Fairtrade Gold Wedding Rings Now Available
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Fairtrade has taken the important step to make gold rings affordable for everyone, by teaming up with Argos, the UK high-street retailer online to launch Fairtrade gold rings nationwide. Each Fairtrade Wedding Ring will be imprinted with the unique ‘Fairtrade Gold Stamp’ so all couples know that the miners were paid a fair price for the gold plus an extra amount of money in the form of the Fairtrade Premium, to invest in building their future.
The Fairtrade gold in the rings comes from the SOTRAMI gold mine, in the Atacama Desert in Peru; an artisanal small-scale mining community of 500 families with little access to amenities such as shops and healthcare, before selling on Fairtrade terms. Since becoming certified, this mining community has improved its living conditions through a better primary school, dentistry and a not-for-profit grocery store selling food at affordable prices. In the future there are plans to help improve waste management, electricity and water supplies for the town’s inhabitants.
Therefore, couples who make the choice to support this initiative are giving miners here the chance to be paid a fair price and have better working conditions. This launch comes ahead of a new campaign, calling on couples of faith to choose Fairtrade gold rings and build on the success of Fairtrade’s I DO campaign, which aims to sell 100,000 wedding rings to 50,000 couples, delivering $1 million in Fairtrade premium back to miners. These new wedding bands in Argos are available in four different styles, priced from £99.99 and a number of additional styles will be available exclusively online. It is hoped that as many couples as possible will choose Fairtrade gold wedding rings, which will add to the purity of Fairtrade gold’s provenance, making the ceremony of swapping rings more meaningful.
The introduction of the new Fairtrade styles is part of Argos’ ongoing commitment to good business practice. It includes sourcing the best products, while reducing social and environmental impact, securing long-term relationships and choosing products from traceable and well-managed supply chains, which respect the environment and human rights.
This commitment is helping set an important precedent in the jewelry industry, because Argos is one of the UK’s biggest high-street retailers for jewelry and this move shows that Fairtrade gold really can be mainstream.
Sadly, artisanal small-scale mining is driven by poverty and draws people who have no other option. When unregulated, the conditions faced by miners can be dangerous and polluting, where the miners are often exploited by middle men and don’t receive a fair price for their gold. Mercury and cyanide are used to extract gold from hard rock, so unskilled handling of these toxic chemicals poses severe risks to miners’ health, their communities and the natural environment. So, by selling affordable, responsibly sourced wedding bands to customers nationwide, Argos is offering more choice. But more importantly the assurance that the gold is clean, free from child labour, pollution and exploitation; it’s hoped other companies will follow Argos’ lead.
Photo Credit: Fairtrade/Argos