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SUSTAINABILITY SPOTLIGHT: SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY WITH ANNE SISTERON
The Sustainability Spotlight series highlights the key actions or activities of Butterfly Mark brands that increase positive impact. In this interview we hear from Anne Sisteron, the founder of her eponymous fine jewellery brand that is based and run from Beverly Hills, LA. Having studied gemmology, Anne built a brand that creates coveted treasures that stand the test of time. As a business, social responsibility is very much at the core. Read on to discover more about what social responsibility means to Anne herself, how she instils this in her business and her focus for positive change going forward.
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Hi Anne! Can you tell us about your eponymous brand and how it all began?
In the 90s, when my kids were little, I was training to be a GIA Graduate Gemmologist. I wanted to get back to work, so I started beading gemstone necklaces and selling them to family and friends. I wore one of my first hand-strung designs – a grey pearl necklace – to a wedding in 1997, and it was so popular among the wedding guests that I started taking orders for it that night. Very quickly, the demand became too high for a one-woman operation, and I had to hire necklace stringers to help me create the gemstone necklaces. I started selling to stores and we grew from there. After a few years, I had the funds to invest in diamonds and gold, and started designing more and morejewellery. The rest is history!
What does social responsibility mean to you and your brand?
Social responsibility is at the core of everything we do. It means recognising our role in society and the impact we have on the community and even the world. For us, social responsibility entails providing ethical work conditions, giving back to the community, and prioritising the use of ethically sourced gemstones and metals. We only work with manufacturers who abide by the Kimberley Process and are part of the Responsible Jewellery Council. All that being said, the job is never done. We are continuously exploring new methods that can lower our environmental impact even more.
Can you tell us about the Anne Gives Back initiative and the reasons why you set this up?
We have been a philanthropic brand from day one. I have always felt that when you receive blessings, it is your duty to pass them on. We choose three non-profits each year to donate a portion of our profits to through the Anne Gives Back program. This initiative is rooted in the belief that success should be shared. The Anne Sisteron team is dedicated to leaving a meaningful legacy beyond the beauty of our jewellery.
Has the initiative resonated with your customers?
Absolutely! Thankfully, we have a very socially conscious clientele. They wear our jewellery with pride, knowing that it is made in an environmentally and socially conscious manner. Additionally, through our Anne Gives Back program, our clients can choose which non–profit they would like to donate to. Outside of the Anne Gives Back initiative, we also donate when we see a need in the world. For example, in 2022, we raised $50,000 for the American Red Cross in Ukraine in 24 hours. This was only possible because of the kind hearts of our wonderful clientele.
You also work with various non-profits, Thrive, Chips and the Children’s Institute Inc. and the National Alliance of Mental Illness. What are your reasons for choosing these and how are you working with each?
We choose non-profits that align with our values, some of those being non-profits that benefit women, children, and animals. The non-profits we donate to change once a year to make sure we are making as big of an impact as we can. We support local and national non-profits and always involve our customers in the process of donations. Ten dollars from every order is donated, and our clients can select which non-profit they would like their donation to go to.
Looking forward, what is your immediate focus for creating positive change?
Currently, we are working on making our packaging as sustainable as possible. Our jewellery is presented in beautiful jewellery boxes that our clients are encouraged to keep and use for years to come. For future iterations of our packaging, we are working on using recycled materials and keeping as much as we can out of landfill. As a teamwe are continuously learningand as a brand we are continuously evolving. The goal is to make a tangible difference in our industry and hopefully inspire others to follow suit. We truly strive to lead by example in the fine jewellery world.
Finally, how has working with Positive Luxury and earning Butterfly Mark certification changed or informed your approach to your sustainability journey?
We are so honoured to be working with Positive Luxury and join this group of like-minded brands. The Butterfly Mark certification keeps us committed to finding new and innovative ways to promote sustainability. As a brand, we are always thinking on how to be more responsible and how to improve our practices. It isespecially important to me as well to have a team who feels proud to be on this journey with me. Together, with the help of Positive Luxury and their certified brands, we can inspire change in the luxury goods industry.
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