Easing into Green

When you sell products mined from the earth, it’s not always easy to keep your hands clean on environmental issues. Some jewelers have already found their green grooves, but for others, even simple steps can go a long way.

By Michelle Graff – May 22, 2008 – New York – From housewares to automotives, industries that paid little mind to environmental issues in the past are now moving into greener pastures—and the jewelry industry is no exception.

Since so many of its products come straight from the earth, adopting practices that protect the planet is perhaps even more important in the jewelry trade than in any other.
Yet jewelry’s complex supply chain—one that often spans multiple continents before a finished product winds up in a jewelry store display case—makes tracing the origin of all materials and their impacts on the environment extremely difficult, if not impossible, for jewelers at the retail level.

But, there are now a number of efforts underway to illuminate the path that products take.

More than ever before, the industry’s leaders are coming together to address issues such as environmentally sound mining and manufacturing processes, and the use of recycled metals and lab-grown diamonds that spare the earth.

A veritable alphabet soup of organizations have popped up in the last five years, each with a common goal of making the industry’s supply chain more transparent.

And, at the end of the supply chain most visible to consumers are retailers—from tony industry standard Tiffany and Co. to a small shop in New Mexico run by a husband-and-wife team—who are stepping up to the plate to recycle and source merchandise responsibly.

Read entire article at www.nationaljeweler.com