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Talking Fair Trade at the Jewelry Industry Summit LA

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I’m Niki, the founder and designer of Enji Studio Jewelry. We’re a sustainable luxury jewelry brand based in beautiful north county San Diego.

at Enji we’re on a mission to bring you meaningful, modern, ethical design that shows off your style, honors the journey of your life, and reflects your values. We craft each piece for you in our Carlsbad studio bringing new life to recycled gold and silver and using only FairTrade and ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones.

Enji was founded in 2014. We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing and giving back to the local and global community. We create our pieces for everyday wear.

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As creators and consumers, our choices now have a global impact. This is why we consider how things are made to be important and this to be part of our responsibility as a business and global citizen. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. This is why we make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fairtrade stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper and clothing.

Niki is a GIA Graduate Jeweler. She was awarded the 2016 Halstead Grant Award and 2014 Windgate Fellowship Award by the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Europe and her work can be seen in the pages of Glamour UK, Basic, Evening Standard, National Jeweler, and more. To see her one of a kind art pieces and CV check out nikigrandics.com

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. We make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fair mined stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper.

As a member of Ethical Metalsmiths, we hope to be among the first movers bringing transparency and sustainable practices into the luxury fashion jewelry world. Ethical Metalsmiths and Fairmined gold and gems.  All our pieces are made in our studio in San Diego and we use low-impact, environmentally conscious studio practices to lessen our footprint. 

We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing, because it’s important. To us, to you, to the women and men who mined the stones we use to create our pieces. We also donate a portion of each sale to organizations that help empower women locally and globally and work to end domestic violence and human trafficking because that’s part of the future we want to see.

Ethical sustainable jewelry fairtrade fair trade fair-trade jewelry recycled gold recycled sterling silver San Diego Carlsbad ethical gemstones ethically sourced sustainable

Talking Fair Trade at the Jewelry Industry Summit LA

Niki Grandics

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Fall seems to be all about ethical sourcing and sustainability at Enji with the Jewelry Industry Summit in Los Angeles this past week and Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference coming up at the end of the month. Speakers, Cristina Villegas from PACT (the largest non-profit you’ve never heard of), Monica Stephenson from Anza Gems, and Stuart Grice of Hoover and Strong (one of the largest precious metal refiners in the country) spoke about various parts of the mining sector for gold and precious gems around the world.

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When ethical sourcing is mentioned, a lot of people jump to blood diamonds and Leonardo DiCaprio, but really this image is not typical of the issues in the supply chain. Stuart spoke about his case studies on unregulated gold mining and fairmined gold mining in Peru and Columbia. While miners in that part of the world face some similar issues, in terms of how remote the mines are and how that impacts their access to even basic resources like running water. Can you imagine having to bring water up from the coast to remote mines in the Andes Mountain, a terrain that is very desert-like. Unregulated gold mining, with its lack of resources, safety equipment, and often times with the use of deadly chemicals like mercury, often end one way, with the death of the miners. Through forming co-ops, reinvesting in their equipment and processes, the now Fairmined certified Macdesa and Sotrami mines, have mercury free and environmentally friendly extraction process, roads, cell phone towers, and a medical center that serves the miners and their families.

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Christina and Monica presented more on the gemstone mining side of the supply chain. Through work they have done with women miners in Tanzania and Kenya, the miners have become more educated on the stones they are mining and are building up their communities. Through a partnership with PACT, the Tanzanian Women Miners Association, and ANZA gems, they are building a blockchain system to trace these gems from mine to market. The traceability wouldn’t stop when the gem is cut, and the local gem cutting infrastructure of Tanzania is growing. Monica’s advice in her presentation, be a pain in the ass! Ask your jeweler, or if you’re in the trade, your suppliers where their stones came from. The more people ask the more the industry will have to answer.


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Personally, I can’t wait to create pieces with these traceable, magical East African gems.