Luxury jewellery brand Tiffany & Co has been expanding its workforce in sub-Saharan Africa as part of its drive to be transparent and raise ethical jewellery standards across the jewellery industry.
According to The Business Times, the brand’s chief executive officer revealed uring an interview in Cape Town that more than a quarter of the company’s 1,500 global diamond cutters and polishers are now based in Africa.
Tiffany has factories in Botswana and Mauritius, making it the only western luxury brand that does not outsource production of its African stones. The firm’s boss, Alessandro Bogliolo, says all staff are subject to “intensive training” over two years.
Botswana is the only African country where Tiffany & Co both buys and prepares its stones. While it also sources diamonds from mines in SA, Namibia and Sierra Leone, Bogliolo says it will not do business in Zimbabwe and Angola because of the human-rights situation in those countries.
“If you buy from a world-class brand, it’s because you trust that this brand has done all that is humanly possible to guarantee that the product is not only crafted to the highest standard, but also ethical and traceable in its manufacturing,’’ shares Alessandro Bogliolo
The move to hire and train African polishers and cutters comes as Tiffany has vowed to be completely transparent about its diamonds and the process it goes through from mine to finger.
This year Tiffany started a ‘Diamond Source’ initiative, which will see the brand share the provenance of its newly sourced, individually registered diamonds with its consumers, and by 2020 the business aims to share the entire craftsmanship journey.
“Tiffany & Co. has long been committed to diamond traceability and going above and beyond industry norms to promote the protection of the environment and human rights,” shares Tiffany & Co chief sustainability officer, Anisa Kamadoli Costa. “A transparent journey of responsible sourcing reflects the many positive and far reaching benefits along every step of the diamond supply chain.”