What Is Sustainable and Ethical Jewelry?
Ethical sourcing is an important concept in all businesses. It is an environmentally friendly, responsible, and sustainable raw material sourcing method. In addition to being a moral requirement, ethical sourcing is also a business necessity. Due to increased customer awareness regarding sustainable sourcing practices, businesses across different industries are inclined to follow them. The concept of ethical sourcing is also prevalent in the jewellery industry.
Even if a business follows strict ethical practices, there is still a chance that third-party suppliers are engaged in unethical practices that are harmful to the environment.
Ethical or sustainable jewellery means that the jewellery was made with no negative environmental impact. Moreover, the production process of ethical jewellery also ensures that the labourers are treated fairly.
For example, it could involve ensuring that extracting rare metals and stones doesn't affect the environment and nearby communities and that employees receive fair pay and work in secure environments. Moreover, ethical jewellery could also mean that the extracted precious wasn't mined in violent conflict areas or used to fund hostilities.
Water pollution, soil erosion, and deforestation are some negative environmental effects of mining metals and gemstones. It also involves using toxic materials like mercury and cyanide. Thus, by implementing ethical sourcing procedures and lowering their carbon footprint, sustainable and ethical jewellery companies aim to reduce the negative effects of their activities on the environment.
The Importance of Ethical Sourcing in the Jewellery Industry
So far, we have shared the basic concept behind ethical jewellery. Now, let's dive in and look at reasons ethical sourcing is important in the jewellery industry:
- The Jewelry Is of High Quality
Since it takes a considerable amount of time, skills, and energy to make ethically sourced jewellery, it is higher in quality. Therefore, it benefits the producer in terms of profits and the customers who enjoy aesthetically pleasing and high-quality jewellery.
- It Helps Support the Environment and the Local Community
Another reason ethically sourced jewellery is important is that it helps you support and give back to the environment. Since ethically sourced jewellery generally originates from a less popular metal source or gem, it is better for the planet. These gems and metals require less mining, reducing the harm to the ecosystem.
Moreover, sustainable jewellery is made in nations that support their economies, create jobs, and have a strong sense of cultural identity. Therefore, you can support a community by purchasing from sustainable jewellers. Your purchase will be like an investment in the economy of that country.
- Helps Reduce Pollution
When raw materials are dumped in waste or sewage water, it leads to water pollution. This type of pollution has an adverse effect on marine life and could also result in massive fish kills. Therefore, buying sustainable jewellery from a jeweller who gets its resources responsibly can help lower water pollution and guarantee that the environment stays healthy and clean.
Moreover, when mineral reserves get exposed, unrefined materials get released. These materials may become airborne due to wind erosion and nearby motor traffic. Those who live close to the mining site may suffer health problems from these harmful substances.
- Prevents Deforestation
Deforestation is causing forests to disappear at an alarming rate, adversely affecting the economies and the environment. However, ethically sourced jewellery can help prevent this damage by supporting areas where trees are preserved.
How to Make Ethical Jewelry?
The popularity of ethical and sustainable goods has increased as consumers become more aware of the effects of their spending on the community and the environment. Are you wondering how to make your jewellery ethical and sustainable? Here is how:
- The first step is establishing a moral vision and mission statement. Doing so will help your customers understand your company's aims and principles. Moreover, it would be best to define how your company is ethical in its operations and toward the community. Explain to customers how your company obtains raw materials from ethical sources, following strict environmental standards.
- Next, look for suppliers that support Fairtrade principles and uphold ethical standards. This practice ensures people in underdeveloped nations are paid fairly for their products and services, enabling them to meet their basic requirements for food, shelter, healthcare, education, community initiatives, and more.
- Use recycled materials and scrap metal in the production process. Follow this practice throughout manufacturing and shipping processes to create high-quality products from scrap materials. Recycling is a smart approach to saving money and utilising resources effectively rather than wasting or purchasing new materials.
- Any metal that has already undergone refinement is referred to as recycled metal. These materials originate from several sources and are melted down to produce a useful metal. Nonetheless, mining can occasionally entail child labour and lead to harmful working conditions.
Certain mining procedures also include hazardous waste disposal, endangering the world's water supplies. You may be sure you are not engaging in unfair labour practices or environmental pollution by using recycled metals to create jewellery.
- Reduce the amount of packaging you use for your products. When using packaging materials, keep things simple rather than overdoing them or using too much. Look for recyclable materials when purchasing materials for packaging. Doing so will reduce the amount of plastic waste your company generates.
- Sustainable jewellery companies can prove their dedication to ethical business practices by obtaining several certifications and standards. For example, The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) establishes guidelines for ethical business conduct throughout the jewellery supply chain. It is also the most recognised accreditation in the jewellery industry.
Moreover, Fairtrade Gold and Fairmined Gold are two certifications that guarantee the gold used in jewellery is obtained ethically and assists small-scale miners.
- Conflict minerals are extracted when armed conflict is raging and are then used to fund the war and human rights violations. Tantalum, tin, gold, and tungsten are the most frequently used conflict minerals in the jewellery industry. You can steer clear of using these minerals by thoroughly scrutinising your supply chains and employing only approved sources.
Jewelry has played a crucial role in culture and ethics in our daily lives since the beginning of civilisation. Nowadays, more and more individuals are choosing eco-friendly and ethically-sourced jewellery as it is better for the environment and the local communities.
In conclusion, choosing ethically and sustainably produced jewellery is beneficial to the environment and community as a whole and reflects the beliefs of many ethical buyers. You can positively impact and promote change in jewellery by purchasing products from ethical and environmentally friendly manufacturers. When purchasing jewellery, seek companies that emphasise ethical sourcing and community involvement, and avoid employing conflict minerals. This way, you can wear your jewellery with the satisfaction of knowing it was made with honesty and consideration. If you are looking to purchase ethically sourced jewellery, visit Varoujan Jewellers today!