RJC Conference Promotes Corporate Social ResponsibilityEfforts by independent designers such as Amanda Li Hope to promote Fairtrade gold and conflict-free diamonds will be bolstered by the RJCs inaugural conference in London on May 15th.
The need for socially responsible sourcing of jewellery materials has long been championed by independent designers such as Amanda Li Hope. Ms. Hope designs and creates beautiful bespoke jewellery and engagement rings from Fairtrade Gold and conflict-free diamonds. The success of her business is testament to the growing popularity and demand amongst consumers for ethically produced jewellery.
The Responsible Jewellery Council, who spearheads the effort of bringing awareness and hopefully participation in the cause to the jewellery industry, will be holding its inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) conference on May 15th in London.
The CSR conference will be held at Arundel House in the capital and will take place following the RJC’s annual general meeting, held on the same day. The meeting is open to all interested parties and will include lunch and an evening reception. The scheduled events will focus around three panel discussions regarding current supply chain issues.
The first panel session will address three issues: responsible trading in the EU of minerals from conflict areas, the challenges of the Indian diamond sector and the consumer and SMEs perspective.
The concerns surrounding responsible supply chains and human rights will be addressed by the second panel. Speakers will include Claus Teilman Petersen from Group CSR at Pandora and Adam Greene from the International Labour Office. Issues such as the risk of forced labour and human trafficking in the jewellery supply industry will be discussed, as well as human rights in the manufacturing of jewellery.
The third panel discussion will discuss sustainability from a producer’s perspective. Signet Jewellers Ltd and the RJC will introduce the model for creating value from CSR for the supply chain and consumers. The discussion panel will include Feriel Zerouki, manager of De Beers Best Practice Principles Program, Signet’s vice-president of corporate affairs David Bouffard and Jennifer Horning, the senior program manager for gold at Solidaridad.
Industry Leaders Now Taking Note
The concept and need for Fairtrade practices in the jewellery industry is not a new one. However, the cause has mainly been led by independent jewellers such as Amanda Li Hope and many others that are featured in the F&L Designer Guides. Recently, luxury jewellery makers such as Chopard have begun to embrace the concept by producing pieces that are made entirely from Fairmined gold. With the growing public concern and demand for ethically sourced and manufactured jewellery the industry is finally listening to the consumer, and the burden of petitioning this worthy cause may no longer be relegated to independent designer-makers of fine jewellery.