By  on January 4, 2010

There might be gold in them thar hills, but these days it increasingly matters to consumers how and where it gets extracted.

As shoppers grow more curious and knowledgeable about the products they purchase, companies that sell everything from fashion to food have been forced to focus more on social responsibility in the products they manufacture. And the fine jewelry category is no exception. From top-tier brands such as Tiffany and Cartier to mass merchants like Wal-Mart and Sears, jewelry makers and retailers have begun using only those metals and gemstones that are acquired in ethically responsible ways.

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