"The new frontier for the industry"
Why Do Ethics Matter?
The level of transparency and traceability of each product through the supply chain are key when it comes to understanding ethical jewellery practices.
Indeed, materials’ sourcing and producing have an effect on both the people and the planet.
Sadly, the effect is often negative due to the traditional way of producing jewellery.
Chinese residing in Ghana may be making off with the country's gold.
Previously, consumers had very little awareness of the supply chain.
But things have changed!
If a company's supply chain is found to have questionable environmental or labor practices, more and more consumers will look elsewhere.
This is as important for business owners as it is for consumers as we move toward a new way of production and consumption in the jewellery industry.
What Is Ethical Jewellery?
To be ethical, a company MUST
source their materials from suppliers who are committed to sustainable environmental and humanitarian practices.
be able to trace back the original source of their materials
ensure designers and manufacturers collaborate to produce jewellery with minimal impact on the environment while respecting workers, artisans and local communities.
At a minimum, designers and manufacturers should be collaborating to produce jewellery that is created in a manner that has a minimal impact on the environment while respecting workers, artisans and local communities.
In 2016, at the first International Jewellery Summit, the following standards for the industry to become more ethical were discussed and agreed upon:
- To procure materials in a way that protects the environment.
- To ensure its activities help promote the growth and well-being of local communities where materials are sourced and traded.
- To promote supply chain transparency.
- To adhere to standards that protect human rights and prevent modern-day slavery.
Ethical Jewellery is rising in popularity due to the number of compassionate and sustainable shoppers who question where their products come from and who, if anyone, benefits from their purchase.
According to a Study of Fine Jewellery from the Open University,
“As consumers are no longer content with jewellery that simply looks good, they are more likely to be considering ethical concerns including, social welfare of distant others, as well as animal and environmental issues”.
Looking for transparency in the supply chain
The increasing pressure from consumers and activists forces brands to disclose information about their supply chain.
People wish to know the origins of the materials used to craft their jewellery and companies should be able to answer any questions consumers may have.
Despite the complexities of their supply chain, it is important that jewellery companies put processes in place to ensure that the sourcing of their materials does not contribute to human rights abuses or further damage to the environment.
Although full transparency seems to be difficult to achieve (due to competitive and copyright issues for instance), jewellery companies can start mapping their supply chains and start publishing some details to consumers.
This will help buyers understand the difference between ethical and unethical brands as well as fighting against greenwashing.
Scéona is committed to provide ethically-made jewellery in Singapore, or worldwide if ordered online, without any compromise.