Social Responsibility Standards
Fair-trade issues as well as the rights of individuals and all living things throughout the world have always been of deep concern to us. We stand firmly against conflict diamonds and gold, all forms of unfair labor practices including the use of child labor, and environmentally damaging mining. The following standards and goals guide our business practices every day.
Environmental Goals for Mining
- Mine in a manner that protects all streams, watersheds and ground water from all forms of pollutants, including silt, debris, trash, and all chemical and biological contaminates.
- Mine in a manner that minimizes the destruction of plants, wildlife, and habitat to the lowest degree possible.
- Reclaim and replant all land once mining has been completed in order to restore it as closely as possible to the original conditions prior to mining and exploration.
Environmental Standards for Sourcing
- Sell only gemstones that have been produced using environmentally sound mining methods.
- Seek written assurance from all suppliers that warrant that the mining and all methods used to process rough gemstones are as environmentally sound as possible and in accordance with all local laws.
- Insure that all waste or hazardous materials produced during mining, cutting or processing is disposed of in a safe, legal, environmentally sound manner, and in accordance with all local laws.
Labor Goals for Mining & Cutting
- Mine, cut and process gemstones using labor that is paid a fair and living wage, and allowed to work free from extortion, threats of violence or obligation under any form of indentured servitude, in a safe work environment.
- Mine, cut and process gemstones in a manner that prohibits the use of any form of child labor, forced labor, or trafficked labor, either in the mine or cutting facility itself or in any support capacity.
- Provide equal opportunities for the employment and advancement of all qualified individuals, including women, members of the LGBT community, or ethnic minorities, in all areas of production, processing, and distribution.
Labor Standards for Sourcing
- Sell only gemstones that have been produced using legitimate labor that has been paid a fair and living wage.
- Seek written guarantees from all suppliers that no child labor, forced labor, or trafficked labor, or any unfair labor policies are ever used to produce the gemstones. All suppliers further assure that all labor conforms to all local labor laws or requirements in the country the rough is produced.
Should Leber Jeweler Inc. find gross or repeated disregard for labor or human rights concerns, we will cease all commercial transactions with the offending mining or cutting operation.
Gold and Platinum
Standards for Sourcing and Refining
- Source reclaimed gold and platinum from legitimate sources, accounting for any subsequent waste stream in its production.
- Process and refine all reclaimed gold and platinum in the United States in a manner that meets or exceeds Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with all regional and local regulatory agencies.
- Maintain a standard that recycled gold and platinum is defined as precious metals containing 100% recycled content using metal derived solely from the reprocessing of finished end-use items that were either produced domestically or previously imported as manufactured items prior to transformation.
- Recognize that while Earthwise Jewelry® uses 100% recycled gold and platinum in its fabrication, hard rock mining continues to exist and that efforts need to be made to reform this industry in a manner that both protects the environment and the rights of local communities in mine locales.
Standards for Production of Earthwise Jewelry®
- Manufacture all finished Earthwise Jewelry® pieces using U.S.-based labor that is paid a fair and living wage, recognizing that skilled American labor is an integral part of our local community’s health and well being.
- Provide a safe and healthful work environment for employees in the production department, as well as in sales and office administration.
- Recognize that fair trade principles should include not just communities in the developing world but also local communities, many of which are under-privileged or disenfranchised.
Although we strive to take big steps as an internationally recognized fine jewelry company, we are mindful that small steps are equally important. Following are some of the modest measures we’ve taken to protect our resources.
Our 1,700-square-foot store in Chicago’s River North neighborhood is located on the main floor of a former industrial building that is more than 130 years old. We designed the retail space to incorporate elements from the original architecture, including the original beam-and-brick construction, updating it with the aim of meeting the highest environmental standards.
Aware that our forests are a rapidly depleting resource, we use recycled materials with soy-based ink in all our paper products, from our company letterhead to our shopping bags. Our jewelry boxes are made with recycled paper and our shipping materials are recycled, reused or recyclable.
In addition, we use energy efficient lighting because we know that 95 percent of the water in our Lake Michigan watershed is drawn for coolant in electrical power plants.