On Tuesday at International Jewellery London Fair Luxury will be hosting a selection of seminars.
Here, Sarah Greenway, founder of Mosami and organiser of the group’s talks at the show, shares some insight into what the industry can expect from the seminar series.
What do you hope visitors will take away from the Fair Luxury talks at IJL?
We aim to raise awareness of issues that jewellers need to consider when building a business that puts people and planet on an equal footing with profit. The talks have been put together to provide a practical start point for jewellers looking to make this positive change. We’d like visitors to feel empowered and energised to take steps towards more ethical and sustainable practice, and to know where to find more information and support. The seminars are a taster of the type of talks that we offer at the annual Fair Luxury Conference (formerly Flux) and visitors will be able to sign up for the 2018 event.
Why do you think consumers are increasingly more conscious about where things come from and how they have been made?
Consumer trust is at an all time low following so many corporate misdemeanours. Our society is fuelled by consumerism and an insatiable desire for stuff, so where stuff comes from and who makes it are the obvious questions to ask once consumers become aware of the importance of these issues. Of course this has been highlighted by events such as the Rana Plaza disaster, but on a more positive note the supermarkets and Fairtrade have made us much more conscious about where our food comes from and engaged us with positive human stories about producers and growers. On top of this, the millennial generation have very different expectations of business, and their power as a consumer group is driving brands to change for the better. Lastly and importantly, the internet has enabled an explosion in entrepreneurial businesses that put people and planet at the centre of their agenda.
How do you work with businesses to help them embed purpose into their brand story?
In my 25 years of working with brands, the single most powerful thing I’ve learned is that people make choices based on emotion not logic. So whilst things like price and features are very important, a far more powerful driver of preference is a brand story that resonates with the consumers’ personal story. However the days of extravagant ad campaigns that invoke an imaginary story are done — today’s consumers are informed and they can detect fake stories from the far distance. Modern consumers want truth, integrity and transparency. Give them this and they will give loyalty in return. Finding this powerful brand narrative requires a stripping back to basics, to really interrogate what a brand means to its customers. Also it’s essential to look deeply into the business itself and the people that drive it, to understand exactly what makes them tick, lights their fire, and inspires them to create a fantastic product and a sustainable and successful business. Once those things are identified, we have the building blocks for a truly authentic purpose.
What’s the best piece of advice you would give jewellery businesses looking to work more ethically?
Interrogate your supply chain — have the courage to look really hard into the corners you’d rather not look into, and face up to the reality. It’s all fixable and the more of us that begin to fix it, the easier it will become because players further down the supply chain will respond when they see an opportunity and a demand. One of the great things about working in this field is that we are all driven by a common purpose that’s greater than our businesses, and so the community and support that’s available is really powerful.