Jewellery and watch companies need to do more to ensure that their supply chains are free of human rights abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report today…
The subject of ethical and fair production lies at the heart of everything award-winning jeweller, Arabel Lebrusan, does.
A passionate champion for the ethical and Fairtrade cause for as long as she can remember and recently awarded UK Jewellery Designer of the Year 2017, by The National Association of Jewellers, she was one of the original group of jewellery designers consulted when the Fairtrade Gold certification was first introduced to the UK.
“We were a group of ethics fanatics that wanted to change the way things were done in the jewellery world”, she says. “Thankfully things have improved significantly since then, but there is a lot of work to be done to change how the jewellery industry works.”
Ethical practice, including rights for workers and Fairtrade sourcing of materials is now an intrinsic part of her successful brand. Every Arabel Lebrusan piece is crafted from only 100% Fairtrade or recycled precious metals and ethically sourced gemstones.
Having visited mining areas and production lines around the world, Arabel has experienced the environmental impact of intense mining and witnessed the challenges faced by local communities that are struggling to compete with huge mining corporations.
“The availability of Fairtrade Gold has given jewellers an opportunity to choose and yet so many still work with untraceable gold, which can often be tainted by unethical practices, such as child labour”, she says.
“It’s so important to me that consumers understand the issues. I feel certain that most people would be horrified to think that their beautiful ring or pendant had come such a high cost.
“Fairtrade, traceable gold sustains whole communities and has a beautiful and empowering story behind it. To me the choice is simple.”
About Arabel Lebrusan
Arabel Lebrusan took her Masters in Jewellery Design at Central St Martins and went on to become Creative Director at Leblas Jewellery, leaving two years later to create her own brand of unique designs. Arabel commissions only the best craftsman in the UK and her native Spain and insisting on precious metals and gemstones that have been sustainably and ethically sourced.
About Human Rights Watch Report
The 99-page report, “The Hidden Cost of Jewelry: Human Rights in Supply Chains and the Responsibility of Jewelry Companies” scrutinizes the sourcing of gold and diamonds by 13 major jewellery and watch brands that collectively generate over US$30 billion in annual revenue – about 10 percent of global jewellery sales.
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