Our challenge: forge a luxury jewelry narrative connecting aspirational emotion with dignity of sour

Greg Valerio, Jeweler And Fairtrade Campaigner Awarded MBE

Greg Valerio, jeweler and Fairtrade campaigner, was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in this year’s Queen’s New Years’ Honour list for his work in Fairtrade Gold, particularly with gold mining communities in South America and Africa. A jeweler since 1996, Valerio recalls when he first saw the exploitation of the jewelry supply chain in India: slavery, child labour and people working in terrible conditions. These experiences inspired Greg to become an activist in the jewelry industry. By 2004 he had managed to deliver the world’s first traceable gold, from mine to wedding ring. On receiving his MBE, Valerio says, “The great challenge we now face is to forge a new luxury jewelry narrative that connects the aspirational emotion of the purchase with the dignity of the source. This is true luxury jewelry, a legacy of peace, justice and prosperity for the communities at the source and a continued celebration of design, creativity and love in the gift that is given.”

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