At Ingle & Rhode, we are delighted to be one of the first jewellers in the world licensed to sell certified Fairtrade & Fairmined gold jewellery. To celebrate this ethical landmark, we collaborated with acclaimed fashion design Ada Zanditon to create a one-off bespoke pendant made entirely out of 18ct yellow Fairtrade & Fairmined gold. The pendant, which is worth more than £3,000, was made exclusively for Vogue and was given away through a competition on Vogue.com. To find out more about the collaboration, watch this short film:
BBC1's The One Show
Watch the clip below to see Tim Ingle of Ingle & Rhode interviewed about the ethical issues with diamonds for BBC1's The One Show.
BBC Radio 4's You & Yours
Following the announcement by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations (FLO) and the Association for Responsible Mining (ARM) of new Fairtrade and Fairmined gold standards, David Rhode of Ingle & Rhode was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 for the You and Yours programme broadcast on 18th March 2010. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.
The Financial Times
Please see below a copy of an article from the Financial Times that cites Ingle & Rhode criticising the Kimberley Process over its failure to recognise Zimbabwe's conflict diamonds for what they are:
Zimbabwe diamond auction sparks fresh controversy
By Tony Hawkins in Harare
Published: January 8 2010 02:00
Zimbabwe faced renewed controversy yesterday when it began auctioning diamonds from a notorious field where serious human rights abuses, including the use of child labour, have allegedly claimed hundreds of lives.
The auction covers the output of the Chiadzwa-Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe. They have been mired in controversy since their discovery in 2006, with a detailed report from Human Rights Watch accusing the army and police of overseeing the production of diamonds and imposing a reign of terror on the workforce.
The study found that soldiers ordered civilians to dig for diamonds at gunpoint, used child labour and raped women. It said that hundreds of civilians were killed in the process. Some of the diamonds were reportedly smuggled into neighbouring Mozambique.
The Kimberley Process, which was established to stamp out the production and sale of "blood diamonds", began an investigation after the Human Rights Watch report. But the organisation continued to give Zimbabwe a clean bill of health for its diamond exports and granted President Robert Mugabe's government a grace period to comply withits standards. Ingle & Rhode, a UK retailer, said allowing Zimbabwe to continue exporting diamonds made a mockery of the process.
The fields are also subject to a commercial dispute involving African Consolidated Resources, a UK company which was given the concession to prospect for and exploit diamonds in the area. But the government then cancelled this concession, accusing ACR of having "improperly pegged and registered on land that had been reserved against prospecting and pegging".
ACR rejected this claim and won a court order, but this has been overruled by the government and is now the subject of an appeal.
In spite of all this, the Zimbabwe authorities sought to suggest that it was business as usual when they began auctioning diamonds from the field.
Mbada Diamonds, a joint-venture between the government-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and a South African company, Grandwell, is conducting the sale, which will start with 300,000 carats of diamonds over the next few days. Robert Mhlanga, Mbada's chairman, said the sales were in compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
Mbada says it will treble production from the current level of 600,000 carats per month to 2m by April or May this year.
Because diamond revenues would boost the government's coffers, the reformist wing of Zimbabwe's governing coalition - Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change - is in a quandary. Aware its human rights credentials are being tarnished, it is anxious to clean up the diamond fields. But the public auction is likely to worsen rather than improve the situation.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010.
HISTORY This new ethical jeweller prides itself on sourcing all its high-quality materials to avoid the three big issues facing the jewellery industry: human exploitation, environmental damage and conflict (blood) diamonds. By working to guarantee safety standards, avoiding the most damaging effects of mining, and not using blood diamonds (where revenues fund wars), Ingle & Rhode produces beautiful pieces that you can wear with a clear conscience.
STYLE As well as their in-house collection of stunning pared-down contemporary jewellery, four leading UK designers have also created a luxurious collection of pieces - or if you want something truly unique, you can make use of the bespoke service.
CELEBRITY FANS The just-launched jewellery store is sure to attract a high profile fan base thanks to its gorgeous pieces and ethical approach - watch this space...
Our pick of the most luxurious and eco-friendly pressies on the market
Inspired by floral organic forms, Kimberley Selwood's award-winning jewellery is enhanced by intricate hand-pierced details which make each piece unique. These delicate butterfly pieces are wear-anywhere jewellery staples.
The Fashion Charts
The hottest, the coolest, the fastest-selling, and the things that we just HAVE to have this week: Here's Grazia's top 10!
In at No 1. INGLE & RHODE
Ethical needn't mean ugly as this stunning cuff proves. More than mere jewellery, this is art for the arm.
New Consumer Website
Ingle & Rhode's e-boutique is open
We're pleased to tell you that ethical jeweller Ingle and Rhode is open for business. We're pleased, not just because its ethical but also because the designs are insanely beautiful.
You can browse the e-boutique safe in the knowledge that you're looking at conflict-free diamonds, and that the materials are mined in an environmentally sound way by people who are fairly paid.
The jewellery is to die for, truly in the colloquial sense, and includes Sarah Sheridan's Lumens wedding and engagement ring set, and Jana Reinhardt's Diamond Set Flower Ring.
We expect Stephanie Ray's large bamboo earrings will be on a few Christmas wish lists, as will the Kimberley Selwood's intricate Order In Chaos range, the necklace is pictured above.
Ingle & Rhode - No blood diamonds, but ethical jewellery
All Ingle & Rhode jewellery is procured and produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Now what does that mean in an industry where exploitation of Earth and people is almost conventional? It means Ingle & Rhode are tackling the three main problems in the jewellery industry: human exploitation, conflict (or blood) diamonds and environmental damage. The key lies in having created, through careful investigation, a supply chain where the origin of each metal or gemstone can be traced.
Human exploitation such as child labour and horrendous working conditions is addressed by only working with suppliers who guarantee health and safety standards for their workers, do not hire child labour, and pay fair wages. Ingle & Rhode also give 10% of their profit back to the communities which whom they trade for health, education and development projects.
When it comes to protecting the environment, only gold is used that is produced without mercury or cyanide. The white diamonds come from mines that are under environmental regulations and cultured diamonds are produced without mining in the US.
The main issue with diamonds is the conflict they produce through wars funded by illegal sales. Ingle & Rhode make sure each diamond is conflict-free by tracing it back to its source, which is either Lesotho or Canada.
So whether you're looking for an engagement ring, something for him or her, or maybe a designer piece for yourself, check out the beautiful designs of their in-house collection and of other UK designers that collaborate with Ingle & Rhode. We particularly like Stephanie Ray's Bamboo Silver Earrings.
Ethical jewellery on the Web from Ingle & Rhode
With the opening of Ingle & Rhode's online e-boutique in September, ethically sourced and produced jewellery is suddenly a lot easier to find and buy. With safeguards in place to assure the provenance of all their gemstones and metals, it's much easier to be confident that the piece you're buying comes at no cost other than money - it's an admirable business practice by any means.
On top of that, their designs are wonderful and varied, and there's also a bespoke service allowing you to help design a ring of your own making. Ethically sound and aesthetically pleasing, what more could you ask for?