Helen and Andrew
Helen and Andrew were married in Mersea Town Hall on Mersea Island in Essex. Many aspects of their wedding were ethical including Helen’s handmade dress, the local food and of course the rings. The couple spent a day in a jewellery designer’s workshop making the rings themselves from Fairtrade platinum.
One of the basic viewpoints Andrew and I share is ‘don’t take advantage of people’. It’s much more difficult to justify buying something once you know the person who made it was exploited. As such we have long been Fairtrade supporters.
With precious metal mining it’s the chemical use that upsets me the most; the heavy reliance on mercury and cyanide that poisons people, land and rivers. Once the local environment has been abused in this way it’s ruined, not only for the current generation but generations to come, forcing them into poverty and killing them. It’s so frustrating, like going backwards.
When it came to choosing wedding rings I knew Fairtrade gold existed so I started to investigate which jewellers stocked it. We soon discovered we should match the metals for rings that were going to be worn together so now we were looking for Fairtrade platinum. We were lucky enough to find a jewellery designer who was expecting to receive the first Fairtrade platinum into the UK.
While we were visiting the designer, we were asked if we would like to help make our own wedding rings. We didn’t need to be asked twice and had an amazing day in the workshop ourselves. Getting hold of an ingot of platinum and shaping it into our rings was incredible! We love the fact both our wedding rings came from the same platinum, especially since it was the first Fairtrade platinum in the UK.
We showed off our rings at the wedding a lot. They may just be plain bands but they have an important story to tell.