Harriet Kelsall named RJC’s first indie member

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Bespoke jeweller encourages other small business to get certified.

Bespoke jeweller Harriet Kelsall has achieved the Responsible Jewellery Council’s (RJC) certification, meeting the ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by the RJC’s Member Certification System, becoming the first independent jeweller to do so.

Kelsall was audited by Roshini Wickramsinghe from SGS, one of the RJC’s third-party auditing firms. Michael Rae, chief executive of the RJC said: “RJC is indeed delighted to congratulate Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design Ltd on its certification.”

The designer says she is proud to be part of the RJC and wants to urge other designers and independent companies to consider becoming members.

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“Earlier this year we became one of the first 20 jewellers in the UK to be able to work in Fairtrade gold and we are noticing a rise in customers who are requesting their jewellery to be made from ethical and sustainable materials,” said Harriet Kelsall, founder of Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design.

“The Responsible Jewellery Council’s member certification system is an excellent initiative of which we are proud to be a part and we would strongly urge other organisations in the jewellery industry to strive to achieve RJC certification.”

Kelsall has approached Simon Rainer, chief executive of the British Jewellers’ Association (BJA), with a view to producing a guide to help other small UK jewellery businesses with getting certified by the RJC.

"Harriet emphasized that she feels strongly that the BJA and/or the NAG need to produce some documentation with pointers on relevant UK legislation, as she is keen to try to do what she can to help other UK small businesses get certified” explained Rainer.

“We are keen to work on this information once we have gathered a group of BJA members keen to get certified. Harriet has, once again, blazed a significant trail here that others must follow. The first UK independent jeweller achieving RJC certification is very important – especially within the current industry context. I am delighted at this news and look forward to other BJA members following suit.”

Michael Hoare, the chief executive of the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) also spoke about Kelsall’s achievement, recognising the changes within the UK jewellery industry and beyond over the past decade.

“Many more miners, raw material processors, designers and jewellers want to act responsibly and ethically, and with due respect for the planet and the people that populate it. In that time there has also been a flourishing of ethical initiatives touching on all levels and segments of the sector,” said Hoare.

“However the supply chain is very complex with a proliferation of companies and individuals playing their part in bringing products to market. The result is a complex web of sometimes complimentary, sometimes conflicting, and often overlapping schemes, each with their own priorities, timescales, and ultimate objectives. The RJC is the first to bring an integrated certification scheme from mine to retail, and Harriet is in the vanguard of UK retailers achieving that standard.”

Kelsall was this year named a Retail Star in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 as one of the first ever bespoke jewellers working in the UK, and one of the 20 companies to be chosen to work with Fairtrade Fairmined gold, as announced in February this year.

She has been awarded Jewellery Business Initiative of the Year at UK Jewellery Awards and was named Woman of the Year 2011 at the Specsavers Everywoman in Retail Awards in September.

 

 

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