By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Environmental justice advocates have introduced a line of fashion jewelry that takes into consideration “legal” gold mining methods.
In partnership with the Philippine Fashion Week, Ban Toxics unveiled the “Compassionate Gold” jewelry line, which features gold mined through legal methods that are not harmful to health and the environment, mercury-free, and child labor-free.
The brand, which is a brainchild of Ban Toxics, prides itself as a pioneering effort in the country and in the region, and with its connection to community based artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) communities where the gold is sourced.
“Ban Toxics through the Compassionate Gold launch has showcased that responsible ASGM can co-exist with responsible stewardship of resources and toxics-free gold processing. It also exemplifies that human rights and good business are mutually supportive,” Ban Toxics deputy executive director Reynaldo San Juan Jr. explained.
In May 2018, Ban Toxics partnered with the Philippine Fashion Week to inform the public of the emerging brand of “responsible gold,” which aims to uplift the ASGM sector.
The first fashion jewelry line tagged as “Fashion Forward” centered on modernizing Filipino traditions.
The line featured designs of artisans Sonny Escio from Camarines Norte and Manny Halasan from Bulacan.
Both came from at least three generations of Filipino jewelers.
Some of the notable jewelry designs from the line are Maria Clara, Pinalay, and the Pearl of the Orient sets.
“We in Ban Toxics cannot be happier that Compassionate Gold might be the standard of responsible gold jewelry in our country in the future. It is of utmost importance that eco-consciousness will be mainstreamed not only in mining but also in the fashion industry,” San Juan said.