Bentonville, Ark. and Arlington, Va. – July 15, 2008 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today launched Love, Earth® jewelry, its first completely traceable fine jewelry line available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Club locations and on Walmart.com and Samsclub.com. Marking a shift in how affordably-priced fine jewelry is produced and sold, the new line is the result of collaboration between Wal-Mart, Conservation International (CI) and Wal-Mart’s supply chain partners. It will give customers the ability to trace the path of their Love, Earth jewelry from mine to store by simply going online.
Love, Earth is the retailer’s first step toward having all of the gold, silver and diamonds used in the jewelry sold in its Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations come from mines and manufacturers that meet Wal-Mart’s sustainability standards and criteria. The criteria address both environmental, human rights and community issues. By 2010, the retailer aims for at least 10 percent of its jewelry offerings to achieve these standards.
“Wal-Mart recognizes that our customers care about the quality of their jewelry and its potential impact on the world,” said Pam Mortensen, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Wal-Mart. “With Love, Earth, customers are getting an affordable and beautiful piece of jewelry that also helps sustain resources and strengthen communities.”
Consumers can visit http://www.loveearthinfo.com/ to see where their Love, Earth jewelry was mined and manufactured, and learn about suppliers’ environmental and social programs. The site also offers information about the standards used to select suppliers and ensure the entire process is more sustainable.“With its considerable influence, market reach and commitment to sustainability, Wal-Mart has brought together like-minded suppliers, mining companies and conservation partners to work together to build a traceable jewelry supply chain at an impressive scale,” said Dr. Assheton Stewart Carter, Senior Director of Business Policies and Practices at Conservation International. “We hope others in the jewelry industry will follow this leadership example and thus enable consumers to make simple choices that benefit the environment and mining communities when shopping for jewelry.”
To create Love, Earth, Wal-Mart selected partners in the mining and jewelry manufacturing industries that already demonstrated environmental and social leadership, including Rio Tinto, an Anglo-Australian mining company; Newmont Mining Corporation, a global gold producer headquartered in Denver, Colorado; and Aurafin, a Florida-based jewelry manufacturer. During the next phase of the partnership, the retailer plans to expand the number of approved mining and manufacturing suppliers and introduce diamonds in the Love, Earth line.
The Wal-Mart Love, Earth collection is made from 10 karat gold and sterling silver; the Sam’s Club collection from 14 karat gold and sterling silver. Each collection includes fashion pendants, hoop earrings, bangles and fashion beads. Created with gold and silver, the Love, Earth collection is designed to symbolize the Earth’s elements and based on the precepts of recycle, reduce, and respect.
Want to trace a piece of Love, Earth jewelry from mine to market?Go to http://www.loveearthinfo.com/, find the “Trace it from Mine to Market” box and enter: SMPM88.
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