4 Findings from PGI’s Consumer Survey About Sustainability and Jewelry
Here’s which factors influence—and which don’t—their purchasing decisions.
To better understand which of these factors are most important to consumers, Platinum Guild International USA commissioned a study on the topic and how these factors relate to fine jewelry purchases.
The survey answers came from 500 U.S. consumers in December who had purchased or received a fine jewelry piece worth more than $1,000 in the last two years.
Respondents were evenly split between male and female, were between the ages of 18 and 65, and had household incomes of more than $50,000.
The study focused on key areas like the importance of ESG aspects, how sustainability factors fit with fine jewelry, and their impact on their purchasing decision.
“We feel it is important for our industry to make a continued commitment toward sustainable practices in all levels of business,” said PGI USA President Jenny Luker.
“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.”
Here are four key findings from the survey’s results.
1. Consumer understanding of sustainability varies.
Consumers said they think words and phrases like “environmentally responsible,” “sustainable sourcing,” and “traceability” fit best when it comes to sustainability, the survey found, but human rights and fair labor practices are what will most likely sway their purchasing decision, PGI said.
And, while many consumers indicated they believe sustainability is about jewelry being produced responsibly, with environmentally friendly practices, and with fair labor laws, still others said they think it relates to the durability and quality of the piece, further showing an unclear understanding of the word to consumers.
2. Sustainability isn’t at the top of the list of factors influencing their choices.
While the topic is important to many fine jewelry consumers, it doesn’t play nearly as big of a role in their selection as quality, design, and metal used.
Sustainability came in fourth, followed by price and whether there are gemstones used last.
3. Young consumers are driving the conversations with jewelers.
About 40 percent said they had conversations with their jewelry about sustainability.
These conversations are mostly driven by those aged 18-39, with topics focusing on how the piece was made, where the materials were sourced, and the quality/durability of the piece.
4. Consumers will pay a premium for sustainability.
Most consumers indicated in the survey that they would pay an average of 15 percent to 20 percent more for all sustainable aspects, particularly environmentally responsible, human rights, and fair labor practices.
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