The latest jewelry-making techniques, fashion-forward design trends and corporate practices were among the presentations at this year’s Portland Jewelry Symposium, held earlier this month. However, one subject dominated the 9th annual event: the importance of sustainable sourcing, which takes into account the environmental and human impacts of obtaining materials for jewels. Keynote presenter Bennett Freeman says it is time for the jewelry industry to make a fundamental commitment to integrity as well as quality, and his presentation was well received among the 125 plus jewelry professionals who attended the conference.
“The 21st Century is the century of sustainability, the century of accountability, the century of transparency. Every company, every industry is going to face ever rising pressures and expectations to be straightforward about how it does its business, about the character and quality of its content, of its products throughout the entire supply chain,” said Bennett, who has collaborated with NGOs and multi-national corporations to sustainably source products worldwide. In his opening presentation at the Portland conference, Freeman went on to call for an overarching approach that would ensure diamonds, gold, silver and other products in the jewelry industry are produced in an environmentally-friendly and humane manner.
Eco-friendly & humane sourcing
The jewelry symposium, which historically focuses on artistic trends and manufacturing practices in the industry, included two other presentations that underscored the need for sustainably sourced jewels. One of the presenters was Toby Pomeroy –a respected jewelry designer who has inadvertently spearheaded sustainable practices.
In his presentation, Pomeroy cited his own personal experiences with using sustainably mined gold and silver, a standard that is labeled “Fairmined.” The certification is awarded to small-scale mining operations that are government-run and meet criteria for responsible practices. Pomeroy added that more than 100 jewelry brands are currently using Fairmined gold – metal that is mined without harmful chemicals, and under ethical practices that help better the lives of miners and their families.
With several initiatives in the works, it is evident that the jewelry industry will place more emphasis on responsible sourcing regarding the mining and distribution of gems and precious metals. Customers, now more than ever, are demanding that their fine jewels are created in sustainable ways that respect human dignity.
Fine jewelry in Bergen County
F. Silverman Jewelers applauds all efforts made toward sustainable sourcing and ethical practices in the jewelry industry, and is proud to offer gemstone, pearl and diamond jewelry of the highest quality. Stop by our Woodcliff Lake showroom and ask about pieces from the world’s leading designers, including Dev Valencia, Charles Krypell, Yoni Diamonds and India Hicks.