HOW TO BECOME AN AWARD WINNING ETHICAL JEWELLER
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Last year V&V had the privilege of working with EC One founders Jos and Alison Skeates, along with their fantastic team, as they renewed their commitment to running a responsible jewellery business. Just a year later they were awarded a UK Jewellery Award in recognition of their work. In the first of this two part blog, we explore how they established their vision and mapped out a plan to achieve their goal of becoming a leading, sustainable business.
EC One is an independent jewellery brand and retailer with a stunning boutique set amongst the hustle and bustle of London’s Exmouth market. They produce their own collections and bespoke pieces, as well as stocking a range of high profile guest designers.
V&V spent an afternoon with the team exploring their business and identifying potential risks and opportunities. It was great to meet a group so passionate about improving their different areas of responsibility: from running the store and communicating with clients, to designing jewellery or working at the bench. We discussed what they believe in, both as a brand and as individuals, and how they would like to see the business improve. Collectively we honed this down into a plan for the brand’s future.
Establishing a vision, manifesto, mission statement (whatever you choose to call it) is the first step to making positive change within your business. It is a plan that sets out the foundations for everything you do. A public declaration of your values and goals, along with a roadmap to help you achieve them. Here are four elements to consider when developing yours:
VALUES - What does your brand stand for? What are you passionate about? Are you motivated by environmental or social issues?
Protecting the environment was a key driver for EC One’s founders. The team wanted to ensure that their business produces high quality, beautiful jewellery that has positive impact on the planet.
THE WORLD - What is happening in the world that may affect your brand? Will new legislation or scarcity of natural resources impact your business? What about changes in consumer purchasing habits or campaigns about unethical jewellery?
To support EC One, V&V conducted a SWOT analysis of their business, which highlighted their strengths and weaknesses, and identified potential opportunities and threats based on what is happening in the world or could happen in the future. We also looked at the role EC One could play in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
VISION - What do you want to change in the world? Think big. What would you like to achieve or encourage through your business? A less wasteful society? Equality? An end to poverty?
EC One’s vision is to be part of an industry that designs jewellery with the power to change the world for the better, by giving back to the people that produce it and safeguarding the environment for future generations.
MISSION – What is your brand doing, or will it do, to contribute to your vision? It’s okay to start small. Think about how you:
o Source your materials
o Design and create your collections
o Run your business
o Support your staff and others in your supply chain
o Inspire your customers to make better choices
One of the things EC One chose to focus on was using only materials in their business that come from responsible sources, which protect the environment. They also wanted to ensure their office and store operates in an environmentally friendly way, and that they support budding designers and their local community. You can read more about EC One’s vision on their website.
As you map out what drives you it will enable you to set clear actions to achieve your goals. In part 2 of this blog we’ll talk about how to put in place practical steps to support your vision.
If you’d like help understanding the risks and opportunities facing your brand and to create a plan for a successful (maybe even award winning!) jewellery business then drop us a line or check out our services. We’d be happy to support. You can also read our client testimonials to hear from some of the brands we've worked with.