Supply Sustainable or Miss the Millennials

Avilan Bridal Jewelry

Sustainably sourced Avilan bridal jewelry.

“Deck the halls with boughs of… sustainability and fair trade?”

That is the question JCK’s Daniel Ford posed last week in ‘Younger Consumers Prefer Socially Conscious Retailers, Says Poll.’ Generation X and Y shoppers have become a force to be reckoned with this holiday season, demanding more transparency into their product labels and identify fair trade, conflict-free and environmentally friendly practices, according to the results of a new survey by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm.

The survey of 1,000 adults, 18 years of age and older, taken from Nov. 7th – Nov. 10th, 2013 reveals that nearly 70 percent of consumers under age 30 consider social issues such as sustainability, human rights and fair trade before making a purchase. 10 percent always consider social and environmental issues when buying, and an additional 30 percent consider them nearly as often; that is 40 percent of a growing purchasing power that is ruled by their ethics and values. Where is this trend coming from?

“A lot of these campaigns around human rights and sustainability begin on college campuses,” said Jim Low, audit partner for KPMG LLP, in a statement. “It would fall within reason that younger people are more influenced by social issues when they shop. But a large percentage of mature consumers are also engaged in ethical consumption.”

Conflict minerals are also becoming widely known to this demographic, with shoppers under 30 being 75 percent more aware of social and ecological implications than their older counterparts. As sustainability changes from being a simple trend to a full-scale market, more retailers and taking action to meet its requirements. Our friend and colleague Lindsay Daunell, co-founder of D&H Sustainable Jewelers in San Francisco, built her entire business model around the concept.

“I think it’s great that more and more jewelers are becoming aware of the importance of sustainability in our industry,” says Lindsay, “but in order to use it effectively as a marketing tool, you need to be able to back it up. Your heart has to be in it, and you have to be comfortable talking about a clear chain of custody with the client.”

Avilan™ is ahead of the curve providing eco ethical Storied Diamonds™ (the only independently 3rd-party certified responsibly sourced stones in the industry) for designer pieces using recycled or fair trade/mined metals and gemstones. All of our stones are tracked and traced by SCS Global Services, the leader in environmental audits and certifications, and are inscribed with alphanumeric authentication codes.


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