By Chere Di Boscio
The number of ethical jewellers may be growing, but CRED Jewellery are pioneers in Fairtrade jewellery. Founded in 1996, the company boasts a transparent, ethical supply chain, resulting in the creation of beautifully designed jewellery collections.
They first caught my attention when I saw a ring someone pinned onto a Pinterest board. Its deep purple amethyst stone was cut to give the illusion of a black dot in the centre; I immediately thought it looked like a tiny, perfect violet embedded in a gold setting, and pinned the piece myself. Clicking on the Pinterest image, I was led to the CRED jewellery website, where I learned about their ethical credentials, and an obsession was born.
CRED are certainly environmentally friendly jewellers, because they don’t source their materials from large, open-pit mines, and because they use 100% recycled silver in their non-gold jewellery. However, they are also probably one of the most people-friendly companies around, thanks to their support artisanal mining communities: not only does CRED only use metals and stones sourced from small mines, but they also offer fair trade and ethically sourced precious metals the the jewellery trade on the whole .
For example, they supply Ecological Fair Trade Gold from the rainforests of Columbia to other jewellery manufacturers. This gold is certified to an even higher standard than Fair Trade Gold, and having artesanal miners source gold from streams rather than large mines not only helps save the forests from being cut down, as the surrounding communities make a better living from gold than timber, but also saves the region from being destroyed by the extractive industries. The company says: “We pay a premium for our gold, which is paid directly to the miners and goes into a community pot to provide for education and development in the community.” Good for people, good for the rainforest.
And with that artesanal gold, CRED fashions bases for elegant, classic pieces: wedding bands, engagement rings and other fine jewellery that can be passed down from generation to generation as a reminder of the importance of not only our familiar, but ecological heritage.