It’s In Our Hands – The Future of Ethical Making in Scotland
In partnership with the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, the Incorporation of Goldsmiths held their first ethical jewellery symposium titled ‘It’s in our Hands – The Future of Ethical Making in Scotland’. The Symposium addressed key issues in the jewellery industry, why and how to adopt an ethical jewellery practice.
We learned how an ethical approach adds value to your product and makes for a more authentic story to tell your customers about where and how their jewellery was made. Speakers included Greg Valerio MBE, pioneering ethical jeweller and activist; Ute Decker, ethical jeweller and researcher; Karen Westland, jeweller and silversmith, regarding the broader history of precious metal sourcing and its environmental and socioeconomic impact, Dr Peter Oakley from the Royal College of Art introduced international case studies in the industry, while ethical consultant, Vivien Johnston, pointed to the transparent supply chain that the Scotgold mine in Tyndrum presents, and Marian Brown, co-founder of Ostrero, a circular economy social enterprise, presented the opportunities in Scotland for companies adopting a Circular Economy model. Tim Ingle from Ingle & Rhode, ethical jewellery brand, presented the business case for brands to turn to ethical jewellery making and the benefits of investing in this niche market as a maker. Mary Michel, Director of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths, finished off the presentations by discussing the components of the chain of custody and the importance of provenance in the jewellery supply chain.
The symposium was supported by a workshop on sustainable jewellery practices led by two proponents in ethical jewellery, Greg Valerio and Ute Decker. The workshop gave attendees practical advice on how to improve their practice including how and where to source responsibly mined metals and stones.