Landmark Graduates and Jewelry Business Owners Launch a Clear Concience Project
Lori Bonn Designs, a 15-year old jewelry business based in Oakland, CA, founded by Lori Bonn Gallagher and operated by her husband, Bill Gallagher, has launched a long term industry project called Clear Conscience jewelry and accessories that will provide the consumer a choice to purchase products that are environmentally neutral and socially positive.
For years, the Gallaghers have been concerned about the environmental and social impact of mining gemstones and the production of jewelry. By creating a clear standard in the industry, Lori Bonn Designs goal is to build both consumer demand for “Clear Conscience” products as well as increase the available sources of responsible materials and manufacturing. It is their hope that their program will lead to a standard in the industry for Clear Conscience jewelry and accessories.
The Kimberley Process is a start but it only applies to diamonds and focuses on reducing conflict diamonds. Lori Bonn Designs is interested in gems of all colors and in the metal-smithing and manufacturing process that goes into the entire jewelry making process — from mining to manufacturing. They would like to be able to say that their product did not fund a war, had a positive impact on the communities it came from and was environmentally neutral.
Lori Bonn Designs has turned down producing their goods in shops and factories that had poor, unhealthy or questionable working conditions.
To assist in their project, the Gallaghers are seeking advice, support and participation of suppliers, other designers, retailers, educational institutions and consumers. Once adopted, anyone purchasing a Clear Conscience product will know that the item was produced in a responsible manner without harm to the environment or the people in the communities from which it came. Lori Bonn Designs are talking with producers, retailers, and development partners now to develop the first proposed standard.
Lori Bonn Designs recognizes that while there are jewelry and accessory products that are made and come from responsible sources, not all are produced in this manner. The concern of the Gallagher’s is that there are many communities around the world that have been harmed by the environmental impact of material production and have had negative social impact from unsafe and unfair labor practices.
Without a standard, the average consumer has little way of knowing the impact of their purchases. Misdirected consumer backlash due to lack of knowledge or misinformation could even harm communities that can least afford it. Clear Conscience accessories creates the possibility that an informed consumer and a cohesive, aligned industry will have a positive impact on the communities which we trade and give consumers a “clear conscience” when purchasing their baubles, bangles and beads.