For a growing number of American consumers, corporate social responsibility is an important factor in every buying decision. As a result, more and more companies around the globe have started to actively review their own trade practices to ensure that the products they offer are manufactured with the least amount of harm to the environment and produced in factories where workers are treated fairly and provided clean and safe working conditions.
It makes good business sense too, as the worldwide market for responsibly manufactured goods will undoubtedly increase in the years to come. Like consumer awareness of organic goods a decade ago, awareness of socially responsible trade practices is gaining ground.
For luxury products, like other discretionary purchases, the manufacturing process must be viewed with
an even more critical eye. Diamond jewelry, the consummate symbol of love and affection, is particularly susceptible to scrutiny.
American consumers, who comprise the largest market for diamond jewelry in the world, are also savvy consumers, well aware of the sensitive issues that surround their fine jewelry purchases. Jewelry manufactured by a source certified to maintain socially responsible practices comes with a well-earned pedigree, one that jewelers should be proud to discuss at point of sale.
Because of these factors, American retailers are reviewing in ever growing numbers their own practices and choosing to do business with companies that demonstrate such socially responsible behavior. Many leading firms, including Tiffany & Co., Zales, Sterling, Ben Bridge and others, have embraced socially conscious initiatives.
Improving manufacturing and worker conditions—wherever a company may do business—does much more than save the day should a crisis occur. Socially conscious business practices have the ability to increase customer loyalty as well as the bottom line, making it a “win-win” for all concerned. In this age of globalization, companies that “turn a blind eye” to poor situations will, over time, experience substantial loss of reputation and goodwill.