The 1st UK Independent Certified Jewellers
In November 2011 we became the first UK Independent company to receive certification by the Responsible Jewellery Council. The RJC held the business up to a series of ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards laid out in their documentation, and these standards were then externally audited. Businesses in all parts of the jewellery supply chain, from mine to retail, can have their working practices independently verified and we're really proud to have performed so well among larger companies.
One of the great things the RJC is doing is co-ordinating everyone's efforts worldwide, so that we can collectively work out the most responsible way of acting and how this can be achieved.
Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery's Responsible Jewellery Council Policy
The RJC is a standards-setting organisation that has been established to reinforce consumer confidence in the jewellery industry by promoting responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices throughout the jewellery supply chain.
The RJC has developed a common platform of standards for the jewellery supply chain and credible mechanisms for verifying responsible business practices through third party auditing. We commit to operating our business according to the RJC Principles and Code of Practices.
In line with this policy, our commitment is to integrate ethical, human rights, social and environmental considerations into our day-to-day operations, business planning activities and decision making processes.
OUR WIDER RESPONSIBILITIES
Responsibility is in the DNA of Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery. This responsibility also extends across every group and community with which we interact. One of our eight philosophies is to be socially and environmentally responsible and to promote strong ethics and we strive to implement these values in as many ways as possible:
- As part of her commitment to responsible business, Harriet is a non-executive Director for the Responsible Jewellery Council. She talks nationally and internationally on ethics, the environment and CSR in order to encourage responsibility across the jewellery industry and beyond, especially within small businesses.
- All of our significant suppliers have declared, in writing, that they are committed to conducting their business in a culture of honesty, transparency and opposition to fraud and corruption
- We will only handle diamonds that are guaranteed by the Kimberley Process. There are certain exceptions when it comes to customers’ own diamonds and more information about these can be found here.
- Whenever possible, we encourage use of Fairtrade or recycled metals
- We can reuse our customers’ own gold and we recycle our own gold scraps
- In line with our ethics on sustainability our packaging is made from bamboo. Once the bamboo seed has been planted, it can be harvested within three years – making it the most sustainable wood available, unlike other woods which require large deforestation projects
- Our bamboo boxes arrive in recycled cardboard boxes to protect them during transit but as these are not always needed we donate them to local nurseries and other community groups, such as Guides to use in crafts projects
- We believe sound business ethics should include supporting our community and championing worthy causes so we organise local charity events and encourage creativity in the next generation with children’s jewellery making workshops
- We engage with local schools and give talks on Fairtrade, as well as presenting at career fairs about life as a jewellery designer or goldsmith.
- Our Wellbeing Committee exists to not only improve team members’ health but to engage them with our core values of ethics and the environment. Successes include establishing a local Pilates class and raising money to help the Fairtrade mining community of Macdesa after over 90% of their village was destroyed by a fire
- We value the health and wellbeing of our team members and as such we implement flexible working practices upon request
- We persuaded our landlord in Hertfordshire to change over to Biomass for fuel which is more environmentally friendly
- When sending items to our suppliers, for example to the Assay Office, we reuse envelopes and packaging
- All coffee and tea in our coffee shop is Fairtrade
- We use sustainable woods for our displays
- We use FSC approved paper and recyclable stationary
In part 2 of her series on recycling jewellery, Senior Designer Laurie looks at the ways in which gemstones can be reused
Designer Amy blogs about the latest news from Fairtrade Africa
At HK Bespoke we often talk about our work with Fairtrade and encourage our customers to choose Fairtrade gold over 'standard' gold. This article goes back to basics and questions 'What is Fairtrade gold?' and why should we choose it?