Fashion Revolution is a global movement that seeks to raise awareness about the fashion industry's social and environmental impacts and advocate for a more sustainable and ethical fashion ecosystem. The movement was born out of the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,100 garment factory workers. Fashion Revolution was founded to honor the victims and push for greater transparency, responsibility, and sustainability within the fashion industry.
As a jewelry brand and retailer, some things for you to consider in understanding the larger sustainability movement and what organizations like Fashion Revolution are calling for on brands, like you to engage further with:
Transparency in the Supply Chain: Understand and document your jewelry supply chain. Know where your materials come from, who makes your jewelry, and under what conditions. Transparency is a core principle of ethical fashion.
Ethical Sourcing: Ensure that the precious metals and gemstones used in your jewelry are sourced and mined responsibly. Look for certifications that demonstrate responsible sourcing, such as Fairmined or Fair Trade gold.
Labor Practices: Be aware of the labor conditions in any factories or workshops where your jewelry is produced. Ensuring that workers are treated fairly and paid decent wages is a critical aspect of ethical fashion. Look for certifications like Sedex and ask your supply chain if they regularly conduct third-party audits of their factory.
Environmental Impact: Consider the environmental impact of your jewelry production. Are you using sustainable materials, minimizing waste, and reducing energy consumption? Implementing eco-friendly practices can appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.
Artisan and Handmade Jewelry: If you offer artisan or handmade jewelry, promote the craftsmanship and support the livelihoods of skilled artisans. Highlight the stories behind the pieces and the people who create them. Work with your supply chain partner to highlight the stories of the workers making your products.
Recycling and Upcycling: Embrace recycling and upcycling in your designs, which can reduce the need for new raw materials and promote a circular fashion economy.
Lab-Grown and Alternative Materials: Explore the use of lab-grown gemstones and alternative materials that have a lower environmental impact and are often more ethical. In the jewelry industry, consider researching lab-grown or nano gems and crystals to see if it is a more sustainable alternative that makes sense for your brand.
Certifications: Consider obtaining certifications like B Corp Certification, Fair Trade Federation, Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), or other industry-specific certifications that demonstrate your commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.
Consumer Education: Educate your customers about the importance of ethical and sustainable jewelry. Sharing information about your responsible practices and the impact of their purchases can foster a sense of responsibility.
Collaboration and Advocacy: Join and support initiatives related to ethical fashion, such as Fashion Revolution, and collaborate with other ethical brands to amplify your message and impact.
Incorporating ethical and sustainable practices into your jewelry retail business is not only socially responsible but can also attract a growing segment of consumers who are looking for products that align with their values.
It can set your brand apart and contribute to a more responsible and sustainable fashion industry. Learn more about how you can get started by reading Fashion Revolution's Guide to getting Involved: Brands, Retailers, Wholesalers, & Distributors.