Essential Certification Schemes Surrounding Sustainable Jewelry

Editorial TeamEditorial Team
March 3rd, 2022
4:40 PM

Amidst the discussion of processes and materials in the fashion industry, key players turn their attention to the issues surrounding the manufacturing of ethical jewelry.

Amidst the discussion of processes and materials in the fashion industry, key players turn their attention to the issues surrounding the manufacturing of ethical jewelry. When it comes to manufacturing sustainable accessories, it’s important to know which of the choice jewelry brands meet the certification standards for responsible sourcing. The mining industry causes harm to the planet due to harvesting and processing, and so more brands are turning to sustainably sourced materials. Sustainable and ethical jewelry refers to ornaments created from metals, minerals, or precious stones that have been extracted from certified, small-scale, or even recycled mines. Therefore, the materials used in sustainable and ethical jewelry must come from areas where the exploitation of resources has not significantly negatively altered the lives of the inhabitants and their collaborators.
This entails following good labor practices, involving vulnerable populations (such as indigenous communities, and stimulating the development of skills of certain social groups (single mothers or prison inmates). Likewise, ethical and sustainable jewelers are informed about the impact of their goldsmith work on the environment and involve the principles of ethical and fair trade.   The Environmental and Social Impact of Jewelry One of the main activities for the manufacture of fine jewelry is the extraction of the raw material since this type of jewelry is produced with at least one precious stone or metal that was extracted from the ground. In most of the developing countries where this activity is carried out, the mining sector has been related to social and environmental problems such as child labor, gender violence, absence or limitations to social security, inefficiency in the use of natural resources, and in some cases even financing of war conflicts for the control of materials.  

  Certification Schemes for Sustainable Jewelry Responsible Source™ - For Precious Metals, Gemstones and Jewelry Responsible Source™ - For Precious Metals, Gemstones and Jewelry helps jewelry brands to steer clear of materials that could have potentially come from illegal sources. The organization assures its customers of whether the gemstones are used from recycled materials or not, helping sustainable fashion brands to make better-informed decisions. Seeking raw materials that have been ethically sourced and have a less environmental impact, helps businesses to build a better reputation in the jewelry industry. They also advise brands on how they can have closer-knit relationships with suppliers to assure a higher level of transparency.   ISO/TC 174 The ISO/TC 174 is a technical committee in charge of making sure that jewelry meets sustainably sourced standards. Specifically, precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, etc. These standards are divided into categories of color, size, type of diamond, and methods of defining fineness. This standard is what helps many jewelry brands set the correct price for their pieces.   Responsible Jewellery Council The Responsible Jewellery Council is a global leader in setting standards for the watch and jewelry industry. The RJC has set out to assist jewelry brands on their sustainable journey by helping them understand where they are in the supply chain. The RJC standards cover human rights, labor rights, health and safety, and product integrity. Their Code of Practices standard applies to gold, silver, PGM’s, diamond, and gemstone supply chains. Their services are designed to be affordable for every business from large to small. They encourage businesses to sign up as members for its many benefits to getting on the path to sustainability.   Canadian Jewellers Association The Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA) has represented all aspects of the Canadian jewelry industry since 1918. They’ve been a guiding source for consumers, businesses, government, and media to learn about the many elements of this industry. The association advises its members on information on codes of ethics, security, and integrity in order to boost the promotion of sustainably sourced materials.   Women’s Jewellery Association The Women’s Jewellery Association was born from the idea that the power of women joining forces and networking could take over the world. Today the WJA represents the watch and jewelry industry in more than 20 chapters all over the world. For more than 30 years the WJA has been a source of guidance, support, and education for women working in the jewelry industry. The organization hosts many local, national and online events as well as mentoring programmes and scholarship grants in categories of design, manufacturing and retail.