Chopard leads the watch and jewellery industry with a major and unique announcement: by July 2018, Chopard will use 100% Ethical Gold in its jewellery and watch creations. As a family run business, sustainability has always been a core value, and today sees the culmination of a vision started more than 30 years ago.
Long term supporters and friends of Chopard; Colin and Livia Firth, Julianne Moore, models and activists Arizona Muse and Noella Coursaris and Chinese singer Roy Wang came to champion the gold landmark announcement, made by Chopard Co-Presidents Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, in front of a packed audience at Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Fair. Speaking at the event, the Co-Presidents outlined how they were able to achieve this milestone.
Chopard defines “Ethical Gold” as gold acquired from responsible sources, verified as having met international best practice environmental and social standards. From July, 2018 Chopard gold will be responsibly sourced from one of two traceable routes: the artisanal freshly mined gold from small-scale mines participating in the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), Fairmined and Fairtrade schemes; or RJC Chain of Custody Gold, through Chopard’s partnership with RJC-certified refineries.
Chopard’s vision is to increase, as much as it possibly can, the proportion of artisanal gold the Maison buys as it becomes more available on the market. Today Chopard is the largest buyer of Fairmined gold. Chopard watches and jewellery are beautifully crafted in-house, this means the Maison is in the unique postion to be able to guarantee control of all processes; from manufacturing to final product, therefore controlling the gold used in its products.
“We have been able to achieve this because more than 30 years ago, we developed a vertically integrated in house production, and invested in mastering all crafts internally, from creating a rare in-house gold foundry as early as 1978, to the skills of high jewellery artisans and expert watchmakers” - she added. As part of Chopard’s commitment to ethical gold, new High Jewellery Green Carpet Collection pieces presented at Baselworld are exclusively made from Fairmined gold, as well as the High Horlogery L.U.C Full Strike watch and the Happy Palm watch.
In 2013 Chopard took the long term decision to directly invest in artisanal gold, to bring more artisanal gold to the market. By providing financial and technical resources in partnership with the Alliance for Responsible Mining, Chopard were directly responsible for a number of small scale mines achieveing Fairmined certification. This then allows the small scale mining communities to sell their gold at a premium price whilst ensuring mining is undertaken in line with strict environmental and social conditions. Chopard also helped establish new trade routes from the mines they source from in South America, bringing traceable products into Europe and providing further financial income into local communities.
Chopard is also proud to announce that the Maison has joined forces with ARM to support and enable a new artisanal mine to reach Fairmined certification - CASMA, located in Ancash (Peru) – which will provide training, social welfare and environmental support. To date, several mines in Latin America including Cooperativa Multiactiva Agrominera de Iquira and Coodmilla Mining Cooperative in Colombia have now achieved Fairmined certification through Chopard’s direct support. By investing alongside ARM in the formalization of mining organisations and their communities Chopard creates hope for these forgotten communities on the margins of society and helping them to make a legitimate and dignified living.