Remember Kathy Lee, the former co-host of a morning entertainment show, who made headlines when it was revealed her clothing line was produced in low-wage sweatshops overseas? Since then, the likes of Disney and Nike have suffered adverse publicity from similar disclosures.
Now a growing number of American jewelry retailers and manufacturers are seeking to prevent such scandals. So they are forcing suppliers abroad to pledge themselves to fair labor and environment practices. Contracts stipulate that goods are to be produced in humane working conditions for decent wages by adults - not prisoners or children. Tiffany's, among others, has been pushing for corporate responsibility on a global scale.
The calls for conscience are paying off.
In September, the newly formed Consumer Confidence Commission (CCC), formed by the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), held its inaugural meeting in London, with delegates attending from all member nations.
"We hope to lay the groundwork for what will become a global strategy for consumer confidence in our business community and the products we sell,"
CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri told the Rapaport Report, a weekly diamond price sheet.
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