At Stephen Webster, our philosophy is to build a business to be a force for good. We embrace challenges to become more sustainable in our practices and we are led by a mission to operate in a socially responsible way. Below, we outline some of the ways we are working to protect our environment and support the wellbeing and safety of our communities, from our team members to suppliers and beyond.
A family business of two generations, the Webster’s honor the same attention to detail on how they design their fine jewellery, to how they source their materials and stones, with a belief that fine jewellery should not only be impeccably crafted, but also stand for something good, with sustainability at the heart of each step.
A leader, not a follower; Stephen Webster was one of the first brands in the world to receive a Fairtrade Gold license in 2011, and has visited various mines across the globe to understand the working conditions and practices of these artisanal mining communities, enabling us to make informed decisions as a business.
Looking after the wellbeing and safety of employees and suppliers
Stephen Webster is an inclusive business beyond compliance. The company further supports the health and well-being of our employees with initiatives such as a Cycle to Work Scheme and mental health hotline, in cooperation with Health Assured and pays our employees above the London Living wage. Keen to empower and educate employees about sustainability, Stephen Webster have a dedicated in-house ‘Green Team’ who voluntarily come together to identify and implement specific solutions to help the business become more environmentally sustainable.
We hold our suppliers to the highest of standards, with each committing to our environmental and ethical code of conducts, pledging to treat their workers with respect and dignity. Our policies additionally support labour and human rights, freedom of association, collective bargaining, and mandated minimum wages and benefits, as well as the prevention of forced labour, child labour, human tracking, involuntary labour, and excessive working hours.
Supporting our wider communities
Outside of our organisation, Stephen Webster respects and cares for the wellbeing of our community. In response to Covid-19, the brand has been supporting Mind, the UK mental health charity, raising over $10,000. The money raised will support those who have been isolated during the lockdown period, providing a call service and online communities for peer-to-peer support.
Championing emerging talent
Stephen Webster is passionate about future-proofing British craftsmanship and goldsmithing for generations to come. He actively nurtures emerging talent and young designers through mentorship programmes with the British Fashion Council, NEWGEN (first established in 2012 under Rock Vault) and The Leopards, a collective group of jewellery professionals in association with The Prince’s Trust. In 2013, Stephen was awarded an MBE by HRH The Prince of Wales in recognition of his services to the British jewellery industry.
Sourcing materials responsibly
Stephen Webster has been an advocate of ethically sourced materials since the brand launched over 40 years ago. We ensure each of our suppliers are compliant with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals, and that our diamonds are conflict-free, sourced from certified suppliers of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. We use 100% recycled gold and silver across our jewellery collections and use Fairtrade Gold by request.
Minimising single-use plastics
Stephen Webster bans the use of single-use water bottles within our business sites and salons. Both internally and with our suppliers, we encourage to minimise single-use plastics, by swapping for alternative environmentally friendly materials.
In 2018, Stephen Webster made a stand against the world’s plastic pollution problem, with the launch of new product ‘The Last Straw’. An alternative to single-use plastic straws, the innovative straws are handcrafted in Sterling silver and engraved with the owner’s first name. In collaboration with Plastic Oceans International, 10% of all sales proceeds are donated to support the charities on-going work on preserving our oceans.
Recycling and reducing waste
As a business, we are mindful of our internal waste and are proud to be awarded gold status from First Mile for our recycling and waste management. We hold our suppliers to responsible business practices on waste management, wastewater management, stormwater management, and pollution prevention.
Stephen Webster also uses recyclable paper products and packaging certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and are actively working to implement flat-pack packaging to further reduce our emissions on both transportation and storage.
When it comes to recycling our precious materials and products there is zero waste. All our Gems our re-purposed, and gold is re-melted and recycled into something new.
Giving unused items a new lease of life
We believe you don’t always need to buy new jewellery. Everyone has items in their jewellery box that just need a refresh and some TLC. So we launched RESET, an initiative that repurposes beloved items of jewellery, turning them into modern, current pieces, reusing as many different parts as possible. This is a way to be able to be circular in our actions not just in our thinking.
"RESET is working with what you already own, no matter how modest the haul. The stories live on in the parts. The great thing about fine or precious jewellery is that its elements are what retains the value. During these times of responsible/sustainable luxury, what could be more so than repurposing what has been gathered or extracted in some way from the past, and not from a mine."
- Stephen Webster MBE