Throughout 2014 and 2015 I had the pleasure of being part of a team working on a project about ethics in the jewellery industry. At the time we produced a report of findings; the first part of the report deals with the pressures on the industry, the second reflects on findings about consumers. You can see the report below:
I also co-authored an academic paper, published in the Journal of Business Ethics back 2015. It is titled Understanding Ethical Luxury Consumption Through Practice Theories: A Study of Fine Jewellery Purchases. You can find it here (behind paywall).
This was the first long-term project I was a part of after finishing my PhD and starting an academic position as researcher. I felt it was a particularly interesting project, as it analysed the path to implementing CSR in a very specific market from both sides of the market – businesses AND consumers. There is precious little work of done which comprehensively covers the two types of economic actors with respect to what happens in an economic space (such as jewellery SMEs).
It was very interesting to note how jewellery consumers and jewellery businesses fed off each other, each expecting the other side to make the first move, to the point that implementing CSR in this space looked quite difficult. There are many cases such as these – where a ‘good idea’ is not becoming reality back because both consumers and businesses hold back until the other makes a move. The result might be a lot of policy interest, which struggles to translate into economic reality – see the case Electric Vehicles, for example.