The concerns for ethical & sustainable products are nowadays growing rapidly in the jewelry Industry. For brands that want to work ethically, the true challenge is to answer the requests of the consumers and the overall supply chain.
The newest business models consider sustainability to be a requirement in the overall strategy and the introduction of some certifications represents a relevant guarantee for consumers, As a matter of fact, there are several international agreements and organizations that provide idelines for brands taking up this challenge: the most relevant being the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) and the Kimberley Process (KPCS). For sure certifications are not enough, also because most of them focus on sourcing activity while each step from manufacturing to distribution, is relevant in sustainability.
In luxury and jewelry industry the consumers give a symbolic value to their purchase and they expect companies to create long-term value along their supply chain so sustainable companies are willing to create economic, social and environmental value for the community in which they operate. It is therefore fair for ethically sourced & made jewelry to have a premium price-point that reflects the responsibility in managing the supply chain and its certifications.
As a result, combining ethics, aesthetics and economic success is not impossible: it is a fact ! This is why gem & jewelry companies with a virtuous balance of economic and sustainable policies, have been growing in these last years.
For instance, a best practice from Kuwait, INTISARS, besides being a member of the RJC and having signed an extra agreement to check on gold provenance, has implemented sustainability at 360°, which means working on industrial waste management, clean waters, human rights and conditions of workers (from mining to manufacture), taking a stand against black recycled gold and avoiding youth labour. Furthermore, the brand is working towards establishing a Foundation to support women
who suffered from violence and war related issues. Collections are designed and Made in Italy, in Valenza, the Italian gold city: the reason is that the brand wants to have the best ethical and sustainable standards from jewelry sourcing to production.
Brands like INTISARS, have the chance to become the new love marks of consumers. Being able to integrate ethics to aesthetics in the value chain is definitely the answer to the increasing interest of consumers who want to know what is behind the product.
“BRANDS LIKE INTISARS, HAVE THE CHANCE TO BECOME THE NEW LOVE MARKS OF CONSUMERS.”
FRANCESCA ROMANA RINALDI
Teaches at Bocconi University and Bocconi Business School where she is responsible of the CSR in Fashion & Luxury topic at the Master in Fashion, Experience & Design Management. She is Director of the Master in Brand & Business Management and New Sustainable Fashion course of Milano Fashion Institute (inter-university consortium between Bocconi University, the Catholic University of Milan, and the Polytechnic of Milan). She is co-author of “The Responsible Fashion Company” (Greenleaf Publishing, 2014) and a passionate executive consultant for companies in the Fashion and Luxury industries with a focus on brand management, sustainability, digital strategies and business model innovation.
She is speaker at international forums on the topics of Responsible innovation in Fashion & Luxury, including UN forums on the topic of Responsible Fashion. She has been invited as fashion industry expert in Italian TV channels such as RAI, LA7 and other international channels. In 2010 she has created the Bio-Fashion blog with the objective of raising awareness on Sustainability in Fashion and Luxury.