What Is Ethical Jewelry And Why Does It Matter?
It’s always nice to have some bling on your skin. While many of us pay attention to where our food comes from (like buying Fairtrade coffee or chocolate, for example), we don’t often give a thought about our jewelry. As a person who cares, you want your jewelry to have a minimal impact on the environment without exploiting the craftsman who creates it with love. Knowing where your jewelry has come from is an important part of being a responsible consumer.
The jewelry industry is rife with stories of oppression, corruption, environmental damage, and a whole lot more. It’s hard for a consumer to believe that a beautiful piece of jewelry that makes them so happy should be the cause of any concerns. ‘Ethical jewelry’ is a term used to describe jewelry that is traceable – from the people making it through the supply chain until it reaches your jewelry box.
The Karen Hill Tribe in Thailand
The Karen Hill Tribe is a community that is renowned for making handcrafted silver jewelry. Residing primarily in southern and southeastern Burma and in northern and north-eastern Thailand. Thai and Burmese hill tribes can be traced back to the 12th century when they are said to have originated from Tibet. Silver has long been a part of their animist religion as they believe working with it helps harness spiritual energy. The silver they use is purer than sterling silver.
Although they create high-quality silver jewelry, the Karen Hill Tribes are a simple people, living off agriculture in bamboo huts built on stilts. Exquisite Thailand was created to showcase the works of these craftspeople to the world.
Why Exquisite Thailand?
As a firm believer in ethical jewelry, Exquisite Thailand tries to address social issues and find solutions that are beneficial to those at the bottom of the supply chain.
Large retailers and sourcing agencies more often than not ignore smaller industries in Thailand, as the scale of production doesn’t meet their requirements. Additionally, sourcing products on a smaller scale makes their supply chains inefficient and complex. Exquisite Thailand hopes to help workers outside of the mainstream large business in Thailand gain access to a broader, international market. It brings new opportunities to small-scale craftsmen and workers in the jewelry industry.
Women in the lower-income areas in the tribal north of Thailand generally sell their wares to a limited audience in local markets. Lower priced, local markets can lead to their exploitation where they receive only a fraction of the final price products retail at in larger cities. Exquisite Thailand believes that growing wealth in these underserviced areas is the best way to promote fairness and development.
By striving to find the highest quality products that show good consumer value, the brand hopes to empower the producers and give them the opportunity to showcase and sell their merchandise on the international market at higher prices.
Question: What are your ethical standards/what does a brand need to do to meet them?
High Ethical Standards that Benefit the Producers and the Consumers
Sourcing from small businesses and paying fairly for their products is a top priority for the team at Exquisite Thailand.
With the founder’s background in conducting factory social audits in Asia, Exquisite Thailand not only takes the issue of fair pay and fair conditions for employees very seriously but also has the capability to enforce stringent checks. Their partners in Thailand are under strict guidelines to bypass any business they suspect of shady practices of any kind. This, along with a longstanding relationship with the Thai Trade department, ensures legitimate and fair operations in Thailand.
Sourcing directly without intermediaries means more profits for the small businesses themselves as they don’t have to pay agents or brokers a percentage of their sales. This benefit is also passed on to you as a consumer as you don’t have agent markups added to the retail price.
Shop now to own a piece of exquisite jewelry that makes a difference.