Reflective Images, Inc. Commits to Fair Trade Practices


Santa Fe, NM: June 9, 2006

Reflective Images, a designer jewelry company located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has committed to implementing Fair Trade practices. Fair Trade practices includes offering living wages and working conditions in their company, and committing to support other companies who share these values, throughout their supply chain. The Fair Trade movement is at its very initial phase in the jewelry industry as a whole.

"It is part of healing the broken circles, the disassociation between our purchases as jewelry manufacturers and the result of our economy on people around the world," said the President of the Company, Marc Choyt. "The jewelry we make is based on ancient European indigenous motifs from cultures that honored the land and the human spirit. Every phase of our manufacturing should ultimately reflect these values. We are committing, within the confines of sound economics, to expand our network of companies that have fair labor practices and sound environmental practices as quickly as possible."

Reflective Images does produce their work domestically, employing four jewelers and one designer at their Santa Fe, New Mexico shop. They also import component pieces and chain to make up their finished items. The company recognizes that it will take some time to source out suppliers that are in alignment with their view point. They have already taken some steps in the direction of Fair Trade including:

  • Implementing a generous, award winning wage and benefit package to its own employees. (See the About Us section of their website,
  • All domestic gold purchased by the company is recycled.
  • Sourcing out some suppliers, including gem dealers, that have a directly positive impact on the communities in the developing world.

According to Choyt, who has visited some of the places in the developing world where components for his jewelry are sourced, it will take some time to implement his goal. "I do not want to mislead anyone here. We have thousands of inventory pieces from dozens and dozens of suppliers." Choyt said his company is committed to taking baby steps, which can add up.

Part of the plan to pay for these changes will involve marketing. "We will also have to differentiate ourselves from our competition because Fair Trade costs more," said Choyt. "Right now, much of what is taking place in our industry as a whole is unsustainable in the long term and plainly unethical in the short term. A diamond ring that symbolizes love to the wearer cannot mean exploitation and destruction of the environment to those who produced any of its parts."

Reflective Images Inc was founded by its designer, Helen Chantler, in 1995. They are the only company in the world producing a line of exceptionally fashionable European indigenous jewelry based on a fusion of jewelry techniques, many of which originated in the American Southwest. The company employs eleven people. They have had ten straight years of double digit growth. The company was recently named one of five Santa Fe companies honored for its outstanding product and business practices by the City Council and Mayor of Santa Fe.

The structure of the company is based on maximizing the creative power based on the circle. Most businesses are based on a hierarchical pyramidal structure. While the pyramid's main objective is to drive profits to those at the top, the circle objective is to generate benefit for the employees and the entire community through fair and equitable exchange. The president of the company is writing a book, The Circle Manifesto, on the unique management philosophy that has been part of the company's success.

For more information about the company, see their Celtic Jewelry website, Contact Marc Choyt at 505-988-7393 Ex. 12 or email him at

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