Almost 30 international and grassroots non-profit organizations are calling on the jewellery industry to turn its commitment to responsible sourcing into action.
Jewellery companies are not doing enough to ensure they are sourcing responsibly and many fail to publically and transparently report on the due diligence efforts they say they undertake. Despite commitments, many companies rely on international initiatives or certification schemes that are narrowly focused and provide no guarantees for customers.
The Kimberley Process, often cited by companies, is limited to rough diamonds and narrowly defines conflict diamonds as those linked to rebel forces. IMPACT announced its withdrawal from the Kimberley Process last December, stating that the scheme has lost its legitimacy as the internal controls that governments conform to, do not provide enough evidence of traceability and due diligence to ensure a clean, conflict-free, and legal supply chain.
The call to action comes on the heels of a Human Rights Watch investigation into the sourcing of gold and diamonds by the world’s 13 leading jewellery and watch companies. The report found that while some are taking steps towards responsible sourcing, many fall short of meeting international sourcing standards.
However, there are a number of jewellers who put responsible sourcing at the heart of what they do. Fair Trade Jewellery Co. is sourcing gold from the Just Gold project, providing its customers in Canada with, legal, conflict-free, and fully traceable gold from Democratic Republic of Congo – an example of a jeweller walking the talk on responsible sourcing.
Now is the time for more companies to follow and take action.