Only by tracing the history of our raw materials can we become truly mindful of all the many hands through which our pieces pass.
A sad, dark, and disheartening reality exists within the jewelry industry. While Earth offers up its most beautiful treasures—diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals, for jewelers to create a wondrous array of adornments, hidden from view is the devastating reality of how these raw materials are extracted. Our symbols of love are tarnished. Behind the beautiful images of lovers exchanging rings and velveted boxes being opened to joyful tears and warm embraces, sinister forces are causing human rights abuses and environmental destruction. Perhaps no other human endeavour sees a greater contrast between the beauty of its finished product and the ugliness behind its creation.
The global jewelry industry is plagued with conflict diamonds and metals, unsafe mining practices, child labour, displacement of Indigenous peoples, forced labour, human trafficking, land rights violations, ecocide, and the contamination of water supplies. Mercury is poisoning thousands of workers, many of them children, causing irreversible neurological damage. Within both large-scale and small-scale mining, millions of workers are toiling away with hand tools, working in dangerous conditions without any safety protocols. Many mines are located in developing countries, in remote locations far from public view. Out of sight, out of mind.
On the surface, there’s a lot being done to remedy the situation. Industry, trade organizations, governments, and NGOs are working to find solutions, but each entity has its own limitations. Jewelers are left to decide for themselves the ethical purity and integrity of their supply chains. But what does it really mean to be truly Ethical? Sustainable? Socially Responsible? Eco-friendly? Conflict-free? How can jewelers assure themselves and their customers they’re not “greenwashing” products, or are knowingly or unknowingly contributing to the historical abuses that have long been going on in their supply chains?
For us Responsible Sourcing lies at the heart of who we are. However, fully navigating the complexities in our supply chains is challenging. Raw materials often come from remote artisanal mines, cutting and polishing workshops reside behind closed doors, and the trading of gemstones, diamonds, and metals is nearly impossible to fully regulate. We align ourselves with like-minded people who share our values of transparency, traceability, and respect for all people and the Earth. We know that Responsible Sourcing is an ever-evolving journey. As we continue to learn and grow, we hope to become a positive force for change in our industry.
Fairmined is an assurance label certifying gold and silver coming from small-scale artisanal mining organizations that embrace responsible practices. Fairmined transforms mining into being an active force for good. The Fairmined Standard promotes miners' well-being by ensuring proper working conditions—health and safety at work, fair wages and working hours, no child labor, and gender equality. Fairmined promotes the empowerment of mining communities, giving quality of life to miners and their families.
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Our recycled metals primarily come from our own studio scrap and metals reclaimed from old jewelry and objects. When new metals are needed, we purchase only SCS Certified Recycled metals.
Our Gemstones & Diamonds
Our ethical supply chains are comprised of like-minded people sharing our ethos of true transparency and traceability. We strive to ensure environmental protection, conflict mitigation, ethical labor practices, and social and economic development for mining communities.
Learn more about Wild Ocean Pearls