Socially and environmentally responsible jewelry and accessories
Clear Conscience Accessories Fact Sheet
Purpose of beginning the initiative Clear Conscience Accessories:
For years, owners Lori Bonn Gallagher and her husband Bill have been concerned about the environmental and social impact of mining gemstones and the production of jewelry. They are passionate about creating products they are proud of but found it very hard, and limiting, to source only from 100% responsible parties because information and standards are not what they could be.
How this initiative can change the jewelry manufacturing business:
By creating a clear standard in the industry, Lori Bonn Designs goal is to build both consumer demand for Clear Conscience products as well as increase the available sources of responsible materials and manufacturing.
This initiative compared to the Kimberley Process:
The Kimberley Process is a start but it only applies to diamonds and focuses on reducing conflict diamonds. Lori Bonn Designs is interested in gems of all colors and in the metal-smithing and manufacturing process that goes into the entire jewelry making process - -from mining to manufacturing. They would like to be able to say that their product did not fund a war, had a positive impact on the communities it came from and was environmentally neutral.
Lori Bonn Designs products use very few diamonds and only the smallest pave diamonds so they do not have to work hard to be conflict free. They are more interested in how and where their colored stones are sourced, what went into the manufacturing of the finished item including the work environment.
They have turned down producing their goods in shops and factories that had poor, unhealthy or questionable working conditions. We have avoided the lowest cost gem dealers that can make no assurances of how or where the gems are sourced. While their gut has been a good guide for them in the past, they think its time the industry and consumer had something they could really understand and count on.
The effect of this initiative on the economy of the countries where gems are mined and manufactured:
The gem and jewelry industries are important and essential economic drivers in many regions. Jewelry is also an important and ancient mode of human expression and culture. They see the need to insure the future of jewelry by responsibly developing their product and the industry of which they are part.
Countries impacted by this initiative:
Their hope is that it will affect both consuming and producing countries alike on a global basis.
Participation of others to get initiative implemented:
Lori Bonn Designs is seeking industry partners such as designers, producers, retailers and others to develop the standard and begin its implementation. They are talking with producers, retailers, and development partners now to develop the first proposed standard.
The customer will end up with the choice of a product that is bought in good conscience. Information on the products and jewelry, and an understanding of what goes into the manufacturing of them, will be available to the consumer.
How this differs from other fair trade arrangements of other companies.
The purpose of the initiative is an escalation and consolidation of similar programs in other sectors. Like a combination of both fair trade and organic in the coffee business, Clear Conscience Accessories will be both environmentally neutral and socially positive.
-- Lori Bonn Designs is a 15-year old jewelry business founded by Lori Bonn Gallagher and operated by her husband, Bill Gallagher. The company is based in Oakland, CA and selling nationwide to major retail outlets, fashionable boutiques and on television.