CHALLENGE – SUSTAINABILITY
Consumers have become increasingly interested in how a product comes to market – including the impact the extraction of raw materials has on individuals, communities and the environment from where it was sourced and processed. The United Nations vote to ban the purchase of blood diamonds from Angola was one effort to address this problem. The jewelry industry has taken its own steps to adopt more responsible and sustainable business practices throughout its supply. It knew it needed to make consumers aware of their effort and do more.
Jewelry industry association and business leaders approached us to help jumpstart an industry-wide movement that would make it easier for members to adopt responsible and sustainable practices.
We partnered with stakeholders from 14 countries involved with gem mining, cutting, polishing, marketing and retail. Some leaders feared the heightened awareness of what the industry was doing wrong would only make things worse. After a period of industry interviews and planning, we facilitated a two-day Innovation Summit where participants applied design thinking tools and prototyped innovations that promote sustainability. We focused on where the industry was doing things right and how they could do even more.
Over a dozen tools including a jeweler ethical toolkit, a market sustainability model, a resource for engaging on the topic with customers, and an industry index that measures ethical trade by country, were designed.
The effort garnered much positive PR and lead to two additional Innovation Summits and dozens of additional resources making it easier for the industry to adopt responsible practices throughout its supply chain.
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