Greg Valerio Joins Reflective Images Jewelry To Drive Fair Trade Jewelry Mainstream In North American Market
The pioneering fair trade British jeweler to partner with first US Fairtrade Gold jeweler.
Santa Fe, NM Sept. 12, 2016: Pioneering ethical jewelers Marc Choyt and Greg Valerio are joining formally to drive fair trade jewelry mainstream in the US market. Valerio will be Reflective Images International Brand Ambassador. Reflective Images Jewelry will exclusively offer the emerging Valerio luxury brand, “the world’s purest jewelry.” It will be the only exclusively fair trade jewelry collection offered by an American jewelry company for the US market.
“Greg is the not only the first pioneer of ethical jewelry, but a social innovator and campaigner. With his knowledge, we’ll be able forge a stronger path to make Fairtrade Gold and gems the choice for ethically minded US consumers,” says Choyt, President of Reflective Images Jewelry. “Plus, Greg’s experience implementing fair trade practices into artisanal mining communities will enable us to bring in new sources from producer communities around the world into our jewelry lines.”
“Millennials in the US are ready for authentic ethically sourced jewelry. They understand that luxury fine jewelry has been a horrendous ecological disaster for the planet and its people,” said Valerio, adding, “I have joined with Reflective Images because I recognise the deep integrity of their team, their passion for consumer excellence, and their commitment to construct change in the trade.”
Since their first meeting in the Madison Dialog Ethical Jewelry summit at World Bank in 2007, Valerio and Choyt have been working towards a shared vision: jewelry that adheres to a fair trade ethos, is ecologically responsible and beneficial to producer communities. They have collaborated on numerous projects and campaigns through their Fair Jewelry Action network.
The Valerio brand will bring meaningful progress to the ethical jewelry space in the US, which lingers far behind the UK and EU in industry understanding and consumer awareness. To address these issues, one of Valerio’s focuses will be to work with new designers who represent the future of the jewelry profession. “We will create opportunity for new avant-garde jewelry designers who do not wish to compromise concerns for social and environmental justices in order to create extraordinary fine jewelry,” said Valerio.
Valerio will officially be joining Reflective Images Jewelry, the only licensed Fairtrade Gold jeweler in the USA, on October 1, 2016. At present, Reflective Images is integrating the Valerio product line via their online store. Later this fall, Valerio will be introducing 3 new designers to the Valerio online offering, as well as completing a Fairtrade ecological (mercury free) gold processing plant with Ugandan Fairtrade mining communities.
Valerio Jewelry and Bridal Collections will be exclusively available in the USA through Reflective Images Jewelry, both in their Santa Fe boutique and via their website, ReflectiveJewelry.com. The Valerio Collection will also continue to be offered in the UK and EU at ValerioJewellery.com which will be managed by Reflective Images Jewelry.
About Greg Valerio
Greg Valerio MBE ((Member of the Order of the British Empire) has been described by the jewelry establishment as the ‘most dangerous bastard in the industry’. His uncompromising stance on full transparency, public accountability, consumer choice and fairtrade standards throughout the jewelry supply chain led him to be voted, The Observer/Guardian Campaigner of the Year for 2011. Earlier this year, he was honoured as an MBE* by Her Majesty, the Queen, for his work securing Fairtrade Gold for consumers and for artisanal small-scale mining communities in South America and Africa. This fall he will be receiving an honorary doctorate from Winchester University for his service for social justice. His jewelry biography Making Trouble – Fighting for Fairtrade Jewellery is published by Lion Hudson (2013).
About Reflective Images Jewelry
Reflective Images Jewelry was founded in 1995 under the direction of Helen Chantler, who is the Creative Director of the company in partnership with Marc Choyt, who serves as President and directs business operations. The company, which retails custom designer jewelry, wedding rings, engagement rings has also sold their product to premium companies, catalogs, and hundreds of stores nationwide. Ethical sourcing and leadership have always been key components of the Reflective Images Jewelry brand. In addition to being the first Fairtrade Gold jeweler in the US, the company won a Sustainable Santa Fe award for its triple-bottom-line practices in 2014, an award for Sustainable Leadership in 2012, and the 2010 Jewelers That Care national award for ethical leadership in the jewelry sector.
About Fairtrade Gold
Fairtrade Certified Gold is a ground breaking initiative linking consumers of jewelry with the source of their purchase, offering a real lifeline to small scale miners and their communities. Working with Fairtrade International, mining organizations are able to meet the strict Fairtrade Standards: working conditions, child labor laws, women’s rights, cleaner technology, health and safety of miners, and responsible environmental management. Learn more about the Fairtrade Gold Program from Fairtrade International.