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  • Source: Platinum Guild International USA

PGI Study Findings: Consumers Have Different Interpretations of Sustainability


The findings of a Platinum Guild International USAPGI-USAstudy on how Environmental, Social and Governmental (ESG) initiatives affect consumer behaviour suggest that consumers are willing to spend more on jewels if they are sustainably produced despite lack of understanding of what sustainability means.  


“The research was based on a December 2021 online survey of 500 US consumers who purchased or received a fine jewellery piece worth $1K+ during the prior two years”, according to PGI-USA. 500 American consumers aged between 18 and 65, evenly split between males and females, making household incomes of at least $50,000 were interviewed. About one-third of the respondents bought or received a fine jewellery piece during the last couple of years. The shoppers spent $1,500 on average. 


Four key findings of the study:

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 labour practices are most likely to sway their purchase decision.


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

Although sustainability is important to a good proportion of fine jewellery consumers, it is not nearly as influential on their selection as quality, design and metal used. While many consumers cite that sustainability is about jewellery being produced responsibly, environmentally friendly practices and fair labour 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 Jeweller about Sustainability

About two in five respondents had conversations with their jeweller 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 labour practices.




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