As the global Covid crisis hit in Spring 2020 we read about big fashion companies who’ve cancelled their orders in the light of the coronavirus crisis or decided not to pay their suppliers – leading to serious hardship for textile workers in other countries. Here in the UK people reported concerns about their health and safety at work as they packed online fashion orders. But we’ve also read about others who honoured their commitments because they knew the difference it would make – and on our own doorstep local restaurants created and delivered meals for hospital staff and helped put together food support for those who need it. All around us people are stepped up to help others because we know we are all connected.
The jewellery industry has many parallels with fashion and the people at the other end of our supply chain can seem a long way away. The artisanal miners who mine our gold and gemstones are among the most exposed and vulnerable – and the choices we can make to source and trade responsibly really start to make sense as we see the impact of disease inequality and also how our actions – and our opportunity to make better decisions when we shop – can positively transform other people’s lives and communities and the environment. We know our jewellery means a lot to us but isn’t it good to know it can make a difference to others too.