Gold mining is one of the dirtiest industries in the world — it contaminates drinking water, destroys traditional livelihoods, and displaces indigenous communities. And irresponsible mining harms the reputation of retailers and manufacturers of products that use gold, such as jewelry and electronics.
Surely retailers want to be able to assure customers that the gold in their jewelry or laptops weren’t produced this way.
As a retailer, you may not be operating mining equipment, but you are driving the industry.
Jewelry represents the equivalent of 70 percent of mine production of gold. Which means the gold mining industry is very interested in what jewelry retailers have to say.
Jewelry and electronics retailers hold the key to cleaning up dirty gold mining.
The No Dirty Gold campaign believes retailers and manufacturers can be important allies in this campaign, and we need your help. Please add your name to the growing list of companies who support real mining industry reform. And keep your customers’ attention where it belongs: on the beauty of their gold jewelry. By signing the Golden Rules for more responsible metals sourcing, you will join more than 90 retailers who have taken an important stance against destructive mining.
Over 100 retailers (105 and counting, to be exact), have signed the Golden Rules and pledged to commit to responsible sourcing of gold. Here are some words from a few of our most recent signers on why they took the pledge:
Jean-Christophe Bédos, President and CEO, Boucheron
“Boucheron is actively committed to environmental and social responsibility. Given our desire for transparency and responsibility in sourcing our materials, it was only natural for our Company to sign on to the No Dirty Gold campaign. Although we do not source our raw materials directly from mines, we do care about the respectability of the whole supply chain in our industry.”
Thomas A. Andruskevich, President and CEO, Birks & Mayors
“We know our customers expect their jewelry to sparkle without the taint of dirty gold. We believe it is our responsibility, as the premier jewelry retailer in Southeastern United States, to take the lead in the effort to ensure that gold is mined with socially and environmentally responsible methods.”
“Helzberg Diamonds was among the first jewelry retailers nationally to make a public commitment to ensure that the gold and metals we purchase come from sources that meet the highest standards for human rights, social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
We believe that gold should be extracted and processed in a manner that respects the needs of current and future generations, and we expect our business partners to adhere to ethical business practices.”
“Socially and environmentally responsible practices in the jewelry industry are the responsibility of all parties- from the sourcing companies, through designers and retailers, to the end consumers. As a consumer of mined products, a designer working with these rare materials, it is my duty to pressure the mining companies to obey the Golden Rules. ”
Jon Bridge, co-CEO, Ben Bridge Jeweler
“While we can’t guarantee all the gold we have is from appropriate sources, we are striving to make sure that our suppliers comply with the principles outlined. It is important for us as retail jewelers to do all practically in our power to adhere to the principles of the No Dirty Gold campaign. It is the “right thing to do” for our community, our customers as well as the world environment.”
“What motivated me to sign the Golden Rules was my ongoing commitment to reduce my carbon footprint and to source the materials I work with as eco-friendly as possible. I want my customer’s to know that even though jewelry can be a dirty business, there are many people who care about elevating the perceived image of gold mining and precious mineral sourcing, and we do care and want to supply people with memories that will last a life time that they can feel good about.
How do you implement the Golden Rules in your day to day business? How do you implement the Golden Rules in your day to day business?
I implement the Golden Rules in my day to day business by asking the tough questions of my suppliers about ethically sourced materials. It is important to me to follow the trail of transparency so when my customer’s ask me tough questions I can provide them solid and honest answers. I educate my customer’s in changes in the supply chain and refuse to sell materials that I cannot stand behind. People seek me out based on my values,not only for my craft, which gives me more reason to continue creating precious metal jewelry.”
What would you say to other retailers who are dragging their heels in terms of committing to the Golden Rules or responsible metals sourcing?
“What are you waiting for? Responsible metals sourcing is possible today and jewelry consumers are catching on faster than the jewelry industry is responding. Ultimately what will weigh on all of us is our complicity in the long-term destructive impacts of irresponsible mining that we could stop now.
Choices made by informed consumers might affect the bottom line, but failure to act now allows the displacement of people for minerals, the disposal of toxic mine tailings into rivers and oceans, and expensive emergency pollution mitigation projects to be shouldered by tax payers. Get on the shiny side and participate actively in the ethical jewelry movement.”
“The concerns of the No dirty gold golden rules are my concern and I fully support all efforts to achieve these goals.”
How do you implement the Golden Rules in your day to day business?
In our Day to day the most effective way we implement the rules are through open communication to clients and suppliers that we work with. We try to bring awareness to the efforts of the No dirty Gold by making sure our refiner and caster uses only recycled metal and we try and bring awareness to the pubic in general so they look at all the products they use and purchase in a environmentally sustainable and socially conscientious way.
Andy Heyneman, President and CEO, Robbins Brothers, The Engagement Ring Store
“Since the inception of our company, Robbins Brothers has followed a rigid policy that ensures both the gold and diamonds we purchase are mined and distributed under the highest ethical standards. We fully support the No Dirty Gold campaign efforts to ensure that our customers’ gift of gold purely symbolizes love and commitment, and is not tainted by either human rights violations or irresponsible mining practices. We are dedicated to making sure that the gold in our products is responsibly composed, both environmentally and socially.”
