Sourcing

These 3 Companies Want to Help the Trade Be ‘Ethical in Action’

SourcingNov 30, 2020

These 3 Companies Want to Help the Trade Be ‘Ethical in Action’

The initiative’s inaugural project is a design challenge culminating in an auction to benefit three organizations focused on justice and equity in the industry.

The @ethical_in_action Instagram account has launched a bracket-style design competition that will end in an auction to benefit three organizations fighting for the rights of those working in gems and jewelry.

Vancouver, Wash.—A new initiative aims to educate industry businesses on responsible practices, and the mission of its first project is to address some negative aspects of the trade.

At the beginning of the summer, Susan Fauman, owner of and metalsmith behind Susan Fauman Jewelry, was diving deeper into how she could be more responsible in her business.

She reached out to Eric Braunwart of Columbia Gem House, a leader in the area who has made it a focus of his business for decades, with questions.

After hours of picking his brain and learning from his insights into advocating for human rights and safe working conditions, the discussion led to many more with Sabrina Hoffman, maker and owner of Dally + Toil.

Together, Fauman and Hoffman created a plan to raise awareness both in the industry and among consumers about the problems that exist in the world of gems and jewelry.

What resulted was the Instagram account @ethical_in_action, designed to be a space to learn about ethical and responsible practices and materials.

They also created the initiative’s inaugural project—a design challenge that will culminate in an auction to benefit three organizations focused on justice and equity in the jewelry industry.

They enlisted 25 designers, who have donated their time and metalsmithing skills to the cause.

Washington-based Columbia Gem House also got in on the project, providing gemstones to the participating designers. Everyone received a turquoise and chalcedony accent stone (as seen in the post below) as well as a variation on the sapphire slice.

(The Instagram caption also includes the list of participating metalsmiths.)

The minimum requirement was to use the sapphire slice.


Starting on Thanksgiving, the initiative held a “battle-style bracket vote” through Columbia Gem House’s Instagram account.

They started by posting everyone’s pieces that day, followed by the first head-to-head on Friday during which followers voted through the poll feature in Instagram Stories.

Votes were held again Saturday and Sunday, with the latter resulting in one winner and two runners up.

The winners will be announced on the Columbia Gem House page today (Nov. 30).

The winner will receive a $250 gift card to Columbia Gem House and two runners-up will each get $100 gift cards.

Tomorrow (Dec. 1), which is Giving Tuesday, the creations will be posted on @ethical_in_action along with information and backstories of both the pieces and the designers behind them.

The auction will follow
on the account from Dec. 4-6.

The three organizations benefitting from Ethical in Action will be We Wield the Hammer, a metalsmithing program for women and girls of African descent; the Peoples Training and Research Center, an organization focused on improving worker health and safety in India; and the Bonded Labour Liberation Front, which works toward the total eradication of bonded labor, injustice, illiteracy, inequality and poverty in South Asia.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

MajorsOct 22, 2021
These Jewelry Companies Are Among the World’s Most Valuable Brands

That’s according to Interbrand, which just released its 2021 list of 100 Best Global Brands.

WatchesOct 22, 2021
New Citizen Campaign Shines Light on Solar Power

The “Purposeful Power” campaign will raise money for Everybody Solar, which provides solar power to nonprofits.

CollectionsOct 22, 2021
The Artistry 2022 Catalog Is Out

It’s full of bestsellers to stock up on.

Brought to you by
Buying a Diamond is More Than Knowing the 4C’s

Buyers may be excited about online diamond deals, but there are uncertainties surrounding the authenticity and clarity of the diamonds.

CollectionsOct 22, 2021
Piece of the Week: Nouvel Heritage’s Mood Necklace

The brand’s signature bangle gets a necklace companion.

Weekly QuizOct 22, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Oct. 18-22, 2021.
Take the Quiz
SurveysOct 21, 2021
10 Retailers on Why They Expect the Diamond Boom to Continue

However, their optimistic outlook comes with a hint of caution due to a number of factors out of their collective control.

ColumnistsOct 21, 2021
Squirrel Spotting: It’s a Diamond Moment!

It’s no doubt diamond sales are booming, but why? Peter Smith explores the complicated reasons why consumers want the stones right now.

Brought to you by
Viva Italia! Why the JCK Italian Pavilion Was a Sight Worth Seeing at JCK Las Vegas

One of the highlights of the JCK show in Las Vegas has always been the Italian Pavilion, buzzing with excitement and elegance.

IndependentsOct 21, 2021
Quiz: How Closely Have You Been Reading Our Columns?

Brush up on the finer points of customer budgets, recruiting new employees and driving traffic to a new website with this quick test.

×