New Executive Director and chairman outline their strategy.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is planning a strategy to help retailers assure consumers their jewelry has been ethically sourced and that they follow the required sustainability standards.
The group, whose mandate is to set standards for the jewelry trade, will mark its 15th anniversary in 2020 and is mulling its next stage of development, newly appointed executive director Iris Van der Veken and chairman David Bouffard explained in an interview with Rapaport News during the JCK Las Vegas show in early June.
“We need to look at the next 15 years,” Bouffard stressed. “We have a new generation of young consumers who are looking for assurances that the RJC provides. Many of our members are retailers, and we need to develop a tool kit to help those companies leverage their membership with consumers.”
While providing such support for retailers has not yet been outlined, Bouffard envisages online tools and social-media assets that jewelers can use to emphasize their RJC participation.
To date, the RJC’s focus has been on increasing its membership within the business-to-business (B2B) space, but consumers are largely unaware of what the RJC does or what it stands for. Developing ways in which retailers can use the RJC to enhance their brands is something the nonprofit will focus on moving forward, he added.
The RJC has grown from 14 founder companies in 2005 to nearly 1,200 members today. Those span the mining, manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors, across the gold, platinum, diamond, colored-gemstone and silver segments of the jewelry market.
Along with getting the word out to consumers, the group’s leadership sees scope for further membership growth, pointing to opportunities in Asia and South America, but also in its more established markets of Europe and North America.