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What makes ethical jewellery ethical?

By Marc Choyt

All photos courtesy Reflective Jewelry
All photos courtesy Reflective Jewelry
A miner in Tanzania mixes mercury and gold.
A miner in Tanzania mixes mercury and gold.

I like to tell people I got my MBA in Haiti, where I volunteered for two years in the ’80s after college. There, I ran an orphanage and worked in Mother Teresa’s clinics in shantytowns, holding babies and bandaging cancers. It’s not that I took business courses, but that I learned life lessons that shaped my business outlook.

As business partners, my wife and I are both keenly concerned about social justice and environmental sustainability. We have always questioned what others take for granted.

According to Amnesty International, about 3.7 million people have died in wars funded by diamonds, yet we still see zero restitution, truth, or reconciliation. (For more details, click here.) Millions around the world are being poisoned by mercury from gold mining, destroying the environment just so they can scrape by.

The truth is the talismanic symbolism of jewellery is too often disconnected from its sourcing. Why must it be this way, and what can we do about it?

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