Retailers are the frontline of sustainability. In this digital-first era, customers have already checked you out online before heading instore – if you’re not talking about how your business puts people and planet first, customers won’t ask. The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has created a guide specially for retailers, to help you and your team get started with sustainability and understand the common terms used so that you can speak your customers’ language.
Who is this toolkit for?
This toolkit is for the use of retailers and their employees on how to engage with their supply chain on issues surrounding sustainability. By sustainability RJC means actions and practices that ensure your business does good for people and the planet and maintains consumer trust to support its long-term business. This guide provides some quick steps on actions to take, questions to ask and explanation of key topics and terms.
Why has this toolkit been created?
Would your customers buy a piece of jewelry knowing that it was made by under-age workers forced into labor in a hazardous workplace? Or that the materials used to create the product have been sourced from a Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Area where the purchase may have funded conflict or other criminal activity?
Probably not – and customers are increasingly looking for assurance either online or at the point of sale about the provenance, nature, characteristics of the materials and whether Human Rights have been respected throughout the supply chain.
It can be challenging for a small retailer to know how to obtain all the information to handle such queries especially if they are sourcing from larger business partners who may sometimes be reluctant to provide this. It is also important to consider how to train store personnel to respond to enquiries and provide information to customers and other interested parties.
RJC has developed this guide to support retailers in their first steps to establish responsible business sourcing practices and product disclosure.
Through your actions on the ground, you are contributing to the bigger global agenda – the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). RJC encourages you to start the journey with a step-by-step process, to learn more, and do more.
What can I expect to find in the toolkit?
This guide is just the beginning and provides some practical guidance to understand:
- What the issues are and why your customers are concerned.
- How to assess risks in your own operations and in your supply chain and ensure that you are sourcing products from suppliers who can provide evidence to support your promise to consumers.
- Whether there are risks of abuses in your supply chain and what you should do in that case.
- What product information should be provided to customers.
- There is also a sample template to help you develop communications that can be used to train your teams and be shared with your customers at the point of sale.
Can I get certified?
You are welcome to join the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) to continue your journey and implement a sustainability program and continuous improvement. RJC has a dedicated team that can support you in the implementation of their Code of Practices (COP) and Chain of Custody (COC). Today, RJC is proud to have a community of leaders, with over 1,450 members in 71 countries.
Send feedback on how this guide has helped you, and any suggestions to email@example.com.
You may download the Toolkit here.
Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is a worldwide leading standard-setting organization for the global jewelry and watch industry.
Their members are helping to transform supply chains to be more responsible and sustainable – catalysing partnerships, underpinning trust in the global jewelry and watch industry and securing a future that can be treasured for generations to come.
To learn more visit www.responsiblejewellery.com.