The process of planning a wedding seems never-ending. There are LOADS of things to think about, which means we cut corners where we can. So, when it comes to jewellery, we usually shop according to aesthetics and design without thinking much more about it. However, there really is a brutal reality behind the gold and diamonds that we wear with joy and love: unethical mining, child labour and exploitation.
Fairtrade mining was made possible last year with investment from Comic Relief, and now multiple jewellery brands can make a promise to their customers that their products come from certified fairtrade mines that meet basic health and safety regulations and give a higher profit to the miners. Some jewellers even go one step further by using recycled gold and silver, much to the delight of environmentally-conscious brides.
To inspire you with beautiful jewellery that you don’t need to feel guilty about, we’ve made a list of our favourite European jewellers with ethical values. Simply choose your favourite and support a really worthy cause.
1. Courbet, France
The French jewellery house, Courbet, offers fashion-forward, elegant rings, necklaces and bracelets that are both ecological and ethical. Since gold, silver and diamonds come from our beautiful planet earth and talented man-made processes, Courbet strives to respect the planet and miners alike.
It’s safe to say we’ve fallen in love with every product of Courbet’s new collection. Here you can find gorgeous engagement rings, wedding bands and exquisite jewels cast in bangles and necklaces. For a unique touch, you can even have these masterpieces engraved and personalised.
2. Andrea Bonelli, Italy
Every piece of Andrea Bonelli’s beautiful jewellery collections is handcrafted by herself in her private studio in Italy, using recycled materials and ethically mined stones. These rings are a declaration of love, made with love. Every purchase with Andrea Bonelli includes a donation to the Toolbox Initiative: a program that enables jewellers in West Africa to be self-sustaining by providing much needed commercial tools and supplies that are not readily available to them.
It’s so refreshing to see unique brands around the world use their craft and talent to have a positive impact. You too can become a conscious and responsible consumer on the most special day of your life, simply by choosing jewellery from a company such as this.
3. Cred Jewellery, UK
Cred Jewellery prize themselves upon being ‘the original ethical jeweller’, as they have been providing ethically sourced jewellery to brides and grooms alike since 2011. This company understands the moral dilemma surrounding gold mining: it may have a history of exploitation, but boycotting the mining of gold altogether would threaten the livelihoods of many families of gem manufacturers and artisanal miners. This is why Cred Jewellery use their demand for such minerals to HELP livelihoods affected in countries such as Peru, pioneering 100% fairtrade practices.
Their jewellery is sleek, elegant and creative, too! For travellers who love the planet as much as they do, they even create wedding rings with the world engraved on them.
Ethical and environmentally-conscious jewellery is easy to find, and does not compromise on style or elegance. So, if there’s one way to make sure that your wedding spending has a positive impact, choose from one of these fantastic ethical jewellers.
Check out our video on how to choose the stone for your engagement ring!