COPENHAGEN.- The Danish Museum of Decorative Art opens the exhibition “Fair Trade Jewellers” showing sustainable art of jewellery created by some of Denmark’s leading goldsmiths. Behind the initiative are the goldsmiths Bodil Binner and Josephine Bergsøe, acting on behalf of the group of artists “Pieces the Gallerie”, who want larger focus on the sustainability within the goldsmith trade.

More and more companies are paying attention to social responsibility and want to show consideration to environment and production conditions. Now this small group of goldsmiths, “Pieces the Gallerie” are launching the project “Fair Trade Jewellers”, a broad initiative, which through exhibitions, home page and blogs aim to put sustainability on the agenda within the goldsmith trade. “Pieces the Gallerie” consist of the goldsmiths Bodil Binner, Josephine Bergsøe, Jane Kønig, and Marlene Juhl-Jørgensen.

The project is starting with the exhibition at the The Danish Museum of Decorative Art in August, where a number of Denmark’s leading goldsmiths are invited to display jewellery made of sustainable materials. Among the exhibitors are Charlotte Lynggaard, Marianne Dulong, Jane Kønig, Marlene Juhl-Jørgensen, Mikkel Kornerup, Kirsten Bak, Kim Buck and of course the promoters themselves. The exhibition will be opened by Peter Ingwersen, the founder of the fashion company Noir that makes clothes based on sustainable principles.

More Transparency - Sustainability within the world of jewellery means that the goldsmiths aim to create better conditions both for people and environment, and that the people involved in the production of jewellery receive a fair compensation for their work. Within this concept is also the demand for transparency and not least documentation that the jewellery really are, what they pretend to be.

“Our concept is about combining beautiful jewellery with social responsibility and ethical conduct. That every single of our suppliers of raw materials – gold, platinum, diamonds, and pearls – can account for that the production has been carried out with respect for the nature, the environment and the workers. In short, we want that the process of formation of the jewellery becomes transparent to everybody”, says Bodil Binner.

To create this transparency an extensive home page and blog has been established, where experts within sustainability and jewellery can write about how to mine raw materials in a sustainable way. The home page refers to suppliers and offers a platform for discussion, sharing of knowledge, etc. You can read a paper by Minik Rosing, professor and geologist at The Geological Museum, Copenhagen, describing how to mine gold in a sustainable way.

The Green Gold - The sustainable jewellery is produced of materials, which are environmentally and ethically justifiable and correctly mined. This means ecological gold and certified diamonds from regions not involved in war. Chemicals like mercury have not been used in the process of mining the gold and only a limited number of Tahiti pearls are produced per year in order not exhaust the surrounding eco-systems. The cutting and grinding of precious stones take place within working conditions, where the workers receive a fair compensation, from which they will be able to live well.

“We know that it is not a small operation to incorporate sustainability in all phases of the production of jewellery, but we see it as our duty to try to influence the world by starting ourselves to think in a socially far-sighted and environmentally responsible way”, says Josephine Bergsøe.

The fair trade jewellery is about 20% dearer than comparable jewellery, because the mining is more expensive. All designers are still producing jewellery within “ordinary” conditions.