Younger consumers are looking for transparency, and higher standards of ethical practices, from the brands that they buy from. In particular, the jewellery industry has been under a lot of scrutiny for years from environmental and child labour cases in the gold industry and from ‘blood diamonds.’
Jewellery consumers are researching the impacts that mining and processing of jewellery can have and are demanding a change.
A lot of older consumers were willing to turn a blind eye to unsustainable or unethical practices in the jewellery industry if it meant they’d get their jewellery at a lower price. Younger consumers are unwilling to do the same.
With experiences at the top of their agenda, buying jewellery isn’t as appealing to young consumers as it was in decades before, but if the industry wants to continue to thrive it needs to appeal to this next generation. Supplying ethical and sustainable jewellery is one way of doing that.
Fast fashion has been affecting the clothes and jewellery industry for some time now, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. One of the biggest criticisms of fast fashion is the effect it has on the environment. It’s made to be worn for a limited time before it is discarded, and the next item is bought. Real jewellery stands out for this reason, and this is a major selling point that jewellers should be taking advantage of. However, this only works if the jewellery is being produced sustainably, consumers won’t switch up one unsustainable product for another.
Looking to the Future
While consumers are spearheading the call for change, they aren’t the only ones who are looking for sustainable jewellery. People who work internally in jewellery brands are also striving to rid the industry of the negative connotations surrounding it. Jewellery brands who want to create a good working environment and build a team of the best workers in the business need to be innovative and looking towards the future. Brands who are stuck in the past will eventually become obsolete.
While the previous points are all important reasons for jewellery brands to become sustainable from a business stand point, they don’t address the most important reason – the planet. The retail industry makes a huge impact on the environment and contributes majorly to global warming. Climate change is here, and if we don’t all make an effort to reduce the damage we are having on the environment our little planet won’t be here to enjoy for much longer. Every little helps, especially if you are a business owner that can contribute at both home and at work.
This year at Jewellery & Watch there will be a sustainability trail highlighting the ethical and sustainable jewellery brands doing their bit to help the environment.