BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 18 Sep '17

Fairtrade gold exhibition casts fresh light on responsible luxury

A free, one-off exhibition opens today (18 September) at London’s Goldsmiths’ Centre, offering a glimpse of life in Uganda’s mining communities and shedding light on how the journey with Fairtrade can improve lives.

Dates: Monday 18 September to 27 October 2017
Location: Goldsmiths’ Centre, 42 Britton Street, London EC1M 5AD

A new perspective

The striking display of photography and jewellery is the result of a collaboration between the Fairtrade Foundation, renowned British photojournalist Ian Berry of Magnum Photos and Fair Luxury.

It tells the story of a piece of jewellery from earth to wearer and all the people in between, reflecting on the impact of ethical practice on materials, people and planet.

Curated by experts in the jewellery field and breaking new ground in the industry, the selling exhibition features new and established makers who are redefining luxury. They’re using Fairtrade and other responsibly sourced materials in synergy with the highest standards of skilled craftsmanship and design.

The exhibition casts a fresh light on what ethical luxury means, and hopes to ‘reawaken the audience’ by offering a new perspective on the wonder of materials, creativity, craftsmanship and provenance.

Fair, luxury jewellery

Ian Berry’s images provide a visual backdrop to the jewellery display; his camera has recorded ordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances from 1960 onwards, and now he’s turned his prestigious lens to Fairtrade gold.

In late October 2016, Ian applied his signature traits to the mining sector for the first time in a bid to raise the profile of the need for a sustainable gold sector. He took a range of photographs that capture the intricacies of worlds at different ends of the supply chain.

Ian visited the small-scale mining communities, spent time at sites in East Africa and captured the harsh and human realities of the day-to-day work there. Next Ian focused on the intricate work of gold makers in the UK, celebrating their work and artistry and, at the same time, contrasting the measured surroundings of their environments with the more rudimental landscape of small-scale mining.

Evening talk

On the evening of 20 September 2017, Simon Rainer, former chief executive of the British Jewellers’ Association and director of the Responsible Jewellery Council, will facilitate a lively panel discussion at the Goldsmiths’ Centre with top-profile industry experts: Kate Lewis from the Fairtrade Foundation, Pippa Small of Pippa Small Designs, creative director and founder of Fashion Revolution Orsola de Castro and journalist Tamsin Blanchard.

The evening talk, entitled Creative Links: Redefining Luxury, will discuss how sustainability and social responsibility are no longer optional for luxury brands – they are essential.