to be sure that your engagement rings and committment bands have come from completely ethical sources is to buy from a totally transparent company.
Bario-Neal is one of these. A collaborative work of designers Anna Bario and Page Neal who handcraft all their jewellery in Philadelphia, USA. Bario-Neal promotes total transparency, fair trade initiatives and the development of third party certification systems for ethical jewellery.
Their gorgeous collection is made from reclaimed metals derived from recycled jewellery or industrial materials, while diamonds and gems are sourced from the Tanzania Women Miners Association, TAWOMA. They sell on line but if you want to take a peek at their work and you just happen to be in New York, they'll be at the Metal Pop Up Shop opening at the Tribeca Issey Miyake Flagship store from 7th to 15th November.
Posted in Green Wedding Jewellery
Illegal gold mining crisis
Gold prices have trebled over the last five years. As a result, mining corporations have found it worth moving into remote and sometimes unstable parts of the world. Sometimes, this attracts them into a previously unexplored area and leads to them encroaching onto the territory of artisanal miners, while at other times local people are attracted by the activity of the big company.
The result can be violent confrontations between mine security and illegal miners. Moreover, since illegal mining is unregulated, it is often carried out in extremely dangerous conditions – fatalities are not uncommon. At least six illegal miners, aged between 14 and 20, died at AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine in Ghana in the last month, officials have said.
Sarah & Paul
We're all thinking hugely positive thoughts for Sarah and Paul's wedding this Saturday and watching the weather anxiously because even though nothing will dampen their love, or the day itself, a little bit of sunshine will warm everyone's cockles.
Sarah, a homeopath and course co-ordinator and her partner Paul, an orthodontist live on the beautiful North Devon coast with their three sons Ben, Toby and Harry. They’ve chosen to have a truly local and eco friendly wedding by conducting a spiritual woodland wedding ceremony at Coombe Farm near Tiverton, where they will be joined by family and friends for a mini festival celebration of camping, local food, flowers and music.
Sarah says: “We wanted to have a green wedding because that’s generally the way we live our lives anyway. We like to avoid excess, we’re not big consumers and we want to minimise our impact on the environment. The wedding industry is so full of wastage. It’s not good for the world and it’s not good for us. We’re not being evangelical about it but we have three children and we are aware of our impact on their future.
Our wedding is just one small thing, but think of the impact and the number of people we could influence by setting an example.” And instead of having a wedding gift list, their guests are being encouraged to offset the carbon miles they have generated to attend the wedding by paying for trees to be planted by the Woodland Trust.
Keeping the local theme, Sarah's engagement ring was made specially for her by April Doubleday, a British Designer/Maker of contemporary, fair trade and ethical jewellery who also lives on, and gets her inspiration from, the North Devon Coast. The image above shows examples of April's fabulous new collection of Ethical Wedding Rings.
This image of a beautiful bride listening to her husband's wedding vows illustrates how simple ear studs and a string of pearls can perfectly finish off a modern bride's outfit.
Mai Pearls have made it their business to source a range of hand made classic and contemporary pearl jewellery ethically, by only buying from two small groups of skillful Chinese women. Henrietta, founder of Mai Pearls, personally travels to China every year to place her orders and donates 10% of all profits to Operations Blessings care programs. These programs are available for China’s needy, handicapped, orphans, and children suffering from various diseases. For more information on the charity visit www.obchina.org.
Give a little back by choosing gorgeous freshwater pearls in every hue, bracelets, earrings, necklaces - the world's your oyster!
Posted in Green Wedding Jewellery
We're really excited to hear that our partners Cred Jewellery are working hard with the Fairtrade Foundation (FF) and the Association for Responsible Mining (ARM) to find a way to certify a 'Green Gold' collection of jewels.
Some while back Cred formed a partnership with miners in a cooperative in Choco, an underdeveloped region in northeast Colombia, called the Green Gold (‘Oro Verde‘) project and the FF is now exploring how to develop the concept of ethical gold with ARM. Hopes are to be able to extend its successful labelling scheme to gold in the foreseeable future.
‘If we get a positive board decision to proceed with Fairtrade labelled gold, then depending on the outcome of the pilot studies to date, it would be likely that the first certified gold will be available during 2009,’ said Fairtrade Foundation policy and producer relations officer Chris Davis.
So if you're a girl and planning to pop the question to your beau this leap year it won't be possible to buy Fairtrade gold to mark the occasion. But you will be able to find an ethical alternative in our list of jeweller partners who all use recycled gold and ethically sourced stones in their jewellery.
Posted in Green Wedding Jewellery
Now you've decided to tie the knot, and if a ring hasn't already been produced, you may be thinking of not only going ethical but also individual. April Doubleday is leading the pack with her individually hand crafted ethical jewellery.
On the use of gold, she says "I only gold plate (rather than making things from solid gold), which doesn't deplete the earth's resources, and I have to know where exactly the gold I use was mined, insisting that workers have been fairly paid and that their working conditions are safe, hygienic and humane. It's also essential for me to know that no child labour has been used in the extraction of the gold. I use Colombian gold which is Fair Trade accredited by the Cred Foundation. Greg Valerio of that organisation traces the gold from source to customer every step of the way."
Posted in Green Wedding Jewellery
Peace Love Earth
Our incredibly talented partner Anna Mkhitarian who makes fabulous eco chic wedding dresses under her label Annatarian, has just launched a range of whistful jewellery made from .925 recycled pure sterling silver. Called Peace Love Earth, Anna says "the jewelry was inspired by a need to provoke thought about these three words: PEACE, LOVE, and EARTH and is designed to inspire positive change."
Check out these cute Seven Wishes Bracelets inspired by Armenian traditional wish bracelets, Victoria Foraker, and fairies. The little charms, suspended on surplus string and presented in the gorgeous sealed boxes, make perfect favours or gifts for your bridesmaids.
All Anna's jewellery is made in Los Angeles, California under sweatshop free conditions.
Brand new ethical jeweller launches
We've teamed up with brand new ethical jeweller Ingle & Rhode and we give them our wholehearted support as they launch their range of beautiful, design-led eco jewellery, with its socially and environmentally responsible sourcing and production policies.
The launch of Ingle & Rhode is another step in the right direction for an industry fraught with exploitation and controversy and we welcome their efforts to reduce the three main problems facing the jewellery industry: human exploitation, conflict diamonds, and environmental damage. Through painstaking research, Ingle & Rhode have put together a supply chain that guarantees clients can trace the provenance of all metals and gemstones used.
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