Many companies now adopt an ethical approach to their manufacturing but also to their range of products that they sell. It wasn’t always like this but there is a stream of consciousness now that has encouraged brands to ensure they are doing the right thing by the people at the local produce and manufacturing levels, especially as social media trending and marketing can now influence audiences very quickly, either in favour or against specific brands. At Harfi we have always promoted ethically sourced products and worked with artisan cooperatives to supply handmade jewellery and accessories of the highest quality.
It’s not just about ensuring the workers are protected and are paid fairly either, with a large push more recently toward ethical products which are environmentally friendly. Customers now want to know that the products they buy are not harmful to society or to the environment, whether it’s clothing or items for the home, or food and health and beauty items such as face creams and cosmetics.
Ethics In Business
As with Harfi, ethical businesses care about every facet of their brand and products, from design and production through to manufacturing and delivery. The fact is, there is more to be gained than just good press as a result of ethical business. Staff are more likely to stay with the company knowing they are helping contribute to better working conditions, or by helping the environment. Brand loyalty is strengthened for customers. Productivity is increased due to reduced labour turnover and ultimately, the economics are improved across those countries or developing areas where perhaps work and living standards are very poor. There are so many upsides to businesses operating ethically that we hope it becomes more of a standard practice across many more companies in the future. Our work with the cooperatives is something we are very proud of and our range of artisan homeware continues to grow.
Jewellery has such fantastic designs and traditions all over the world, and the history of its importance has been seen across the centuries. The move towards ethical jewellery has been a slightly more recent one, as jewellery itself has strayed from it's traditional role as a sign of status and wealth, to a much more common accessory that has unfortunately been co-opted by fast fashion. We here at Harfi are very passionate about the cause of ethical jewellery, so we’ve decided to put together some of the reasons why you should absolutely be supporting this worthwhile industry.
1) Ethical Sourcing
One of the most well known issues surrounding the industry is not knowing where your precious metals and gemstones are sourced from. This is usually the case with more expensive jewellery, as it usually involves higher-end metals and stones. The industry has improved over the past couple of decades, but it is still far from perfect.
The ethical jewellery industry has to, by definition, ethical in its acquisition of metals and stones and that means no cutting costs to underpay miners, or using substandard or tampered-with metals to craft their items. While this may mean the price is slightly higher than normal, we firmly believe that it is a small price to pay to ensure decent working conditions for workers and for high quality jewellery.
From our selection, just one example would be our Trisha ring, which has a sustainably sourced amethyst at its centre, and Indian gold as the base.
Sustainability is also a major reason to support ethical jewellery as a viable industry. With climate changes and its effects now very much well known across the World, many businesses as well as consumers are looking to reduce their environmental impact. The pitfalls of fast fashion are now commonly known and the rise of ethical fashion has come about to combat them.
With ethical fashion being firmly rooted in sustainability, the low carbon supply chain and usually local vendors, really do reduce the environmental impact of every purchase.
For an environmental friendly pick, we would suggest the handmade Tanvi earrings. Their gold plated enamel base, with a small quartz gem as detail is exceptionally sustainable.
Jewellery is always best with a story, and we believe that ethical jewellery comes with a much more developed and nuanced story with each piece. Every single artisan adds a story to their work, usually working into their art a reflection of themselves. That is what makes artisanal and handmade jewellery pieces so unique, as each designer will put some of their own history into their bespoke designs.
The focus on handmade and artisan work in ethical fashion means that each item carries a unique message and meaning, something that we feel shines through in the bright and beautiful Pari earrings. They carry the bright vibrancy of all Indian celebrations and allow you to wear them proudly and to suit any outfit.
Other Ethical Products at Harfi
Working with talented artisans across developing countries means we can offer a diverse range of products, alongside our ethical jewellery collection, infused with unique craftsmanship and cultural designs. From authentic Moroccan rugs and artisan bath towels, to handmade throws, we stock a wide range of beautifully designed homeware that is produced and sourced ethically and that offers style and individualism to your home. Our work with cooperatives has also enabled us to incorporate argan oil into our range. This popular natural oil has been the subject of much praise involving it’s skin benefits and it’s cosmetic advantages for hair.