Sustainability has long been defined as how ecosystems last and remain productive. It’s important that our ecosystems are able to sustain, because they have an impact on all of us. We need trees to create the oxygen we breath, plants to help us create medicines, clean water to live, and air to breath. It’s sometimes easy to forget we are part of the delicate ecosystem around us. We throw trash away without thought as to where it ends up. We purchase products that were created by children in sweat factories halfway around the world, and gold from mines who have a devastating impact of the environment. It’s important to be aware of the carbon footprint you leave on the world. Once we start becoming more knowledgeable about our impact, it becomes more possible to do something about it.
Large companies can practice environmentally sound procedures in the sourcing, producing, and disposing of waste materials. Luckily, people are becoming more aware of the footprint large companies can have on the environment. While this is great, it’s also to remember to branch these practices out to small business, and even to our individual households.
The first luxury jewelry maker to pledge to only use gold from ethical sources was the Maison Chopard. Of course, this is not the first ethical move by the brand. Since Chopard has belonged to the Scheufele family in 1963, it has strived to operate under strict ethical conditions.
Chopard has frequently been involved with philanthropy for years. They have aided in the launch of several NGO’s, charities, and worked closely with nonprofits such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Prince’s Trust, WWF, the Jose Carreras Leukemia Foundation, Happy Hearts Foundation, and Centerpointe. They have also been a member of the Responsible Jewelry Council since 2012.
The Journey to Sustainable Luxury
In 2013, Chopard launched The Journey to Sustainable Luxury, and partnered with Eco-Age, hoping to one day make their jewelry line ethically sourced. They are ensuring the procurement of precious stones is ethical as well.
Chopard is aware of the social and environmental impacts mining can have on communities. In 2017, Chopard decided to stop sourcing stones from Burma because profits from the purchase of gems were financing violence within the community.
Chopard works with the South African mining NGO, the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM). This company works with mining communities to provide training and environmental support.
The United Nation’s awarded Caroline Scheufele, the Artistic Director and Co-President of Chopard, with the Fashion 4 Development Award. Chopard continues to push the envelope for sustainable items. Hopefully, other businesses will follow Chopard’s lead in this important practice.
The future looks bright for positive business practices. Responsible sourcing and production may very well be the mainstay method in time.
Recognition from the UN shows others just how important sustainability efforts are. From large companies, the small businesses, and even individual consumers. We all have a part to play to help the future become a sustainable system where ethics and integrity are expected.