If you’ve been following us lately – whether virtually on our social media posts, or IRL at any of the industry venues and locations our team members have been the past seven weeks – Vicenza, Tucson, New York City, Geneva, Dubai, Bangkok! – you already know how passionately Hill & Co. believes in sustainability, and the responsibility our industry bears to commit to change for the betterment of our world.
We work tirelessly, helping to support the artisans who mine and refine materials in a sustainable and responsible manner, connect the suppliers to the organizations that can help them achieve credibility through third-party assurances, and then find designers and manufacturers who will in turn use responsible methods to create jewels, and display and package them. These then can proudly be put forward as products that will delight and simultaneously give peace of mind to increasingly concerned consumers, demonstrating that we are all working toward a common goal, bettering our planet while satisfying human desire for items of adornment, symbols of love and human connection.
It’s not easy work, it requires innovation, outside-the-box thinking, and an eye toward global good more than just individual profit. It means going above “compliance” with the minimum standards of today’s world, but reaching far higher, looking to leaders and organizations that will accelerate their adaptation to the changing and changed biosphere we call Earth, and reduce their impact on it.
To that end, I’m proud to have been invited to participate, alongside so many esteemed members of our industry and experts in the Sustainability arena, as a judge for the 2023 Positive Luxury Awards, which recognize exactly these organizations that are making change happen. Positive Luxury was founded in 2011 – 11 years ago now! – and has worked since then, providing products and services that enable companies to manage risk, embed innovation into their corporate culture, and foster consumer trust in a credible, verifiable manner. The Butterfly Mark emblemizes their accreditation for those businesses that have been able to provide independently verified evidence that they meet the highest standards of sustainability best practices in ESG+: Environmental, Social, Governance and Innovation. Positive Luxury’s Council is comprised of experts from more than twenty leading global organizations, in all areas of industry and multiple disciplines.
There are other organizations working toward the same goals. The work of Positive Luxury especially resonates with us for several reasons. The most important lies in their commitment to ESG+ and a rigorous code of ethics. Additionally, as you already know, we at Hill &Co. believe that no Best Practice can be achieved without data. Positive Luxury has a similar standard, using data and measurable KPIs to manage and report the net positive impact being made by each member. Providing actionable tools and insights for improvement allows their members to understand successes and build on those, while reducing efforts that do not bring them closer to the end goal.
And, lest you think this is just another case of patting oneself on the back, the awards are open to all luxury brands, suppliers and retailers – not just those that have achieved Butterfly Mark certification. At a time when responsible sourcing and sustainability face steep hurdles and the clock is racing ahead, it is critical that every organization embracing what needs to be done – what must be done – be recognized and encouraged to hasten their work and their achievements.
I have been cheering on the remarkable finalists, as well as all those others whose passion about the issues inspired them to enter the competition, and will continue to lend my voice and my support to each and every one.
I hope you will join me.