Fairtrade Q&A: Alan Frampton, Cred Jewellery

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The retailer on the rising public interest in FTFM metals.

Professional Jeweller’s March 2013 issue takes an in-depth look at the development of Fairtrade Fairmined gold in the UK, from client demand through to supply chain issues, pricing and marketing. Alan Frampton, director of ethical jewellery retailer and brand Cred Jewellery, shares his views on the demand for Fairmined metals in the UK.

Professional Jeweller: Cred Jewellery is known as a leader in ethical jewellery retail in the UK. How is consumer demand faring for Fairtrade Fairmined metals?
Alan Frampton: Cred offers solely Fairtrade and Fairmined or ethically-sourced jewellery. Last year our wedding ring sales were up 86%. The public are catching on to transparent and accountable sourcing as they do in other consumer sectors such as fresh produce and clothing. Over the past year we have specifically developed our design ranges and refined the price point, so customers are attracted to these, combined with the ethical credentials.

PJ: Cred also launched the first supply of Fairtrade Fairmined certified silver in the UK. Tell us more about this…
AF: We pioneered the accountable supply chain for gold, and we brought the first certified silver to the UK. Being able to offer third party accredited metals with a transparent supply chain has been the aim of Cred since its inception, and the Fairtrade and Fairmined mark for precious metals is currently the best for this.

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PJ: Does Cred Jewellery attract a particular type of customer?
AF: We find our wedding and engagement couples are ages 24 to 40, well educated, thoughtful, and usually are specifically searching for an ethical or Fairtrade ring. They are from a range of backgrounds, but are putting a lot of thought into the details of their wedding as a day full of symbolism and meaning. In Chichester the profile is more mixed, with some walk-in customer drawn to the price and design.

PJ: Where do you think the Fairtrade Fairmined offer could improve?
AF: Offering a transparent and accountable supply chain is expensive because of its integrity. This has to compete with cheap products made in Far East with no accreditation. We also need to raise awareness of the benefits to both consumer and miner.

PJ: As a retailer, but also jewellery wholesaler, what does Cred think needs to happen to raise awareness of FTFM metals and the ethical jewellery offer?
AF: High profile media programmes to raise awareness, and increased choice for consumers at good prices.
 

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