The Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery team kicked off Fairtrade fortnight in style on February 29, with a breakfast led by Victoria Waugh of the Fairtrade Foundation.
The day also marked the start of the team’s ‘Miles for Miners’ challenge, to raise money for the Fairtrade gold miners of MACDESA, after their community was devastated by fire.
Speaking to Professional Jeweller about the initiative, owner Harriet Kelsall says: “A few months ago our wellbeing committee decided that they would like to raise money for Fairtrade because we are all so passionate about what the foundation are helping to achieve for farmers and miners. Some of us have met those miners and hear first-hand the difference that this has made to their lives.
“When we contacted the Fairtrade foundation about this, Victoria Waugh told us about the MACDESA fire and we were all very moved by this horrible event. Our wellbeing committee quickly decided that they would like to help our mining communities and they came up with the idea of the Miles for Miners project.”
The team will be walking, running and cycling the distance across Peru, a distance of about 1,554 miles.
“We have a ‘wellbeing committee’ in our company which we set up last year. This is a group of our team members from across the company who focus on things that we’d like to do to simultaneously improve our own wellbeing as individuals, as well as helping others in our wider communities. We all care about making a positive difference to the lives of others and so this is why, for us, it makes us feel better to help others whilst we also help ourselves keep fit and well. For example, the committee might suggest a sponsored sporting event to raise money for a charity or they might set up a local yoga class for both us and our local village to use.
Harriet continues: “Fairtrade really changes the lives of the people low down the supply chain; it means that they can achieve a fair and consistent price for their gold. This means that they can reliably put food on the table every day instead of this being dictated by the unfair and unpredictable price they can get at any one time. In addition the communities get to spend extra money on things that are important to them. In Peru they have decided to spend this on computers and educational toys for their school which are making a huge difference to the children’s education. It is important for those of us lucky enough to live so well to remember that sustainability is important to us too. If we get used to paying an unrealistically low price for our goods, then this is not sustainable for our own economy either as other communities develop and grow.
“It is amazing to be able to give something back to our miners at the best of times but especially now when they are really struggling in MACDESA after the fire. We have always believed that the best way to help is by taking small steps towards helping others wherever we can. These small steps really add up over the years and now we look back at all we have achieved and this makes us very proud of our company ethics and culture”
For more information about the company, visit www.hkjewellery.co.uk, or sponsor the team via www.justgiving.com/Harriet-Kelsall-Bespoke-Jewellery/