We are so proud to be the first jewellery label to partner with Provenance, bringing their technology to our website allowing for complete transparency in our process, and letting you know exactly how your jewellery is made.
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Burnett from Provenance, who has been instrumental in guiding us on our Provenance journey. We wanted to share our conversation and allow you further understanding on just how incredible this technology really is.
Laura, how would you summarise the role of Provenance to someone who is discovering you for the first time?
Provenance is here to make impact-led commerce easier. We are helping brands to talk about the impact and stories of their products at point of sale, so shoppers can make better decisions about where to spend their money. We’re a tech platform and we’ve designed our tools so that data powers trust: as a brand if you’re talking about being plastic-free, we expect you to provide evidence to back this up.
How do consumers know if a brand is working with Provenance?
Keep an eye out for our ‘Powered by Provenance’ tools in store and online! You can see what these look like on our latest work with Cult Beauty , or of course on Anuka Jewellery’s product pages.
What’s the biggest concern Provenance sees within the retail industry?
Greenwashing. There are so many businesses out there that are using words such as ‘ethical’ or ‘clean’ without defining what they mean or providing any evidence that they are doing things better. This makes it confusing for shoppers and really difficult to buy better.
We’ve been working with you since 2018, have you notice a tipping scale with independent fashion-led brands using Provenance as opposed to larger retailers?
We work with businesses of all sizes - every single product has a supply chain! We have seen a rising interest in the fashion industry as shoppers become more aware, but also in other areas such as beauty and wellness (a lot of people are talking about ‘clean beauty’ now, and not many people could define it for you). We continue to work in some of the world’s more problematic supply chains as well, such as fish and coffee, where there can be a huge difference between those brands that are leading the charge and those that are continuing as they have been for decades. We love supporting small, independent brands
and we’ve seen a lot of the multi-national businesses take inspiration from smaller brands when it comes to doing business better.
What can we as consumers do now to inflict change?
I would say two things: buy less, and talk more. Buy less: where you can re-use what you have, borrow or rent, do so! There are some amazing fashion rental and swapping apps out there to make this easy even if you don’t have a sibling or housemate to steal from. Talk more: where you have a favourite brand, tell them why! Drop them a message on their Twitter or their website to let them know what you appreciate about them, and ask any questions you might have (especially about their impact). Businesses really do listen to their customers, and if you care about something, you should let them know. Likewise, if you have decided to stop buying from someone because of their impact - I read an recent article on how retailers aren’t living up to their promises on palm oil, for example - then let them know! We have many businesses come to us asking about the specific things that matter most to shoppers. So if you do care, let them know. This is how businesses will change.
What’s been Provenance’s biggest ‘hurrah!’ moment since launching?
There have been a few! Being the first business to track a product’s supply chain on the blockchain was probably our first, but then each time we’ve seen another business do the same it’s another victory for us and for the transparency movement. We published a report last year demonstrating how transparency can help tea smallholders to access better credit (ie. be less in debt), and it’s so exciting to think of the impact that can have at scale on the millions of smallholders who grow our food worldwide.
What’s the Provenance culture like at HQ, can you share any favourite podcasts/ articles/ social accounts for living sustainably?
Everyone here is really passionate about impact, and a bit of a geek. We will share our favourite new products - mine was this apple puree from French social enterprise C’est Qui Le Patron - and then discuss whether or not we believe in the claims made by the brand. We love reading The Guardian’s Environment section, chatting with brands and shoppers during #EthicalHour on twitter, and the Sustainababble, Reasons To Be Cheerful and Planet Pod podcasts.
What can we expect to see from Provenance in 2020?
This year we want to see our impact broaden: to new markets, to many more businesses and to more shoppers. We’re also committed to transparency ourselves, and we want to make more of our methodology open source: we believe that the transparency movement is wider than just us and the planet needs all the help it can get.
And the question we ask everyone…Fairmined gold or 100% Recycled silver!?
Recycled silver! My husband surprised me with an engagement ring made from recycled silver set with a sustainably-sourced Herkimer diamond, and so I chose a local silversmith to make my wedding ring to follow suit. I love that metals can be infinitely recycled - if only everything else was that way too.
If you would like to view our process through Provenance, you can find it using the link below:
Click here to find out more about Provenance.