Winner of The Observer Ethical Awards Global campaigner 2011.
Voted by The Retail Jeweller 2011 as one of the Top 100 innovators in the UK Jewellery Industry
Maverick, pain in the arse, social entrepreneur, out of the box, radical, passionate, emotional, idiot, unmanageable, direct, to the point, breath of fresh air, rebel, visionary, scruffy, non-conformist, looks like a bum, economic terrorist and dangerous bastard have all been used to describe Greg and his commitment to human rights, ecological responsibility and fair trade in the jewellery sector.
After many years of assisting other jewellery and trade bodies, Greg is going back to his first love and passion, pioneering in jewellery. Valerio Jewellery is a pioneering ethical jewellery brand. Dedicated to the creation of beautifully crafted jewellery, forged by a classic design ethos and powerful, resolute, ethical and humanitarian values. Ethics, borne from experience. Travelling the world over, living and standing with indigenous mining communities and embracing their culture. The result. Jewellery with a purity of substance and spirit that does justice to the integrity of the miner, the retailer and the wearer.
Documentary film about the impact that gold is having on the poor and the environment.
In November 2014, together with Dartmouth Films, filming of The Gold Movie began in Uganda. Over the next year more locations will be added to demonstrate that all that glitters is not gold. Jewellers have the power to transform a corrupted product like gold into a product that can deliver social and environmental justice for the majority of people in areas living with the resource curse of gold mining. With greater levels of transparency and traceability in the supply chain, gold can be a product that has social justice at the centre of its story.
Making TROUBLE – Fighting for Fair Trade Jewellery
In September 2013, Lion Hudson published Making Trouble, an auto biography telling Greg’s unique role in the catalyzing of the ethical jewellery movement and the creation of Fairtrade Gold.
Available from all good retail book stores, Amazon or from Valeriobooks.com
Jewellers Ethics Committee of Britain and Ireland
In 2011, alongside ethical jeweller Vivien Johnston, The National Association of Goldsmiths, British Jewellers Association and Gemmological Association of Great Britain, he initiated and helped to establish the UK’s first UK trade association ethical working group. With the aim of working across all the disciplines in the jewellery trade, educating on ethical performance, to aid the improved ethical output from the UK jewellery sector as a whole. In simple terms the UK Jewellery trade aspires to be the most ethical jewellery market in the world, the working group can help this aspiration become a reality. He currently serves as the interim Chair of JEC UK and Ireland.
General info and history.
Greg is a fair trade jeweller with a background in human rights and environmental advocacy. He has been a pioneer and foundational to the international development and realisation of fair trade jewellery and traceable supply chains from mine to retail. Greg is passionate about the jewellery industries to transform lives amongst small-scale miners through the power of mine to market traceability and transparency. Jewellery is an iconic luxury purchase that source is the opposite extreme. This reality needs to change and is the premise for all of his advocacy and campaign work inside and outside the jewellery trade. He is a regular columnist for The National Association of Goldsmiths Jewellery Magazine, writer, public speaker and is consulting with a number of groups in Africa keen to use the wealth of their minerals to bring peace and prosperity to their communities.
He initiated and currently serves as Interim chair on the Jewellers Ethics Committee of UK and Ireland.
He acts as an adviser to the Diamond Development Initiative.
In 1991 aged 24 following trips to Tanzania and Ethiopia, he started CRED a development education network on the south coast of England. Working with young adults in schools and colleges he became a regular facilitator of young activists in the field of human rights, the environment and fair trade (economic justice for the poor).
In 1996 Greg started CRED Jewellery the pioneering fine jewellery company. Cred Jewellery was the UK and Europe’s first jewellery company to retail fair trade green gold and platinum jewellery collections. His stated aim within the jewellery sector is;
“To make it culturally unacceptable to sell an item of jewellery that is not independently certified as socially and environmentally responsible”.
Some of the highlights of his work has been the publication in 2003 of ‘Towards an Ethical Jewellery Business’, the introduction in 2004 of fully certified green gold wedding rings to the UK in partnership with Oro Verde. In 2008 CRED Sources was established as a bullion platform for fair trade and recycled metals. In 2009 launched the worlds first high street jewellery boutique in Chichester (UK) that is fully traceable and recycled across all its jewellery collections. In September of the same year with social objectives of the business achieved he left CRED Jewellery with the aim of returning to his advocacy and campaigning roots to continue to catalyze the broader movement for certified fair trade jewellery both in the UK and internationally.
Greg worked with The Fairtrade Labeling Organisation (FLO) and other National Fairtrade Organisations from 2010 to 2014 co-ordinating their International Gold programme. He
continues to be a public advocate for the benefits that Fairtrade Gold can bring to jewellers and small-scale artisanal miners alike.
After visiting this pioneering small-scale mining initiative in 2003/4, he continues to advocate for their social and environmental mining in the rain forests of Colombia. Oro Verde support indigenous sustainable mining methods for gold and platinum that do not use cyanide or mercury and offer 100% transparency on gold.
Following an invitation in 2008 by Inuit small-scale ruby miners in Greenland, he witnessed first hand the colonial marginalisation that was taking place at the hands of the Danish Government and the Canadian Mining Company True North Gems. He has been active in supporting the indigenous people’s right to mine, own, transform and sell their Ruby without fear of prosecution by the authorities. It is still illegal in Greenland to pick up ruby and take it home.
In 2010 with US ethical jeweller Marc Choyt, he co-founded FJA whose aim is to make ethically sourced jewellery the only moral choice for consumer and supplier. FJA enables jewellers and jewellery businesses to commit to transparency and traceability in the jewellery supply chain from source to product. It also acts as a voice to marginalised communities who are effected by injustices around mining as a whole. He has co-authored with Cally Oldershaw the Red & Green Book, an educational tool aimed at jewellers who wish to start the journey towards ethical practice.
Working with the Dean of Chichester Cathedral and CRED Jewellery, he was instrumental to delivering the world’s first application of Fairtrade Gold onto a public building.
In 2005 alongside Catalina Cock and Ervin Renteria, he co-founded The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), an international organisation seeking to lobby for small-scale mining communities around the world.
He is happily married to Ruth with two girls Mali-Grace and Jemba-May. His personal interests and practices are enjoying his Triumph Bonneville, Sea Kyacking, researching and practicing indigenous Celtic Christian spirituality and living as simple a life as is possible given his love of Indian food.