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Ethical Precious Metal Resources

Karen Westland & Sophie Daw, Silversmithing & Jewellery

Metals are often mined in unethical situations – in conflict areas, where miners work in dangerous conditions, or where workers suffer unethical working hours or wages.

As designers we can help make people aware of these issues, help consumers choose their gold and silver better, and to influence suppliers and governments to introduce better conditions for workers.

In 2016 S&J student Sophie Daw was instrumental in bringing ethical jewellers Cred Jewellery to the GSA. 50 students and staff met their Director Alan Frampton MBE. Subsequently, we funded students to attend Dundee University’s The Future of Ethical Making in Scotland.

In 2014 GSA student Karen Westland created an award-winning Degree Show exhibition. She worked with the Sustainability in Action Group, receiving funding which helped her explore reused and ethically produced gold and silver. The result was a stunning body of work which was not only beautiful but ethically sourced.

Other designers put ethical issues at the heart of what they produce. One example is Kerstin Laibach or visit Ute Decker’s site and Verlio’s work

Vegan designers include Bonearrow

You’ll find more on Karen Westland’s work, and other best practice examples, on our Tumblr feed

For more support with your ethical practice, contact John