Russian businessmen are taking advantage of a continuing demand for ivory and mining woolly mammoth remains for their tusks. This ‘ethical’ ivory, which is mined from underneath the Siberian tundra, is expected to demand a premium price. Currently, Russia is exporting 60 tonnes of mammoth ivory to China annually.
|A Woolly Mammoth. Image from The Age|
Monique Pean is one designer using ethical ivory to produce stunning jewellery worn by admirers that include Michelle Obama. Her breathless pieces include other ethically sourced materials, including 100% recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds. Check out her website for more information on her ethical sourcing policies.
|Monique Pean ivory ring|
To be honest, I’m not sure what I think about ethical ivory or whether I’d ever purchase a piece, but I admire designers who make efforts to supply a market demand with ethical options. I do, however, worry that continuing to promote ivory as a luxury and coveted item will encourage the illegal elephant poaching trade, as fashionistas who can’t afford the ethical option may opt for a cheaper substitution.
Would you ever purchase an ethical ivory piece of jewellery?