In launching its Love, Earth jewelry line on Tuesday, Wal-Mart also established an online site to enable customers to research the supply chain history of the earrings, bracelets, necklaces and pendants featured in the collection.
The introduction of the jewelry line marks the latest high-profile move by Wal-Mart in its campaign to green every aspect of its business.
“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.”
The Love, Earth jewelry line is available at Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Club warehouses and their online stores. The collection currently features items made from 10 karat gold and sterling silver at Wal-Mart and 14 karat gold and sterling silver at Sam’s Club. Prices range from a $28 gold and silver “Tree of Life” necklace at Walmart.com to a $219.84 gold necklace at Samsclub.com.
The jewelry line and its accountability chain represent a collaboration by Wal-Mart; Conservation International; Rio Tinto, an Anglo-Australian mining company whose initial work with Wal-Mart involves gold and silver from its Kennecott Utah Copper Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah; Newmont Mining Corporation, a global gold producer headquartered in Denver, Colo.; and Aurafin, a Florida-based jewelry manufacturer.
Wal-Mart says its next steps for the jewelry line include the introduction of diamonds and an increase in the number of mining and manufacturing suppliers that meet the retailer’s environmental, human rights and community standards. The retailer did not provide a timeline for the developments, but said its goals include having at least 10 percent of all its jewelry offerings meet those standards by 2010.