The process starts with large- and small-scale miners extracting the resources. They are then transported to smelters and refiners where they are processed for artisanal use. The materials can only then be crafted and manufactured before reaching the brand, and finally the customer.
A broad portion of the gold mining practice is undertaken by large-scale mines operated by established corporations who have been central to structuring the industry. However, a sweeping majority of near 90% of the industry’s workforce, about 25 million people, is comprised of small scale, artisanal miners. These mining communities lack access to safety equipment, efficient technology, clean methods and more, however continue working for subsistence.
Therefore, the majority of people working as miners work on sites that lack provision and regulations, under unsafe conditions for themselves and the environment.
Fairtrade is the first certification for sustainable gold, in effect since 2011, and has been working with small-scale gold mines to address the issues in the mining sector. The organization follows a core of three pillars in their actions: (1) People come first, (2) Planet is respected, (3) Profit is shared evenly.
SCS is a 3rd party verification agent which promotes transparency in green labelling for nearly 40 years. The social, environmental and sustainability claims of products are evaluated in terms of scientific rigor and integrity; focusing on environmental stewardship, social responsibility and quality.
SMETA is a social auditing methodology set out by the membership organization Sedex that provides one of the world’s leading online platforms for companies to manage and improve working conditions in global supply chains. SMETA makes it possible for companies to assess their workplace and suppliers to understand working conditions in their supply chain.
LBMA ensures the highest levels of leadership, integrity and transparency for the global precious metals industry by advancing standards and developing market solutions.
“My design philosophy is to constantly evolve, and the pieces I create must prove their rightful place in this madness.”
— Maria Black, Founder and Head of Design.
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