FACETS PR held a press conference and jewellery showcase in central London yesterday (Oct 15), focusing on the arrival of Fairtrade gold from East Africa.
The inspiring event highlighted to retailers, jewellery designers and the press, the increased availability of Fairtrade gold and called on them to help campaign and support the mining communities across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Representatives from the UK’s Fairtrade Foundation, Fairtrade Africa and leading UK jewellery designers gathered to discuss Fairtrade metals and how Fairtrade is benefiting communities across the world during a panel led by Sarah Carpin.
The panel included Alan Frampton of Fairtrade gold wholesaler and ethical jeweller Cred Jewellery, Judith Lockwood of Fairtrade gold brand Arctic Circle Diamonds, NAJ chief executive Michael Rawlinson, ethical entrepreneur Liz Earle MBE, Ugandan mine worker Josephine Aguti and Fairetrade gold manager Gonzaga Mungai.
Everyone on the panel shared their story and passion to see the jewellery industry offer Fairtrade gold, calling on retailers to tell customer’s about the Fairtrade option, and the press to share with consumers that Fairtrade gold is now highly available and a viable option for their engagement rings and wedding bands.
Notably, Josephine Aguti moved the crowed with her inspiring and helpful insight into what it is really like to be a mine worker. She expressed: “It’s a hard life, you work the whole day. It’s not easy. We’ve lost men, women and children.”
Aguti shared that before Fairtrade came along to support them, the miners had no idea of the danger of mercury. When it was revealed to them the room fell silent. They had pregnant women and children working with mercury, with no idea of the effects it could have.
Speaking of her hopes for the future now that her mine is going through Fairtrade accreditation, Aguti said: “I am seeing a bright future for my family.”
Keynote speaker and beauty entrepreneur Liz Earle spoke about her move into jewellery, using the event to launch her first jewellery collection – Botany – inspired by flowers and crafted in Fairtrade metals in collaboration with Cred Jewellery.
The press conference also gave Lockwood an opportunity to share her personal story of going to visit a Fairtrade mine in Tanzania.
It is clear the panels’ message was heard as the crowd engaged with questions and answers afterwards.
After the conference guests were invited to have a look at Fairtrade gold and Fairtrade silver jewellery collections from Annaloucah, Arabel Lebrusan, Arctic Circle, Cred Jewellery, Hockley Mint, Jon Dibben, Liz Earle, Mastercut, September Rose, Sorrel Bay and Tessa Packard for House of Eleonore.