Majoral, a brand committed to ethical jewerly

Majoral, a brand committed to ethical jewerly

Enric and Roc Majoral

The notorious creations of founder Enric Majoral, started at his shop in La Mola Market, in Formentera Island, 40 years ago. There, Enric the creator of Majoral a Fairmined licensed brand, began his craft intuitively, creating by himself singular pieces with one only rule: to express his feelings and thoughts, just as the first humans did when they created jewels.

Majoral Jewellery, which now has headquarters in Barcelona in addition to their workshop in Formentera and has brand presence in over 25 luxury stores around the world, has become the main seller of jewellery made with responsible gold in the Spanish market, becoming an example of a successful brand that chooses ethical consumption and promotes responsible supply from artisanal and small scale mining (ASM). 

It is a brand that focuses on the traceability and knowledge of the origin of their gold as a value proposal to engage their customers. 

Here, at Alliance for Responsible Mining, creators of the Fairmined standard, we had a conversation with Francesc Picanyol, Managing Director of Majoral, to know their motivations and results.

How did Majoral begin?

We wanted to make jewellery, but we were self-learners, we sold on the streets of Formentera and we did not know the sector. We sold the jewels at the same shop in a rural house that nobody knew. Everything was too precarious, we learned on our own. The project was growing and we opened more and more shops. At first, we were not very interested in implementing a company structure.

Why getting supplied with Fairmined gold?

We became partners with the Catalan Association for the Promotion of the Economy for the Common Good (L’Economia del Bé Comú – Catalunya), and they asked us for social balance indicators: where materials came from, where we bought raw materials, among others. There we realized we did not know the origins.

Francesc Picanyol

We bought from the Spanish Society of Precious Metals – SEMPSA (Sociedad española de metales preciosos), which is currently property of a German company, and it was the Company that sold precious metals at that time in Spain, but we did not know exactly where the gold came from. Keeping this into consideration, I started looking for the alternatives we had. That was the moment when we progressively introduced Fairmined gold.

A fundamental factor was that we organized a small survey among our customers and most of them said that they would be willing to pay more for responsible gold. From here, we realized that it was worth it to increase the cost of gold supply, because it was also investing in the marketing strategy. Now, we sell Fairmined and RJC recycled gold. We do not buy conventional gold because we do not know its origin.

What would be the balance of becoming a Fairmined licensed brand?

I think both the balance and the experience have been positive. Even though margins have reduced, we have not changed the price much, as we assume this cost as a part of the marketing budget. Now we are collecting more fruits. 

What has been one of the challenges of integrating Fairmined in your supply chain?

At the beginning, it was the extra cost, for example, in auditing. Fairmined has also facilitated the reporting process for everyone through its online platform.

How have you done with Fairmined gold sales?

In 2019, the percentage of Fairmined gold bought by Majoral for its production was 75% in comparison with 25% RJC recycled. We buy according to our collections: Fairmined or recycled gold. Selection criteria vary a lot. For example, in Posidonia Collection, which is Fairmined, we thought that it was a perfect collection for the conceptual introduction of a metal that guarantees its origin, as well as for the wedding ring collection called Ethical Symbol (Símbolo Ético), among others.

What is the value that you would highlight when buying Fairmined gold for Majoral and their customers?

Contacting the mine has a great value, the fact that we get to know them to buy directly from them. Consumers also see a great value on this aspect. 

“It is difficult for a Company to make this decision. If it was hard for us, imagine for someone who is not interested. However, experience showed us that buying Fairmined is a good strategy indeed.” 

Why do you think that you do so well with your customers?

We have done very well, increasing our sales 11% in 2019. We have a loyal community. We do not have customers, we have fans. People who love us, know, and value us from many years buy from us, and they know that we do things better every day.  

We have increased online sales, but people do not know you very much through this channel You have to give a complete picture, and be transparent about who you really are. You must provide good communication about the metals and their origin so the customer understands, learns about it and knows you for it.

We know several jewellery brands in Barcelona joined to create a collective that promotes ethical jewellery. Tell us more about that

Indeed, we are part of the jewellers collective Origen, the collective for a responsible jewellery (Origen,el colectivo por una joyería responsible)”. We joined in Barcelona with the support of the NGO Medicus Mundi. This experience has been great because it helped us intervene in the sector. The support of Medicus Mundi has been great for us and they have done a very important work in the promotion of the process of change towards a new jewellery model based on transparency and traceability of the products. The thing is, despite the aspect of metals and gem stones is exactly the same, they tell very different stories.

 “An ethical jewel is as valuable for all those people involved in its cycle as it is for the person who wears it. It is a social and environmental transformation engine.”

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