Being a “Responsible” Jeweler Has Costs—and Rewards

Industries looking to shore up their reputations as globally responsible usually begin and end with “going green.” But the jewelry industry has an additional layer to transcend beyond environmental do-goodery. Ethical responsibility—ensuring that business practices have zero negative impact on the health and happiness of others—has long preoccupied the industry, and the issue is now top of mind for consumers.Enter the Responsible Jewellery Council, a London-based nonprofit that promotes ethical, social, and environmental practices in the trade chiefly through its member certification process, which singles out businesses that enforce a rigid code of responsibility.The organization certifies all chinks in the jewelry supply chain, from mine to market, and strives to inspire “absolutely correct behavior [through] conformance with standards that include respect for people, environ

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