Press release

Jewelry industry wants to become more sustainable

March 08, 2022
  • Sustainable production and raw material extraction
  • Key topic at INHORGENTA MUNICH
  • Examples: AURHEN ecofair, Fairever, MIADANA

From April 8 to 11, 2022, the international jewelry, watch and gemstone industry will meet at INHORGENTA MUNICH. The sustainable and fair extraction of raw materials as well as a sustainable manufacture will be a guiding theme in the exhibition and in the supporting program TRENDFACTORY. A first insight into the exhibitors AURHEN ecofair, Fairever and MIADANA as well as into the consumer perspective gained from the German Watch Study.

“Customers also increasingly pay attention to sustainability when it comes to jewelry and watches. To achieve this, raw materials must be obtained in an environmentally friendly and fair manner, and production must be aligned accordingly. We are looking forward to the discussions and insights on this key topic, especially in the show’s TRENDFACTORY,” explains Elena Jasper, Exhibition Director INHORGENTA.

The entire supply chain under consideration

Handmade jewelry from ecofair materials, for example, is the hallmark of the exhibitor AURHEN ecofair. The company analyzes the ecological, social and economic impact of every business decision before it is made. “In each category, there are criteria that must be fulfilled and others that are nice to have,” explains Felix Durejka, Deputy Managing Director at AURHEN ecofair. “We only trade gemstones or metals where it is ensured that no harmful substances are released into the environment, no children are involved at any point along the entire supply and value chain, and when it makes good business sense and is fair to all parties involved in the value chain.”

Fairever is committed to similar guiding principles. The supplier of Fairtrade and Fairmined-certified gold pursues sustainable development in small-scale mining. “Through fair trade, the living and working conditions of potentially millions of mining workers and their communities in developing countries can be improved sustainably," says Fairever founder Florian Harkort, describing his mission. He does not just rely on the promises of Fairtrade labels, but regularly goes to Peru, Colombia or Mongolia to assess working conditions for himself.

Another important aspect is that the greatest value increase occurs when the rough stone is turned into the cut gemstone. “I consider it counterproductive in terms of sustainable local economic development to carry this margin out of the country of origin. That's why more cutting companies should be promoted in the countries where the gemstones are also mined,” explains Alina Uhlitz, CEO and founder of MIADANA. For many years, the company has maintained business relationships with prospectors in Madagascar, who work independently and on their own responsibility.

Study: consumers want sustainable jewelry

The fact that consumers have a high level of sensitivity to sustainability and environmental compatibility, including in jewelry, is confirmed by the German Watch Study 2021, a study conducted by the auditing and consulting firm Deloitte and INHORGENTA MUNICH. It is important for people to source raw materials ethically, both in terms of working conditions during extraction and the impact on the environment. Generation X and Millennials are most concerned about the carbon footprint of the watch. Sustainability awareness is particularly strong among younger consumers. Manufacturers and retailers—not only in the watch industry—are well advised to take this change in awareness into account.

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Silvia Hendricks
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