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RESPONSIBLE JEWELLERY EXPERIENCES

Marta Joieria Artística: a gradual transition experience that starts with gemstones

In 2011, Marta Rodríguez managed to transform a hobby into her profession and created the Marta Joieria Artística studio in Salt, Girona. It is always difficult to start from scratch. She says that it was thanks to the support of her entourage, the result of many years of birthday presents turned into tools and machinery for the workshop, that she was able to get started.

She started researching and discovered that it is also possible to implement changes in terms of sustainability and responsible consumption in jewellery. She learned about the Fairmined initiative and, with the guidance of another jeweller, became certified in 2019. It is nice to listen to Marta talking about the sorority among many of the women colleagues, which breaks with the opacity of a sector where cooperation and mutual help have been rare.

But once she was certified, it was very difficult to take the step to change metal. On the one hand, her investment capacity was limited. On the other hand, a large part of her work is personalised jewellery for which she reuses mainly family gold. At this point, she continued her research and, given the characteristics of her production, she found in gems an easier way to get started her journey towards responsible jewellery. Firstly, by introducing (ethical) gemstones in some personalised jewellery, and then also in jewellery collections, while raising awareness among customers. For almost three years now, all the gems she buys have been traceable and responsibly-sourced, except for the occasional commission.

Recently, she has presented her first pieces in Fairmined silver through two new collections that aim to symbolise the positive impact the certified metal has on the mining organisations that extract it and their communities. As a medium-term goal, she intends to use this fair-mined silver in all collections. In the case of wedding rings, the leap to Fairmined gold is on the horizon, although she still doubts about the implementation strategy. She currently prepares two budgets, but what about stopping giving the option to choose?

She has also introduced small changes in the workshop, in terms of waste management, recycling and energy consumption. One of the ongoing proposals is the recycling wheel for silver (in disuse from customers, such as mismatched earrings, and from her own leftovers) which she then takes to refine and reuses for certain pieces. She is planning to install solar panels in order to make the workshop self-sufficient. Moreover, in terms of practices in a social dimension, she is crafting the solidarity bracelets, through which she contributes to different causes such as the Oncoswim, an open sea crossing organised by the Oncolliga Girona, and fundraising for new neonatal ICUs with the association Som Prematurs.