Michael Gross, President, Since1910.com
“Since1910.com has always adhered to a strict policy of ethical mining practices associated with the products we sell. This applies not only to gold but to diamonds and gemstones as well. It applies to both environmental as well as human right concerns.
We are certainly in favor of and will do our upmost to support and adhere to the NoDirtyGold policies. This includes the respect of basic human rights outlined in international conventions and law and the respect of workers’ rights and labor standards, including safe working conditions. Environmentally it ensures that projects do not force communities off their lands and that projects are not located in protected areas, fragile ecosystems, or other areas of high conservation orecological value. It further ensures that projects refrain from dumping mine wastes into the ocean, rivers, lakes, or streams, that they do not contaminate water, soil, or air with sulfuric acid drainage or other toxic chemicals and that they fully disclose information about social and environmental effects.
The world is a different place then it was when we were founded in 1910. It is the responsibility of all of us to see that it remains a clean and humane environment for future generations.”
Meghan Connolly Haupt, Sulusso
“C5 company is proud to participate in the No Dirty Gold campaign. Our company was founded upon the belief that consumers shouldn’t have to sacrifice sustainability for luxury or their values for beauty. In signing the Golden Rules, we hope to help advance the jewelry industry as a whole toward greater social and environmental responsibility. Ethical sourcing of metals is one of many important steps to be made.”
Anna Bario, Bario Neal
“When we launched Bario-Neal in 2007 as a company focused on principles of ethical jewelry sourcing and manufacturing, the No Dirty Gold campaign was one of the few resources available to jewelers interested in working with responsibly sourced materials. No Dirty Gold helps to create an awareness of the environmental and human rights’ impacts of precious metals mining both among our clients and within the industry.”
Marc Choyt, President, Reflective Images and Director, Fair Jewelry Action USA
“We are 100% in support of the No Dirty Gold campaign. Precious metals mining causes tons of toxic pollution and is often tied to human rights abuses, which are unacceptable to us and our customers. Not only do we manufacture exclusively with recycled gold, but in 2008, my company was perhaps the first manufacturer in the jewelry sector to move its entire American and international manufacturing to recycled silver as well. We are now creating ethical mine-to-market custody, and also write the internet’s leading resource on fair trade jewelry issues, www.fairjewelry.org.”
“In 2005, I encountered the No Dirty Gold website and was confronted by the fact that precious metals mining is arguably the most toxic and polluting practice on Earth — a fact that I had sensed over the years, but had conveniently been willing to ignore. Our job is to take action — and then inspire others to take action. I’m happy to see growing progress toward sustainability in the mining sector and industry at large.”
Matt Gase, General Manager, Commemorative Brands
“Our primary customers–college and high school students–make up a generation firmly committed to supporting brands that take corporate social responsibility seriously. By supporting the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules, we hope to reflect the values of the many students around the country who have a deep commitment to human rights and the environment.”
See the video where Matt Gase explains the importance of the company’s endorsement of the Golden Rules.
Brian T. Leber, President, Leber Jeweler
“Leber Jeweler Inc. salutes the No Dirty Gold Campaign for their efforts in raising awareness to issues relating to the mining of precious metals. We look forward to the day when all mining is done responsibly.
Leber Jeweler Inc. continues to be a strong advocate for both sound environmental stewardship and the preservation of human rights in the extraction and sourcing of precious metals and gemstones. Working with fellow industry members, non-governmental organizations, as well as US government agencies, we are steadfast in our determination to raise and uphold the highest standards of socially responsible business practices so that they may guarantee a healthy future for both our planet and all people.
Leber Jeweler Inc. believes the jewelry industry, from the mine to the retail store, has a shared obligation in addressing the myriad of issues that face us. We are in a prime position to accomplish so much good by acting responsibly and decisively.”
Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg, Brilliant Earth
“Wherever possible, Brilliant Earth uses precious metals from renewed sources derived from recycled jewelry or industrial products. By using renewed metals, our goal is to reduce the need for additional dirty mining of precious metals. Brilliant Earth supports the goals of the No Dirty Gold campaign. Cofounders Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg formed Brilliant Earth based on a passion for fine jewelry and a common belief that socially and environmentally responsible buying choices should be freely available to the consumer.”
“When I started designing, I wanted to make sure that while I was making beautiful things, I was not impacting the environment in a negative way. I support the No Dirty Gold campaign, and other programs trying to incentivize the mining industry to clean up their practices. I only use recycled gold and sustainably-mined materials, meaning that they are mined artisanally, using a hammer and a chisel, not using blasts and mercury.”
Krish Himmatramka, Do Amore
Do Amore is a social-change ring company that is selling rings to make the world a better place. Every Do Amore ring gives 2 people clean water for life, and so as one can imagine, ethical sourcing is very important to us. After all, we are selling rings to help the world, not harm it.
‘No Dirty Gold’ is about doing what’s right, and that’s why we joined the campaign before we even sold our first ring. We are thankful for the organizations efforts and leadership, and are proud to support them.