The jeweler joins forces with RESOLVE’s Regeneration initiative as part of its long-term vision to redefine sustainable luxury in jewelry.
Luxury jeweler Mejuri has partnered with Regeneration — a revolutionary new remining initiative from RESOLVE that works to simultaneously mitigate environmental harm caused by past mining, support biodiversity and habitat rehabilitation of mine sites, and support the production of fine jewelry and energy-transition technologies using recaptured “waste” materials from mines. The announcement comes as part of Mejuri’s first-ever sustainability report, which details the brand’s progress and commitments across dimensions of sustainability.
"Since inception, we have been transparent — about our wins and our challenges — with our customers, which has built a loyal community who have come to expect high standards,” says Noura Sakkijha, Mejuri's co-founder and CEO. “When it comes to our sustainability goals, it's no different. As we grow and learn more, these goals will evolve and we'll bring our community along for the journey. What won't change is that we will always aim to focus on where we can make an impact."
Mejuri’s sustainability report is a comprehensive analysis encompassing three pillars: people, planet and product. It examines Mejuri’s practices and supply chain and identifies opportunities to improve, with the aim to set actionable metrics based on the findings. These pillars outline Mejuri’s sustainability framework — with the long-term vision to redefine sustainable luxury in jewelry by 2030.
“As a next generation brand that is deeply in tune with our community’s values, Mejuri takes our responsibility seriously to help push this industry forward where we can," says Holly McHugh, Mejuri's VP of Sustainability. “Mejuri is committed to regenerative mining, which is central to responsible sourcing and represents the future of our industry. We’re excited to invite our community into this conversation now that we’re ready to share our progress as we continue down this innovative and exciting path."
Toward regenerative mining
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Regeneration, a restoration and remining startup social enterprise and B Corp, arose in response to the legacy of damage created by past mining for fine metals and jewels. When left untreated, “legacy” or formerly active mines — as well as abandoned mines — can pollute sensitive watersheds and damage ecosystems and native species. Mejuri will dedicate US$1.5M to support the ecological restoration of legacy mines through remining.
The initiative follows a circular model: First, Regeneration and its partners will extract valuable minerals from the tailings — which are byproduct materials left over once minerals have been extracted — as well as waste rock and water. While these are typically treated as waste, tailings can contain significant minerals and metals that can be used to create responsibly, sustainably made jewelry. Earnings from sales of those materials will then go back to the mining sites to fund habitat restoration and closure activities, including at legacy and abandoned mine sites. Eventually Mejuri will sell jewelry made from Regeneration gold.
"As Regeneration charts a path forward on more sustainable, nature-positive supply chains and responsible sourcing, Mejuri was the obvious choice as our first jewelry partner," said Stephen D'Esposito, founder and CEO of Regeneration. "Mining can extract beauty from the earth. With Regeneration, Mejuri can bring something back — remining creates jewelry that supports rebuilding habitat and restoring biodiversity. We’re taking bold steps together toward building a sustainable model for mining and all the other industries, like jewelry, that depend on mining."
Similarly, Mejuri partners with Salmon Gold — another RESOLVE initiative, now part of Regeneration — with a focus on streams impacted by placer mining. In these impacted areas, Salmon Gold produces precious metals while restoring vital habitats for salmon and other wild species. As part of Mejuri’s commitment to protecting and rehabilitating habitats and biodiversity impacted by the mining industry, for Giving Tuesday 2022 the brand donated US$25,000 toward the initiative, which re-mines historical placer gold mine sites and restores fish habitat using sustainable techniques in Alaska, the Yukon Territory and British Columbia — regions with globally significant habitat for salmon and other anadromous fish species. 12 Pacific salmon runs have been listed as endangered since 1991 due to impacts that include damage from historical placer mining.
A multi-pronged approach to reducing its carbon footprint
Mejuri is also making efforts on a number of other sustainability fronts. Since 2021, the company has partnered with Climate Positive Consulting to track and assess its emissions, going as far back as 2019, and also analyze its business to identify room for improvements going forward. The brand’s strategy to minimize its carbon footprint starts with comprehensive tracking and calculation of impact — which sets the stage for a combination of investments in responsible sourcing, long-term strategies to reduce emissions across production partners, and shorter-term intervention points to compensate for emissions and achieve positive impact.
Beginning in 2023, Mejuri is also changing its approach from reactive to proactive through the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs) from Native. Through a mix of RECs and carbon offsets, Mejuri compensates for Scope 1 and 2 emissions — over which the company has some control.
In 2022, 98.5 percent of Mejuri’s carbon emissions fell under Scope 3 — emissions created throughout the company’s supply chain. While technically outside of the company’s control, Mejuri is leveraging relationships to push partners toward reduced emissions and lower footprints. This year, two of its trusted suppliers in Asia are switching to solar technology at their existing facilities — ultimately helping to reduce Mejuri’s Scope 3 emissions in the long term.
Mejuri also recently launched its Poly Bag Recycling Program to reduce single-use plastic. Poly bags are the standard method of transport across the jewelry industry and are not recyclable at the municipal level. Instead of allowing these bags to pile up in landfills, Mejuri will collect poly bags at retail and warehouse locations and ship them away to be properly recycled, assuming all associated costs.
A more transparent supply chain
While historically, jewelry supply chains have been fraught with environmental and socioeconomic harms, the industry has been working to increase transparency and ethical sourcing — spearheaded by brands including Tiffany and Pandora. Mejuri has adopted a series of internal and external frameworks to ensure best practices across its production partners.
Mejuri’s Supplier Code of Conduct and Social & Environmental Accounting Program focus on human rights, fair and safe labor practices, environmental protection and ethical business conduct. Any supplier that wants to work with Mejuri must meet the brand’s expectations in these areas before they are considered a trusted partner.
The company’s approach to sourcing encompasses a combination of newly mined resources, which remains important in order to support communities that rely on mining for their livelihoods, while increasing the use of recycled gold and silver. In 2022, Mejuri worked with suppliers to reach 95 percent recycled gold and 92 percent recycled silver across its supply chain.
Within the last six months, Mejuri became a signatory to two United Nations initiatives: the UN Global Compact and the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles — which offer guidance to businesses on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Social impact and looking inward
Mejuri’s vision for sustainability also includes initiatives focusing on Mejuri’s employees and broader community.
After the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Mejuri and Don’t Ban Equality established the Year of Action Committee — dedicated to mobilizing communities and raising awareness about critical issues related to reproductive healthcare, while also making the clear case that reproductive justice is good for business. Internally, Mejuri expanded reproductive coverage in its benefits program — offering no-questions-asked time off, travel and lodging reimbursements for out-of-state abortions, and full coverage of contraceptives.
In 2020, Mejuri also established the Mejuri Empowerment Fund to support under-represented women and non-binary people by funding access to education. To date, Mejuri has delivered US$324,000 in post-secondary scholarships across the US and Canada to partners such as Indspire: Building Brighter Futures, United Negro College Fund in the US and Jeanette Rankin Foundation.