Eco-Age reveals new sustainable strategy with Recarlo
Eco-Age, the ethical sustainability project of Livia Firth, has created a new environmental strategy with Recarlo, the noted Italian jeweler.
Founded in 1967 by Carlo Re, and now managed by his two sons Giorgio and Paolo, Recarlo is based in Valenza, Piedmont, a historic region whose artisans have earned it the title of the Italian Capital of Jewelry.
“The landscape of sustainability in jewelry is notoriously difficult. It has a supply chain that is difficult to trace – especially for colored gemstones, as nothing really exists yet in terms of certification. It’s a scary journey, but Paolo and Giorgio are full of passion,” explained Firth in a Zoom from Umbria on Wednesday.
The new strategy also will target recycling gold.
“At present, only 30% of gold used in jewelry is recycled, which is not enough. So, our plan includes that,” said Giorgio.
Family-owned, Recarlo has historically focused on the Italian market but is expanding internationally in Spain, France, Germany and Eastern Europe. Annual turnover of some 30 million euros actually grew last year during the pandemic, via digital channels.
But Giorgio stressed that the family remained “very cautious about synthetic diamonds. It takes a great deal of energy to produce them. Diamonds take millions of years to be created. Synthetic diamonds are a question of weeks or months. There is no sense of rarity about them.”
The brothers contacted Eco-Age after they saw Firth’s recent documentary The Diamonds of Botswana, exploring the supply chains of the fashion and luxury businesses.
As a result, the Re brothers stressed a three-pillar policy: people, planet and product.
“Minimizing the impact on the environment, as Recarlo celebrates the most important moments of life – birth, engagement and marriage. And leaving the world a better place for the next generation,” said Paolo.
Recarlo has already obtained certification from the Responsible Jewelry Council, to help guarantee mining is done properly; trade fairly and human rights are respected. Plus, it only buys stones from countries that have signed on to the Kimberly Process, which aims to ensure that money spent by jewelers on stones is not used to finance civil wars. As a result, Recarlo only buys from De Beers in southern Africa.
“The reality of Recarlo is quite extraordinary, with its great artisans and generations of Italian know-how. Now, we will learn even more about the raw materials of any supply chain. Yes, Recarlo works very well with its local artisans. The next stage is to know how to deal with all its suppliers as well,” concluded Firth.
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