Marc Choyt and Greg Valerio are formally joining together with the hope of driving fairtrade jewellery into the mainstream US market, it has been announced.
Valerio will be the ambassador for Reflective Images, who will be the only exclusively fair-trade jewellery collection offered by an American jewellery company for the US market.
Choyt, president of the company, said: “Greg is the not only the first pioneer of ethical jewellery, but a social innovator and campaigner. With his knowledge, we’ll be able forge a stronger path to make Fairtrade Gold and gems the choice for ethically minded US consumers. Plus, Greg’s experience implementing fair-trade practices into artisanal mining communities will enable us to bring in new sources from producer communities around the world into our jewellery lines.”
Valerio believes that millennials in the US are ready for authentic ethically sourced jewellery. He said: “They understand that luxury fine jewellery has been a horrendous ecological disaster for the planet and its people. I have joined with Reflective Images because I recognise the deep integrity of their team, their passion for consumer excellence, and their commitment to construct change in the trade.”
Since their first meeting in the Madison Dialog Ethical Jewelry summit at World Bank in 2007, Valerio and Choyt have been working towards a fair-trade ethos which is ecologically responsible and beneficial to producer communities. They have collaborated on numerous projects and campaigns through their Fair Jewelry Action network.
Valerio aims to bring meaningful progress to the ethical jewellery space in the US, which is considered to be behind the UK and EU in industry understanding and consumer awareness. To address these issues, Valerio said one of his focuses will be to work with new designers who represent the future of the jewellery profession. He said: “We will create opportunity for new avant-garde jewellery designers who do not wish to compromise concerns for social and environmental justices in order to create extraordinary fine jewellery.”
Valerio will officially be joining Reflective Images Jewelry, the only licensed Fairtrade Gold jeweller in the USA, on October 1, 2016. At present, Reflective Images is integrating the Valerio product line via their online store.