Jose Luis Fettolini article – 2018

The launch of “Sustainable Jewellery. Principles and Processes for Creating an Ethical Brand” (Joyería Sostenible, principios y procesos éticos en el diseño y la creación de joyas by Jose Luis Fettolini, Editorial Promopress) shows us the revolution that is taking place within the jewellery sector today. An opening to the secrecy that characterizes it, if we compare it to more innovative and communicative industries like fashion, in which we find an endless number of publications addressing its harmful impact on the environment, and the question of developing sustainable practices.

Lately, we witnessed an increase in awareness regarding the sustainable practices linked to the jewellery sector; the brands and designers who invest in the development of ethical activities are becoming more and more. These businesses address the negative impact of the commonly utilised raw materials in jewellery making, as well as human rights and the social conditions of all the people involved in the supply chain.


What are the steps for creating a jewellery brand that stands within ethical parameters on the social and environmental levels?

It is very important to think about possible answers to this question, as it is an utterly useful aspect for brands and designers who are willing to start their projects within this new and greatly needed panorama.

The first and most important step is to understand the gravity of the problem in the jewellery industry, which directly threatens the environment and the social conditions with devastating effects. Until we haven’t internalised this fact, it will not be possible to raise awareness or to point people towards a path of respect towards the environment.

With adequate information, the time has come to consider our impact through the whole supply chain, and to prioritise solutions in the more troubled areas. The most important thing is to find solutions that are based on reality. This entails the study of viable alternatives, and the establishment of new key alliances with suppliers, collaborators and manufacturers in order to achieve our objective.

Enthusiasm is a good ally of course, as in all kinds of projects, but we need not let ourselves be carried away with it without the appropriate knowledge. The will to be sustainable and eco-friendly is not enough to make the objective real. Therefore, it is important to be cautious with what our brand communicates; especially in a case where we do not realistically meet the conditions to solve the problems.

I invite you to have a look at this book, which inspires reflection and describes the ethical and environmental problems behind every jewel. Its realism, besides raising awareness, looks to present to big businesses, designers and artisans the real face of the jewellery sector. This is done in order to deal with the dramatic conditions of the countries that supply the raw material.

Without a doubt, “Sustainable Jewellery” is an essential guide for all those professionals of the sector who want to start a business that will be more respectful of their surroundings, and that will have a smaller environmental footprint, while promoting social solutions.

The book is available in bookshops both in Spanish and in English, and it can be bought on Amazon clicking on the following link:



Jose Luis Fettolini is a jewellery designer and creative director with a vast experience working with big brands in the jewellery and fashion industries. He collaborates with the IED of Barcelona in the education sector, and manages the education platform Workshop R2, which offers courses in design, product branding and sustainability within the jewellery industry.

Jose is a contributor to the Fairmined Certification, and he has taken part in the assistance of miners’ and artisans’ communities, and in the development of their business ventures.


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