The first Fairmined Ecological Gold collection to be launched in the UK
Award winning jewellery designer Arabel Lebrusan takes ethical jewellery to new levels with the first Fairmined Ecological Gold collection to be launched in the UK
As part of her commitment to beautiful, ethical jewellery, and having recently become a Fairmined licensee, Arabel Lebrusan is launching an exclusive new collection made from Fairmined Ecological Gold.
Fairmined Ecological Gold (Eco Gold) is gold that has not only been mined under the strict rules of the Fairmined Certification with regard to social development, fair treatment and equitable payment. It goes one-step further in not using mercury or cyanide to extract the gold; tighter management of environmental risks; no mining in protected areas and a programme dedicated to the restoration and rehabilitation of mined out areas. It thus ensures that the gold is not only responsible with regard to human rights, but also the environment.
“I believe that we can use the beautiful materials that come from the Earth, without harming our blue planet. I believe that by asking questions, simplifying supply chains and sharing knowledge, we can achieve this. I have always dreamed of using gold that has been extracted from the Earth without chemicals, so I am extremely excited to be able to do this now.”
The Alliance for Responsible Mining, founder of the Fairmined initiative, supports responsible artisanal and small-scale gold mining organisations and the development of the local communities whilst promoting the protection of the environment.
As part of her dedication in offering her customers a transparent supply chain and her commitment to sourcing materials from responsible sources, Lebrusan decided to embark on a sustainable sourcing trip to French Polynesia and South America.
Lebrusan travelled to the Nariño province in Colombia to visit La Llanada, one of only two areas in the world producing Fairmined Gold without mercury or cyanide. The mines in La Llanada, in the south of the country, are the main livelihood source for most of the 8,800 people who live in the town and forms an important part of the population’s cultural identity.
Going underground with local miners, Lebrusan experienced their working conditions and saw first-hand how the gold is extracted without the use of dangerous chemicals.
The Xamodx mine in southern Mongolia holds the title as the world’s first organisation with Fairmined Ecological Certification. Lebrusan will source Eco Gold from the Xamodx mine to use in her new collection.
Like La Llanada, the community in the Bayaon-Ovoo district now mainly depends on mining for its main source of income. After years of extremely hard and cold winters, livestock farmers were forced to move to an abandoned mine site. With their diminished livestock numbers, the local workers began to focus their activities on mining, their only available alternative to herding. Since 2006, the miners have worked hard to make mining a sustainable livelihood.
Women miners actively participate in the leadership of the Xamodx mine. Their main goals are to protect human rights and improve livelihoods of legal miners not only in Mongolia but also in Asia as a whole. Furthermore, mining in this community, made up of around 2,000 people, has helped the remaining cattle herds diversify their sources of income.
“I am really proud to support the Xamodx miners and knowing the positive difference that this makes to the needs of their community. I’m excited that the gold in the collection was from the very first certified mining organisation that produced Fairmined Ecological Gold.”
Lebrusan was one of the first registered jewellers in the UK to use Fairtrade Gold and is now able to give her customers even more options for owning a special piece of jewellery with a story to tell.
“Being a Fairmined licensee partners our Fairtrade registration and gives our customers even more ethical choices when it comes to choosing beautiful jewellery inside and out.”
February 2017 will see Lebrusan launch the first Fairmined Eco Gold jewellery line in the UK. Entitled ‘Engraved In My Heart’ and targeted at the bridal market, the designs feature hand engravings of flowing motifs inspired by nature and symbolic of the interconnection of all elements and the continuous cycle of existence.
“The patterns of cedar leaves, lilac buds and vines represent fertility; hearts represent the love for each other and the eternity symbol unites it all. The collection consists of engagement rings, mix-and-match wedding bands with and without sparkling diamonds, and delicate stud earrings. Customers can choose the same pattern for both engagement and wedding rings, or mix-and-match as they wish. The engagement rings also feature traceable and conflict free Canadian diamonds, one of the most ethical choices for precious gemstones, making the perfect ethical bridal set.
These rings are a beautiful way to express your love for your partner and our planet… at the same time I wanted to create a very playful collection where you can mix-and-match patterns and colour metals to make your unique combinations”.
Lebrusan has been committed to designing and making beautiful jewellery for the last decade. With beautiful design, beautiful craftsmanship and beautiful ethics at the core of her business, Lebrusan is increasingly becoming a point of reference on all things ethical in the jewellery world.