Jewelry presents distinctive challenges for sustainability. The industry is currently undergoing an overhaul based on consumer demands to enhance producer accountability and responsible business practices.
This mindset can be extended to developing sustainable packaging. Separate your jewelry brand from the competition by improving your purchasing experience with ethical and eco-friendly packaging.
This guide will demonstrate that you do not have to sacrifice quality for sustainability. You can have the best of both worlds—packaging that is both high-quality and sustainable.
Responsibly made jewelry and sustainable packaging go hand-in-hand. Learn how to create beautiful and eco-friendly packaging that accentuates your ethical jewelry pieces.
Creating jewelry involves intensive production processes that have historically harmed habitats and workers. Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their jewelry was made—whether it was produced ethically and responsibly.
There are two main areas of concern for consumers: the environmental and social aspects of jewelry production.
On the one hand, mining for precious stones and metals has left a mark on the planet. Illegal gold mining and other disreputable business practices have laid to waste homelands and habitats. Mining can also harm the environment by polluting the water with heavy metals.
On the other hand, mining and processing gemstones and metals have also negatively impacted people. Undergoing these processes without careful consideration can lead to health issues and displace indigenous people. Jewelry production has also been tied to worker rights issues, including child labor and low wages.
Since the early 2000s, consumer awareness and concern over jewelry production practices have grown tremendously. Campaigns to educate consumers and films such as Blood Diamond have brought attention to the environmental and humanitarian issues in the industry.
Now, consumers are on the lookout for ethical and sustainable jewelry. Buyer demands are reshaping the jewelry industry as brands race to procure responsibly sourced materials.
Jewelers do not have to navigate the complexities of responsible jewelry production on their own. There are several organizations dedicated to providing guidance and accreditation for sustainable jewelry production.
The Jewelers Vigilance Committee promotes sustainable business practices in the jewelry industry and provides resources to improve transparency and responsible operation. The organization highlights the importance of responsible sourcing and supply chain due diligence in the responsible production and sales of jewelry.
The World Jewellery Confederation provides resources such as do’s and don’ts guides on responsible sourcing, production, and trade in the jewelry industry for all members of the supply chain, from manufacturers to retail centers. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development also provides a guide for mineral supply chain due diligence.
There are also certifications available to help demonstrate to consumers that your jewelry brand is making efforts to protect workers and the environment and avoid claims of greenwashing. The SCS Global Services SCS-007 Jewelry Sustainability Standard – Sustainability Rated Diamonds is the first multi-stakeholder sustainability standard for natural and artificial diamonds.
The Responsible Jewellery Council also offers standards for the industry. The organization has both chain of custody and assurance certifications to demonstrate that your company operates responsibly.
How else can you indicate to consumers that your brand values sustainability?
Sustainable packaging is an excellent complement to ethical jewelry to demonstrate to buyers that your brand cares about people and the planet.
Sustainability in the jewelry industry involves creating jewelry while considering the environmental, social, and economic implications. Sustainable jewelers attempt to minimize negative impacts and maximize positive ones.
Responsible sourcing, supply chain due diligence, and certifications are the primary drivers of sustainability in the jewelry industry. These critical steps in sustainable jewelry production have parallels in packaging. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, you can use the same methods for creating ethical jewelry to develop sustainable packaging.
The materials you select for your jewelry retail packaging and where they come from are crucial criteria for sustainable packaging design. Using recycled content in packaging is one surefire way to lower the impact of your packaging.
Sourcing renewable materials like paper and cotton from sustainably managed forests and farms is another eco-friendly strategy.
Finally, opting for a more durable material instead of developing single-use packaging items presents dual benefits. Going reusable can both enhance your brand image and keep discarded packaging out of landfills.
Tracing your supply chain is not only important for selling jewelry but also for creating packaging. An ethical and transparent supply chain boots consumer trust and demonstrates responsibility. Further, keeping track of your supply chain helps reduce legal and other risks.
Both your packaging materials and supply chain can be certified by various sound accreditation bodies. For example, the Forest Stewardship Council, Global Organic Textile Standard, and Global Recycled Standard offer certifications for paper, cotton, and recycled packaging products, respectively.
Certifications can help your company follow the Federal Trade Commission Green Guides and prevent greenwashing, or making unfounded environmental claims about a product.
Jewelry presents unique challenges for creating green retail packaging. It requires balancing three equally crucial elements: form, function, and sustainability. Aesthetically pleasing packaging is a must for jewelry retailers. Also, since the items can be bulky or fragile, the packaging must be sufficiently durable.
All of this has to be accomplished while using eco-friendly materials and ethical business practices. In the end, the best sustainable jewelry packaging is appealing, practical, and positively impacts workers and the environment.
Edge2Edge Packaging has expertise in all three of these areas. Our company has the capability to design sustainable jewelry packaging products including
Sustainable packaging in jewelry is an emerging trend that can help your brand stay ahead of the curve. Here are some examples of innovators who take their jewelry and packaging to the next level.
The ethical jewelry brand Monbouquette seeks ways to be sustainable in all aspects of its business and operations. The jewelry pieces themselves are sourced sustainably when possible with 100% recycled sterling silver, yellow bronze, or brass, ethically mined gold, and lab-grown diamonds. In addition, the company manufactures its pieces in the USA and ensures that the designers and crafters are well-paid.
Monbouquette also prides itself on its jewelry reaching the buyer sustainably. All packaging is plastic-free and reusable or recycled. The brand reuses Amazon boxes to ship items, and the pieces come in a reusable pouch. The company additionally offsets its transport emissions for carbon-neutral shipping.
ABLE is another brand with sustainable jewelry pieces and packaging. The company’s jewelry is handmade in the USA, and all scrap metal is collected and transported to a refinery to be melted down, reprocessed, and used to create additional products. ABLE also uses recycled silver and sources from small, family-owned businesses when possible.
Going one step further, the brand looks for ways to lessen its impact in manufacturing. ABLE uses natural solutions in certain jewelry manufacturing processes, like substituting citric acid in place of sodium bisulfate to clean newly soldered jewelry.
To get products to consumers with minimal impact, the brand exclusively uses recycled mailers. Further, the company is transitioning to 100% recyclable packaging, which it expects to complete by 2022. ABLE also encourages vendors to utilize recycled packaging such as recyclable plastic inserts and old newspapers and repurposes shipping boxes.
There are a multitude of ways to reduce the impact of your jewelry packaging without sacrificing quality.
In fact, sustainable packaging can be an asset to your company. Consumers often look for indicators of sustainable brands. What better way to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability than to package your responsibly made jewelry in eco-friendly packaging?
The jewelry industry is shifting toward responsible procurement and production. Design jewelry packaging with responsibly sourced materials, an ethical and traceable supply chain, and certified claims to show consumers your brand cares.
Edge2Edge can help your brand design sustainable packaging as beautiful as your pieces to encase and ship your jewelry. Reach out today to get started.