A coalition of NGOs has criticised the jewellery industry’s certification body. Consumer confidence is at stake.
Jewellery is hardly a necessity of life. But according to Michael Rae, chief executive of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), that’s not the point.
“It doesn’t keep the weight off, it doesn’t feed you. It doesn’t keep you cool in the summer or warm in the winter,” he says. “It is beautiful and finely crafted, but really people buy jewellery because of what it represents – the best of human emotion.”
However, “human emotion” has created a dilemma for jewellery companies, as high-profile campaigns against conflict minerals and dirty gold have raised public concern about the ethical footprints of supply chains.
No fiancée wants to fear that the cost of her engagement ring was an environment destroyed, a community damaged or a worker mistreated. As Rae, who spent 17 years working with WWF, puts it, “If you are trying to sell a product that represents the height of human emotion, you do not want that associated with collateral damage.”
Continue reading at Guardian Sustainable Business.