SWAROVSKI GENUINE GEMSTONES: SIX PILLAR PROGRAM FOR
Swarovski launches responsibly sourced and produced genuine ruby and topaz
Swarovski, responding to the increasing desire of the consumer to know and understand the origin and journey of the genuine gemstones they buy, has now moved forward to actively apply a six-pillar program of responsible sourcing for the acquisition of its genuine topaz and ruby. This "mine to market" approach respects the fact that gemstones are one of nature's treasures, and that 75% of the stones come from small scale mines. Swarovski is committed to establishing a fully transparent, responsible supply chain for every one of its genuine topaz and ruby and to support the communities at the source of these gems. The six pillars: traceability, due diligence, capacity building, community engagement, positive production, and collaboration represent a Swarovski philosophy concerning how gemstones are sourced. The program was devised after very careful consideration of issues like the way the company does business, the legal requirements, and, most importantly, how standards in the industry should protect both people and planet.
The Concept: Responsibility from Mine to Market
Today, Swarovski can trace each topaz and ruby stone right back to the pit where it originated, and it aims to achieve this across all of its Swarovski Genuine Gemstones range. The company is a founder member of the Colored Gemstones Working Group (CGWG), a group of luxury brands that worked to establish the world’s first colored gemstones responsible sourcing tools. This due diligence framework assesses the mines and stakeholders the company buys from and highlights areas of possible support needed in terms of environmental, social, and governance practices. Swarovski helps build local capacity in the work environment, and the community to work towards securing sustainable prosperity. This program opens the way to engage with projects aimed at improving social and environmental conditions, and to solve challenges for miners and their environments. Additionally, the company’s Positive Production focus at its own production sites contributes to improvement in Swarovski's standards of sustainability. All company facilities must meet exacting audit standards and work to achieve international certifications like those of the RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) and SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit). Swarovski seeks out partners to promote and support sustainable business, and invites customers, partners, and consumers to join in the process of positively transforming the ‘mine to market’ journey for gemstones.
The Journey of Swarovski Genuine Ruby from Tanzania
Rubies have been collected by the Maasai people of Northern Tanzania for more than 100 years, in a location where anyolite, a ruby-studded rock, prized as carving material, is mined. It is the men and the women of this Maasai community that now directly benefit from the recovery of the raw material for Swarovski Genuine Ruby. They work unused deposits and have created their own marketplace in their nearby village, where Swarovski purchases the raw ruby material. The mine and stakeholders are assessed with CGWG sourcing tools. Each gemstone is destined for perfection at Swarovski-owned production centers. At the same time, Swarovski works closely with the local community to resolve social issues. It has funded a new teacher's house and has built washrooms for girls at the local primary school.
The Journey of Swarovski Genuine Topaz from Brazil
Brazilian miners are able to recover topaz while working in cassiterite mining at a tin mining cooperative in the northwest province of Rondônia. The recovery of the stones provides valuable additional income for the community, and it also recovers the gemstone material without breaking any new ground. Swarovski has negotiated a fair, fixed price for the stones to protect workers from fluctuating markets and is also engaged in training a generation of tin miners to become topaz experts. These topaz stones are entirely traceable back to their source. In keeping with its commitment to improving social and environmental conditions in the community, the company has also set up a food program to support the least privileged members. It also works with a local non-profit organization, which is investigating ways to help restore Brazilian forests, vital to both local livelihoods and worldwide carbon commitments. Swarovski Genuine Topaz recovered from Northern Brazil is then precision-cut at the company’s own RJC-certified production centers.
Topaz, TCF™ (Thermal color Fusion) and the new Glacier Blue
The clear topaz stones recovered by Brazilian miners are destined for brilliant things. Indeed, they are ultimately transformed into myriad colors using Swarovski’s own TCF™ process, which is both environmentally and consumer-friendly, and above all, non-irradiated. The result is a dazzling array of colored gemstones that provide jewelry designers with a palette of hues to inspire highly desirable, trend-oriented jewelry. The latest color to join the range of blues in the Swarovski Genuine Topaz assortment is Glacier Blue, a castable shade that reflects purity, simplicity, and even the pristine Tyrolean alpine environment that is home to Swarovski headquarters. Glacier Blue is a color predestined to be popular in the coming seasons.