• Kashope

Legacy: The UK Black Jewellers Fund

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

This musing is inspired by the activism of ethical fine jewellery designer Kassandra Lauren Gordon. She has lived in many places in the UK and settled in London seven years ago. She studied jewellery manufacturing and design in Hatton Gardens, at Holts Academy, now the British Academy of Jewellery, learning the traditional techniques of making handmade jewellery, before setting up her own East London studio. She uses Fairtrade gold and her work is sold at stores across Europe and has participated in many events, including IJL and the Islington Wedding Fair. She has also had four solo gallery shows at Craft Central. She is the choice for hard-working and confident women who want pieces that they can wear seamlessly from day to night. Her jewellery styles are minimal with organic, textured elements contrasting with geometric shapes.

In her Open Letter to the jewellery industry published June 23rd 2020 on The Jewellery Cut,  Kassandra Lauren Gorden shares her experiences as a jewellery designer in London. An excerpt from her letter titled, 'An Open Letter To The Jewellery Industry re Racism' reads: “Due to a legacy of systemic racism, many Black jewellers are hindered by socio-economic disadvantages. We also don’t have established networks and professional communities that jewellers from other minority backgrounds do.” 

It's a thread, we can all see and feel across many creative industries and sectors. Editorial publications, designer houses and fashion brands have been called out for racism since the fight for racial equality was reignited when the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and too many more mobilised people to take action through protest and media (please vote USA friends, don't let there be another trump card). Kassandra asks for the UK jewellery industry to be more inclusive and offer more opportunities for Black jewellers to be able to contribute to the industry. She has compiled a list of practical questions and suggestions for the jewellery industry to consider. Each one can help increase the visibility of Black jewellers in this industry and amplify our voices.