Hockley Mint Brings Fairtrade to the High Street

UK jewellery manufacturer Hockley Mint has launched the Fairtrade Ambassador Scheme – a new initiative to encourage retailers to stock, promote and sell Fairtrade gold jewellery. As the first of its kind in the UK, the Fairtrade Ambassador Scheme has been created and launched by Hockley Mint as an effortless way for independent jewellers to stock and sell Fairtrade gold wedding and engagement rings.

Led by managing director Gary Wroe and created by marketing assistant Rose Dunne, the Fairtrade Ambassador Scheme has 30 leading independent retailers already on board, including Drakes Jewellers, Michael Wall, Marmalade Jewellers, Baroque Jewellery and Daniel Christopher.

The Scheme will provide retail stores with point-of-sale display and marketing materials to promote Fairtrade gold products. Designed by Dunne, who was part of Hockley Mint’s 2015 trip to artisanal Tanzanian gold mines working towards Fairtrade accreditation, the POS features imagery from the trip of artisanal miners, combined with an elegant cream leather and wood finish.

Speaking of the scheme, NAJ chairman Simon Johnson, who also runs Marmalade Jewellers in Chiswick, London, said: “I have been keeping a close eye on the Fairtrade market for a while, looking – and hoping – to find a viable, cost-effective way into a more socially aware source of metal. The Hockley Mint team has provided this with the Fairtrade Ambassador Scheme.

If we can, one ring at a time, provide more ethically sourced material in the British market it will not only benefit the communities from whence it came, it will give brides and grooms a ring they can be even more proud of. It also encourages, re-enforces and demonstrates to my team our high standards, beliefs and commitments to sourcing.”

Rolling out to stores this month, the Fairtrade Ambassadors Scheme is an on-going project, and Hockley Mint will welcome enquiries from retailers across the UK interested in getting on board. Hockley Mint will also be present at International Jewellery London (IJL), where it will introduce the scheme to visitors at the September show.

Also part of the scheme is award-winning Brighton retailer Baroque. Its co-founder Pippa Knowles hopes to double the amount of Fairtrade gold sold in store through the scheme: “It was important for us to work with Fairtrade gold back in 2012, when we signed up to become Fairtrade licensees. Rose at Hockley Mint approached us about being a Fairtrade Ambassador; she was very informative about why it so important to offer Fairtrade gold to our customers and it strengthened our feelings about it.

“With support from Hockley Mint’s Fairtrade Ambassador Scheme we hope to double the amount of Fairtrade gold we use. Hockley is designing a wedding ring stand and great POS material that we will be using in store to create a more prominent display,” Knowles adds.

Hockley Mint managing director Gary Wroe states: “We have been working to develop the Fairtrade Ambassador Scheme since we returned from a life-changing trip to Tanzanian gold mines in August 2015. We recognise that many retailers want to introduce traceability to their jewellery stock or offer a Fairtrade gold option, but many have been unsure about how to market the collection. We have listened and are providing a solution – an elegant POS unit, flexible buy-in and marketing support. Our colleague Rose Dunne has developed and researched the Fairtrade Ambassador Scheme, creating all of the assets and content for the scheme. She has also been responsible for contacting and visiting all of our Ambassador Scheme retailers. Rose visited Tanzania with us last year and was integral to helping capture our images and videos. Rose has a true belief and understanding in Fairtrade and what the benefits can mean to certified mines.”

The Fairtrade Ambassador Scheme has created a network of jewellers and retailers across the UK and Ireland who stock and sell Fairtrade gold jewellery. This network of retailers across the country ensures consumers can seek Fairtrade gold in their local area and be informed with knowledge and training from retail staff.

The scheme offers flexibility as investment depends upon the supportive material the customer desires. This can include brochures and display cards, or a full Ethical Gold package of 8 to 12 wedding bands for display, supporting brochures, display stands and display cards. Hockley Mint notes that as Fairtrade wedding bands are typically made to order, it is not necessary for customers to buy additional stock.

Rose Dunne, marketing assistant at Hockley Mint, who has developed the POS and marketing materials for the scheme was named one of Retail Jeweller’s 30 Under 30 2016.

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