The Future of Ethical Making is Bright

On Wednesday 28 March 2018 more than 200 makers, educators, students, suppliers and campaigners gathered in Edinburgh for an important day in the history of ethical making in Scotland.

After our first, hugely successful Ethical Making Symposium in 2017, we have been working to promote meaningful conversations about ethical making in Scotland and to create real change for the future. Our second Symposium, It’s In Our Hands – One Year On, began with the launch of our brand new Ethical Making Resource and with the signing of an Ethical Making Pledge.


Incorporation Director, Mary Michel (left) and college representatives. Image by Colin Hattersley.

Representatives from six of Scotland’s art colleges – City of Glasgow College, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Edinburgh College of Art, Fife College, Glasgow Kelvin CollegeThe Glasgow School of Art and Gray’s School of Art – came together to pledge their support for this world-first collaboration spearheaded by the Incorporation.

The Pledge aims to embed practical and theoretical learning about ethical making into higher education. The Pledge includes main goals for the colleges:

  1. Sharing the Ethical Making Pledge with staff and students in the department
  2. Nominating two student ambassadors each year, who will take part in biannual information sessions with the Incorporation of Goldsmiths and who will support the adoption of ethical making practices within the department
  3. Working towards the transition to ethical metal sourcing in the department with the support of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths
  4. Incorporating ethical making into the curriculum with the goal of writing ethical making awareness into curriculum requirements
  5. Working towards incorporating ethical making practices into workshop methods and providing students with the skill sets necessary to build their own ethical practice
  6. Collaborating with the Incorporation of Goldsmiths to sustain and build the Pledge for future years.

This is the first agreement of its kind in the world, and we are proud to work in a country that has such a strong, aware, and forward-looking making community. We look forward with working with the colleges, student ambassadors, and our partners to create a fairer future.


Student ambassadors. Image by Colin Hattersley.


Soon after the signing, the Incorporation’s Ethical Making Resource was made available to the public. The Resource is an online, regularly updated resource for makers in all fields. The Resource is a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to know what ethical making means, why it’s important, what schemes exists and how they work, how they can improve their workshop practices and a whole host of other useful information.

We will be regularly updating the Resource with new information and stories from makers about how they have made changes to their practice.


You can read more about our Ethical Making event, the Ethical Making Resource, and our plans for the future in our interview with Craft Scotland for their Make It Green series.