Posted in SVP World
As a brand it’s not easy finding a supply chain that you trust. How do you really know what happens in a factory, or in a mine? How do you develop honest working relationships across continents and cultures? As the jewellery industry faces challenges with mines and workforces, we knew we had to start with our own supply chain.
By nature we are curious, which is how SVP Jewellery’s journey began. A chance meeting with a jewellery family from northern India led to a visit, which led to designing our first ring. We were captivated by their talented team and how the family had created this lovely, cool place to work in – something to shout about when summer temperatures soar up to 50 degrees there. We felt charmed to be able to observe their daily working lives.
That first ring when we brought it back to the UK started to get attention. Retailers loved the fact that it could be worn on any finger – it made for a compelling story, an easy sell and great for the gifting market. So we made some more.
But when there are plenty of jewellery brands in our market, who did we want to be? What does our brand mean?
We began to question how a piece of jewellery could be truly beautiful if it had a corrupt backstory. We knew there had to be a better way so we spent the next 2 years travelling back and forth to India developing our supply chain. That meant using large and small businesses who we loved designing with. When transparency is key, honesty is paramount and working side by side builds trust, we think there’s no better way to work.
Now we’ve got a code of conduct. Simple rules to stick by so everyone has a common goal – to produce great work, get paid fairly and to be happy in the workplace (after all, it’s where we spend most of our time). It also includes:
- Fair trade
- Well paid, trained teams
- Free medical check-ups
- No child labour
SVP started in the factories, but we’re delving even deeper now, understanding the challenges stone brokers face to bring us ethically sourced stones from mines that only share our own codes of conduct.
So this year we got to start working with the India UK Business Council, who helped uncover influential stone brokers we needed to connect with. We visited every single one of them to hear their stories – so we can truly understand what needs to change and where in the chain that change needs to happen.
It’s not just corruption, power and greed – it’s also desperation. Desperation to feed a family, to provide food and water and shelter. It can be just about survival, where pieces of rough are taken from the forest floor and sold in local markets before being sold on, and ending up where? Being worn by you and me.
Although we use the most ethical gems to our knowledge, there is so much more work to be done with the mines around the world, and with our governments. We know it can’t be done overnight which is why we’ll never stop trying to change it for the better.
So how are we making a difference to our customers and retailers?
It’s very simple. We’ve created a new ethos for jewellery and we call it Change is Beautiful. We bring the positive change from our supply chain into each piece we design. Where everything is engineered to be worn in multiple different ways, we make our pieces playful, giving women more options on how to style them. Buying just one SVP ring, bracelet, necklace or earring from us goes a long way. You can change it to suit your occasion, outfit or mood in the knowledge you will have made a small, positive change in the jewellery industry too.
At SVP we believe that the people who believe they can change the world are the ones who really make a difference.
Join the revolution. Change is Beautiful.