Talk to your suppliers

Not sure about your materials, here are some questions to get a conversation started with your supplier.

Dear Jeweler,
Please contact us if you interview your supplier and get responses to these questions. EM is in the process of building a supplier database and we need your help. Contact US!

QUESTIONS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR SUPPLIER

(Record the date and time of your call)

Who is the right person to talk to? What is their name, and contact information?

Can they verify that 100% of the silver, or gold you are buying is from recycled sources?

If not, what portion can they guarantee and where does the rest come from?

Do they know about the copper that they alloy with to make sterling, where does it come from? What about other alloys?

Can they ensure that none of their metal - recycled or new - has come from known conflict zones (Democratic Republic of the Congo)?

Can they ensure that the scrap, old jewelery, etc. that they buy is not part of a money laundering scheme? In other words do they screen the people they buy from?

What products are made with materials refined in house? (Ex. sheet, wire, bezel, findings, chain, ear wires) - often a refiner will make sheet and wire, but not the findings, those they are buying from somewhere else and re-selling.

What kind of system do they have in place to keep refining toxics out of the environment? (ex. scrubbers to clean the air, water purification and re-use systems for solid waste)

Do they monitor and aim to reduce energy and water use over time?

What can they tell you about the treatment of their own employees? Fair / living wages, rights, and safety?

Would they consider communicating answers to these questions on their website, in other words, make their process more transparent to jewelers?