As part of Fashion Revolution Week 2018, we interviewed Lauren Griffiths from Little Joy Jewellery. Learn how she identifies her materials to ensure they have the highest social standards, and the role she believes consumers can play in demanding fairer fashion.
As a Fairtrade-Certified Jeweller, how do you go about responsibly sourcing raw materials for your production? What process do you go through to get to know the people you're buying from?
I took part in a sales ambassador course in Fairtrade Gold, as well as a number of seminars to learn more about the importance of using Fairtrade Produce where possible and how to source materials correctly. I am registered with Fair Trade as part of their Goldsmith registration scheme. I only source materials via suppliers that have been through FLOCert—the independent Fair Trade Certification and Auditing Organisation. This means I know they will have complied with the Fair Trade Standards for Gold and Precious Metals, and the Fair Trade Trader Standard which FLOCert will audit against.
Fashion Revolution Week is a chance for customers to ask brands 'Who Made my Clothes?'. If we were to ask you 'Who Made my Jewellery?', what would you tell us about yourself?
My name is Lauren Griffiths, I trained as a Fine Jeweller in the prestigious School of Jewellery, in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in the UK. I design and make each individual piece in my little studio on the south coast of the UK on the Isle of Wight, UK, where I came to settle and build a studio for my practice, whilst raising a small family by the sea. My father was a master craftsman, so being a maker is all I have ever known. I am passionate and dedicated to my craft and strive to improve and develop my practice. I design minimalist Fine Jewellery using Fairtrade Gold. I am interested in simplicity and longevity in Fine Jewellery design. I am inspired by abstractions of nature, order and form.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the ethical and sustainable jewellery sector? And what do we need to do to overcome it?
Fair Trade changes the way trade works—through decent working conditions, protection of the environment, and a fairer deal for gold miners in developing countries. By buying jewellery from businesses supporting Fair Trade Gold, consumers can create change through their everyday actions and mining communities can improve their lives and invest in their future. By supporting the Fair Trade campaign, and supporting small independent makers, you can be a part of the growing concept and the community will grow. Sustainable fashion stores such as Gather&See are encouraging that growth with a very similar ethos.
Talk us through an average day at Little Joy Jewellery.
I have a very early start with two tiny humans—I practice Yoga which helps my mindfulness and my body—as a jeweller, I sit for hours in set positions and yoga helps me resume my suppleness and strength, and breathing helps my concentration and patience. On studio days, the boys are in Montessori or forest school, so we take a nice walk to their destinations for the day!
When arriving at the studio kettle goes on and I start by writing my list(s). I book appointments, check my orders online, and order any materials I may need for the following day. I sit at my bench-peg for approximately six-hours straight in a studio day. I have regular appointments with clients visiting me during the week and we sit down and design bespoke work as part of a design service I offer. Then time to collect my little ones and once they are in bed, I continue design work or administrative duties.
My family are a part of the team—they are involved and excited by the opportunities it’s bringing us as a family, and to work towards a better future.
What five words would you use to describe Little Joy Jewellery
Minimal, Mindful, Fair Trade, Fine, Handcrafted