Supporting Socially and Environmentally Responsible Practices
Most of us have heard of blood diamonds, but how many have heard of dirty gold? Mining for precious metals more often than not fuels environmental destruction, mercury poisoning, gender inequality, child labor, economic exploitation, and endangers the health and safety of workers. Over 100 million people worldwide depend on mining for their livelihood. Small-scale mining is largely poverty driven, meaning awareness and aid toward ethical practices are low. However, many of these mining operations see mining as the best way to strengthen their communities, and are actively looking to lead the way for responsible mining. There are no easy answers to these complex issues, but the voice for change within the industry has been growing stronger and stronger, resulting in an increase in legislation and consumer awareness. With the right support and incentives, small community mining organizations offer the greatest opportunity for positive social and environmental change.
A pioneer in sustainable mining, Toby Pomeroy is the North American board member for the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), founded in 2004 in Colombia. Our shared vision is for artisanal and small-scale mining to become a formalized, organized, and profitable activity that uses efficient technologies and is socially and environmentally responsible. To achieve this we collaborate with the whole supply chain: miners, legislators, industry bodies and buyers. Our stakeholder alliance is the largest in the field and represents the diverse perspectives of different groups, with a shared agenda. In collaboration with these global stakeholders, ARM developed the Fairmined Standard for Gold and Associated Precious Metals to support sustainable development of artisanal and small-scale mining communities. The standard includes requirements to ensure responsible mining operations, environmental protection, ethical labor conditions, traceability of fairmined minerals, and socio-economic development through paying certified mining communities a fairmined premium for their precious metals.
Toby Pomeroy Studios’ fairmined metals and gems are completely sustainable and traceable throughout the entire supply chain, from the beginning of the mining process to the end result in our jewelry. We work closely with ARM and artisanal mines to obtain our fairmined materials from a single source, ensuring there was no mercury or cyanide used in the mining process. These materials are as traceable, clean, and green as you can get in the jewelry industry.
Consumer dollars drive the market. By supporting Toby Pomeroy Studios and the Alliance for Responsible Mining, you fortify this voice of change. You are investing in social development and environmental protection by demonstrating that the jewelry market is calling for responsible, ethical practices, both socially and environmentally. You support ethical labor conditions, conflict-free mining, and community empowerment. This is gold to be proud of.