Susan Crow, founder of East Fourth Street is recognized as a leader in integrating sustainability into her design process, she is on the board of Ethical Metalsmiths and Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild. Dedicated to creating change, Susan was an early adopter in 2013, becoming licensed to make jewelry from FAIRMINED gold and silver by the Alliance for Responsible Mining. “As sustainable artisan jewelers, we are dedicated to incorporating ethical and environmental principles into East Fourth Street’s design and production.
Responsible Sourcing of Supply Chains
What are responsibly sourced precious metals?
East Fourth Street uses Fairmined or recycled gold, silver or palladium because it is important to us that we source our precious metals from trusted suppliers to assure that it is as non-impactful both environmentally and ethically as possible and benefits artisanal and small scale mining communities.
Fairmined is a globally recognized certification assurance for gold mined from empowered responsible small-scale and artisanal mining communities around the world. It creates positive change in mining by implementing and supporting social development and environmental protection.
East Fourth Street is 1 of 45 U.S. jewelers licensed by The Alliance for Responsible Mining to sell Fairmined Gold. The Fairmined label is backed by a 3rd party certification system, that rigorously ensures that the artisanal mining communities are meeting the standards set forth for safe and responsible practices. The extra monetary premium that is collected for Fairmined Gold is then paid directly to the mining communities. They use it for improving their mining work conditions and social development for their local communities. The Fairmined Certification has routine assessments that ensure the miners maintain their certification and are consistent with their social improvement.
There are now 10 different mines in different countries, including Mongolia, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia which is pretty cool considering that when East Fourth Street was a first adopter in 2012, The Alliance for Responsible Mining started with just one mine in Peru. Now, the Fairmined gold that we use is processed mercury free, which is a huge boost to our global environment.
“I’m proud of being a Fairmined licensee working with Fairmined Gold, because beautiful jewelry should have a clean background story that speaks of solidarity and global support.”
– Susan Crow, East Fourth Street Jewelry
What is a reclaimed or ethically sourced diamond?
Most of our diamonds we source from certified reclaimed diamond vendors. These diamonds have been resold and certified by GIA to assure that they are of the graded quality that you want. By using reclaimed, we eliminate the additional environmental and possible ethical problems surrounding newly mined diamonds.
For our newly mined diamonds, we don't just rely on the Kimberly Process Certification because we believe that more due diligence has to be done to assure that our diamonds did not come from a conflict region. The Kimberly Process certifies diamonds as non-conflict if they are not coming from rebel conflict nations. Unfortunately they cannot control the smuggling of conflict diamonds into non-rebel conflict nations, mixing them with Kimberly Process certified diamonds and being sold to the public as non-conflict diamonds. They also do not address ethical abuse or child labor at the mines. Because of this, the newly mined white diamonds we offer are mined in Canada. We do our due diligence and only offer diamonds from trusted suppliers so that our stones come from non-conflict regions of the world and do not involve forced labor. Our white diamonds are GIA certified and are within 0.05ct of the listed size.
What is an ethically sourced gemstone?
What is an ethically sourced gemstone? Gemstones are very difficult to trace from mine to market to assure that they have not been mined illegally or have come from conflict situations. It is very important to us to know for a fact that no children have been used in the mining or cutting of our gemstones. Our colored gemstones are sourced from some of the most reliable ethical gem suppliers in the country. Suppliers that have established programs that support the mining and cutting communities where they have come from. We believe that it is important to support ethical treatment of workers and to involve them in the mining business to assure that they are receiving a fair market price for their valuable natural resources.
ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS STUDIO
What is an environmentally conscious studio environment?
East Fourth Street jewelry is designed and made in Minnesota after we have gathered together the most responsibly sourced precious raw materials we can find. Tracing our raw materials and producing with minimal environment impacts is the backbone of the East Fourth Street label. That means we strive for mine to market sourcing, zero waste, low energy use and responsible chemical use. Owner Susan Crow is on the board of Ethical Metalsmiths and chairs their Responsible Sourcing Committee. We encourage partnerships with other local organizations that support the empowerment of the people, many of them women, that work and live in the mines.