Hello everyone. Thank you for reading our journal.
Today, I would like to share with you my personal feelings about why I started an ethical jewelry brand.
By the way, do you like jewelry?
Add some sparkle to a simple white T-shirt with gold bangles, or add diamond earrings to a little black dress.
For me, jewelry is a small piece of art that can be found in everyday life.
And high-quality materials do not deteriorate over time and remain beautiful semi-permanently.
I love jewelry.
I feel like adding a piece of jewelry to even a simple outfit can create a beautiful atmosphere. When I look at a sparkling diamond in my hand, I feel like the memories and feelings of that moment come back to me, so as I get older, I collect each piece of jewelry like a treasure.
Jewelry is something that sparkles today, but it also contains the joy of being able to pass it on to the next generation and the generations after that. Isn't such a presence a unique sparkle in the genre of accessories? The depth of its design and the diversity of its worldview are probably the reasons why it has captivated people around the world since ancient times.
Before launching the R ethical brand in 2012, I worked at the Japanese branch of a private bank headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, providing philanthropy (social contribution) services to wealthy individuals. I worked hard on the work at hand in an environment where decisions were made at high speed in a luxurious office in a high-rise tower in the city center. I struggled every day while thinking of Geneva, Switzerland, where I visited for work.
In providing social contribution services to the wealthy, I continued to comprehensively learn about the countless social issues surrounding world poverty, human rights violations, and environmental pollution. Since I was a student, I have been active in animal rights, seeking to prevent the abuse and exploitation of animals, and the more I learn about the world's problems, the more I realize that there are many tragic environmental, social, and human rights issues. I notice.
Once again, I experience with a small sense of guilt that I grew up in a privileged environment, received an education up to graduate school, and now work and live in a place where human rights are protected to a certain degree.
One day, in a video footage, we see a child diving into a small hole in an African gold mine, covered in mud, digging for gold. He has a round head and is about 7 years old. Day after day, they worked in hot, harsh conditions searching for gold dust in the mud. Even if they bend at the waist, slather in mud, and work all day long, which their small bodies can endure, they have little money left and are unable to escape from poverty. I can't even go to school. No one is polite enough to listen to his own feelings. I can't even imagine the future. I was working in a harsh environment, as if I had no rights and it was the only way out. For some reason, I couldn't get that image out of my head, and the image of me and my then-one-year-old daughter overlapped with each other, so I thought about it every night when we spent time together.
There are children who are in such pain, but I can't do anything for them.
What can I do to sleep on a clean futon and live a safe life?
Since you were born, I want you to be loved and protected by others, eat nutritious food, receive an education, and live a happy life. In the world, there are people who don't even have the fundamental desire to be a mother in their lives, and even though we are all human beings, I felt angry and frustrated at this injustice. As a working mother who is raising a child, what should I do and what should I aim for? We spend years asking ourselves questions.
If you dig deeper, for example, the gold mined in the Amazon is illegally mined, hidden from government scrutiny, and depends on very vulnerable communities. In the background of illegal mining, extremely severe human rights violations are rampant, including conflicts with indigenous people living as minorities, rape, persecution, and murder. Additionally, it is said that there are 36 million people working in gold mines around the world, and most of them are deeply connected to poverty. In addition, mercury is often used in gold mining because it is cheap and simple, and the negative effects on the nervous system are unimaginable. The destruction of the environment that continues to persist is also terrible.
I am convinced that a jewelry brand that uses ethical materials can be one of the solutions to these complex issues. Based on the idea of creating a beautiful cycle, we founded a jewelry brand that focuses more directly on sustainable circulation. That was in 2012. At that time, before the idea of SDGs was born, many ethical jewelry brands were emerging around the world, mainly in Europe and America. In addition, the famous maison jewelry brands that many people already know have shifted to ethically sourced materials. I believe this was due to the attention paid to the world's dynamic supply chains and the inevitable trend of the times.
Based on the spirit of fair trade, in which fair value is distributed, we procure materials, have Japanese craftsmen make the jewelry, and create beautiful jewelry that you can wear for a long time. This in itself is an answer to myself, and a project that I pour my passion into. That was the beginning of R ethical.
Since our founding, we have been completely absorbed in balancing work with raising children. Still, I enjoy running a brand that allows me to make a more direct commitment to the economy than my job at the top of a tall building managing money for the wealthy, and I'm grateful for the days when I can connect with customers. We are now celebrating our 10th year. That's a blessing.
At that time, the boy with the round head who was diving in muddy water, which was imprinted in my mind, is where he is now and what he is doing? How is it growing?
Brand management is not always about being full of joy. There were many failures and incomplete thoughts. However, even in the midst of all this, we believe in the possibility of eliminating one or two of the sufferings of small children working in the mines, which overlaps with the existence of our daughter, and today we are delivering ethical jewelry again. I'm thinking of doing this.
I'm sure that one activity can bring a smile to someone's face and lead to a solution, creating a positive cycle.As we move forward into the next 10 years, we will take pride in that. I would like.
Thank you for your continued support of R ethical.
R ethical / Founder & Designer Mari Hoshi