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PGI Study: Sustainability is Important Although Unclear to Consumers April 02, 2022 (0 comments)

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New York, NY--Consumers are willing to spend more on jewels if they are sustainably produced, even though these same consumers are not clear on what sustainability means. These are some of the findings of a Platinum Guild International USA consumer report in how Environmental, Social and Governmental (ESG) initiatives affect consumer behavior.

PGI USA surveyed 500 U.S. consumers who purchased or received a fine jewelry piece worth more than $1,000 during the past two years. The respondents were evenly split between males and females, ages 18-65, and had household incomes of at least $50,000. Approximately one-third of respondents had given or received a piece of platinum jewelry in the past two years; purchasers spent $1,500 on average, with necklaces and rings being the most popular pieces.

The study focused on four key areas of evaluation: the importance of ESG aspects; the fit of sustainability aspects with fine jewelry; the impact on purchase decision; and the willingness to pay more for a sustainable piece of jewelry.

The research yielded four key findings:

Consumers’ Understanding of Definition of Sustainability Varies

Buzz words such as environmentally responsible, sustainable sourcing and traceability fit best when consumers think of sustainability.  However, human rights and fair labor practices are most likely to sway their purchase decision.

Sustainability is Ranked Fourth Among Important Factors Influencing Consumers’ Fine Jewelry Selection

Image Credit: Platinum Guild International USA

Although sustainability is important to a good proportion of fine jewelry consumers, it is not nearly as influential on their selection as quality, design and metal used. While many consumers cite that sustainability is about jewelry being produced responsibly, environmentally friendly practices and fair labor laws, some also cite that it relates to the durability and quality of the piece, showcasing an unclear definition and understanding of the word among consumers.

Young Consumers Lead the Conversations with Jeweler about Sustainability

About two in five respondents had conversations with their jeweler about sustainability. These discussions are largely driven by those 18-39, and topics focus on how the piece was made, where the materials were sourced and the quality/durability of the piece.

Consumers are Willing to Pay More for Sustainability Aspects

Although consumers’ understanding of the definition of sustainability varies, most consumers state that they would pay an average of 15-20% more for all sustainable aspects, particularly environmentally responsible, human rights and fair labor practices.

“We feel it is important for our industry to make a continued commitment toward sustainable practices in all levels of business,” said Jenny Luker PGI USA president. “In order to be highly effective in this space and provide value to our partners and the industry at large, we felt it was necessary to conduct a study that would show the baseline of what sustainability actually means to consumers, allowing our future communications to be more effectively received.”

PGI USA is partnering with the Women’s Jewelry Association on a webinar to discuss the survey’s findings on April 14, with the senior research manager of 360 Market Reach. To register, visit WJA’s website.

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