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 honour 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. We are committed to development, retention, diversity, and equality in the workplace and the elimination of discrimination, with polices to provide equality and fairness for all in our employment and in our provision of services. The company actively supports the health and well-being of our employees through initiatives such as flexible working and summer hours, Cycle to Work Scheme, enhanced maternity pay, and our mental health hotline, in cooperation with Health Assured and pay 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. Female empowerment is part of our brand DNA, as such we are proud that 5 of our 8 management roles are fulfilled by women, and our most senior position, Managing Director, led by Kate Jarvis who has been within the company for over 19 years.
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 the war on Ukraine in 2022, the brand donated $10,000 on International Women’s Day to support the United Nations Population Fund charity, providing essential care to the women and girls impacted.
In 2020, Stephen Webster supported Mind, the UK mental health charity, raising over $12,000 for those who had had been isolated during the lockdown period due to Covid-19. The funds raised contributed to a call service and online community for peer-to-peer support.
Keen to incorporate community service into our annual company day out, in 2022 the Stephen Webster team joined together to conduct litter picking on the Thames by canoe and paddleboard, and in 2021, conducted a beach clean at Margate. We are happy to support activations that normalise the act of litter picking and encourage everyone to get involved across their local communities.
Championing emerging talent
Stephen Webster is passionate about future-proofing British craftsmanship and goldsmithing for generations to come. He actively nurtures emerging design talent and young makers through both in-house mentorship programmes and in partnership 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.
During June 2022, Stephen Webster sponsored the New Designers Awards, with the debut of the ‘Stephen Webster Jewellery Designer of the Year Award’. The prize included a mentorship with Stephen, alongside a 13.52ct Amethyst, and 10 grams of Single Mine Origin Gold to allow the winner to design and craft a piece of jewellery for their own portfolio. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Qinzhi Shen.
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 our Social and Environmental Code of Conducts 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, issuing each of our employees with a reusable bottle and filtered water. 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 ‘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.
Avoid, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
As a business, we are mindful of our internal waste and are proud to partner with 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 outer 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
During 2020 we have created an internal management system to calculate our business GHG emissions. Benchmarking against a 2019 baseline, Stephen Webster has set a 46% emissions reduction target through the Science Based Targets initiative, in line with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Our validated targets cover greenhouse gas emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3) are consistent with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.
Across our business premises we use 100% renewable electricity and are active in encouraging our suppliers to do the same. Committed to supporting our wider communities and protecting our planet, since 2021 Stephen Webster has partnered with Gold Standard to support their certified Terraclear project that reduces carbon emissions and provides clean water access to more than 32,000 households in rural communities in Laos. With each ecommerce order, a carbon credit is purchased on our clients' behalf that retires 1 tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere and contributing to 20-30 litres of clean water per filter.
Stephen Webster was awarded winner of the inaugural Grosvenor Sustainability Awards, recognising our brands past, present and future commitments to sustainability and identifying environmental and social leadership across Grosvenor Britain & Ireland's Mayfair and Belgravia property portfolio. To read further click here.
Since 2016, Positive Luxury have recognised our long tradition for producing the finest jewellery with sustainability at the heart of every step.
During 2022, the brand became re-certified for our third time. The Butterfly Mark certification validates a luxury brand’s contribution to a positive future for our planet. It is earned by businesses demonstrating they have embedded measurable environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices into their everyday operations.
During our assessment, we received strong recognition for our efforts in climate action, sustainable sourcing and materials, circular economy, packaging efficiencies, human rights, and sustainability culture. For more information on our positive actions, visit our Positive Luxury brand page here.