We are now experiencing a new era of awareness. Reaching across societal and geographic borders, we recognize the need to protect the environment and conserve water, and when we buy things, we also think about where they come from.
Answering Consumer Demands
The question of responsible practices might have once been an attractive consumer nice-to-have. Now it is becoming a must-have. These days, we want to know more about the products we buy, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the transport we use, and yes, also our jewelry. This movement is driven by a younger generation increasingly concerned about the planet. Jewelry makers now must also think about how they can make jewelry relevant to millennials.
When the younger generations — and older ones, too — pick up a desirable piece of jewelry in a store, they want to be confident about where the precious metals and stones came from, and how they were sourced. Are they traceable? Are those who mine and make them fairly treated? Are they created with environmentally friendly processes?
This current debate is here to stay. It’s a pressing issue that grabs global attention. Today’s jewelry makers understand that they must engage in responsible practices— whether by using fair trade or recycled gold, using responsibly mined stones or, like Swarovski, a member of the Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC), engage in collaborations such as the Colored Gemstones Working Group, which works to enable better practices and reduce adverse impacts on the colored gemstone supply chain.
Today, Swarovski is committed to offering conscious luxury, a modern and progressive approach to business that respects the wellbeing of people and the planet. The vision is to drive positive change and to be a force for good in the world. Penélope Cruz is among celebrity personalities who have embraced the principle, appearing at high-profile events wearing Atelier Swarovski collections featuring laboratory-created diamonds and other created and responsibly sourced genuine gemstones and responsibly sourced gold. But conscious luxury is about offering responsible solutions for everything we do.
Take Swarovski Zirconia, the most responsible zirconia on the market today, where the mining and refining of the raw materials are traceable back to their origins. Swarovski ensures this by maintaining strong ownership and control over the supply chain and operations. Or the recent release of Swarovski Ceramics, a brilliant new material for the jewelry industry, designed and manufactured by Swarovski in-house, and one that champions the principle of responsibility in the glass-ceramic sector.
And thirdly, consider the ever-popular Swarovski Genuine Topaz. These stones are traceably sourced from a mining cooperative in Rondônia, Brazil, which is supported in their sustainability efforts, and from responsible sources in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. And Swarovski is also committed to acquiring genuine ruby and sapphire from responsible sources, so they can bring lasting change to local mining communities.
Sustainability on the Agenda
Swarovski has just published its fifth annual Sustainability Report. The company has lived by the tenets of respecting human, social, and environmental values since it was founded in 1895. The pressure to conform to today’s standards has underlined their importance and set the company on a path of continuous improvement. We also recognize sustainability is a journey. There is always more to do, both at home and industry-wide.
Swarovski engages in a strict chemical compliance program, so there are no harmful substances in any of their products. The company also champions broader initiatives that promote sustainable jewelry. Swarovski is a member of the global nonprofit organization BSR (Business for Social Responsibility). Its Responsible Luxury Initiative brings together 16 luxury companies who cooperate to solve sustainability issues.
Swarovski founder Daniel Swarovski believed in the principle that things that were already good could always be improved. The sustainability issue is ongoing, and demands are almost certainly going to increase. Conscious luxury can contribute to this, but this cannot be done alone. There is still much to do, for us and the global jewelry industry. Swarovski is, however, committed to being a driving force for change beyond company borders and proud to be part of a global movement where brands are conscious of the need to answer today’s call for integrity and sustainability.