Fair production and promotion of crafmanship
In search of a manufacturer who can produce BARZ jewellery under fair and qualitative standards in a country that is predominated by exploitative working conditions, we set out to an adventurous journey. After a longer stay in Nepal, we finally found what we were looking for in Jaipur in India. Renowned for its eclectic craftwork, the city has developed the facetting of gemstones and the trading of silver jewellery for centuries. Instead of working with one of the big factories, our rings are artfully crafted by hand in a small family business. The silversmiths get a fair wage above ‘normal’ standards and are covered by insurance. They are supported in their independence and sustainable progression, so they can compete within the market. Malay and his family once emigrated from Bengal due to a drought and thus belong to a marginalized artistic community, that set up their business ten years ago and have cultivated their profession for thirty years. An official Fairtrade certification for the organization collaborating with this and other workshops is already processing.
We use only recycled silver from India as the basis for our jewellery. This guarantees that no new precious metal has to be mined and imported from mines allover the world, and that old silver is processed in high quality within a closed-lopp resource cycle as well. This is done in a complex melting and cleaning process that ensures an equivalent quality of the material.
In order to meet the ethical standards of BARZ, an evolution of the global jewellery industry is still urgently needed, which can only be gradually implemented upon differentiated and increasing demand. Currently, precious gems and high value metals such as gold are usually traded without any sourcing information inside a complex network of dealers. Both, socially incompatible and environmentally harmful effects are commonly known for the exploitation and resale of these* – but are widely ignored. It is therefore difficult to understand where the resources originally came from and through whose hands they went.
Unfortunately, the supply of trusted, alternative sources is minimal and exclusive. Especially for small companies and for a small designer label that works with foreign partners, certifications and certified products are only very limited or not available at all.
BARZ’s long-term goal is to fathom new procurement channels and shape them out in order to establish and guarantee production processes that are as sustainable as possible – without having to make any design sacrifices.
We would like to keep you informed about this in an annual report.
*We will gather more in-depth information on the situation of the jewellery industry and the associated exploitative conditions as well as environmental impacts as soon as possible and publish it on the BARZ website.