The first BIG trend for the jewelry industry in 2022

The first big trend is a direct result of ongoing changes in consumer behavior mixed with the absurd reality we have all experienced in the past 2 years living with a pandemic. Jewelry is so meaningful for people. No one needs it, but we long for it, our talisman, our tangible memory of loving moments and people in our lives. I think that we’ll long even more for jewelry in the future. But we need to adapt. This is the first of a series about mega trends in jewelry and for the jewelry industry. 

I have heard so many jokes in the past weeks. On how 2021, the year of the vaccine that should have changed everything, turned out to become the spitting image of 2020 in the end, with lockdowns and new mutations, restrictions, and hospitals filled with Covid patients.

We now all feel slightly more cautious. Vaccination might have reduced the amount of hospitalized people significantly. Still, even if we all agreed to get vaccinated, the world isn’t just made up of those living in countries with high functioning vaccine programs. And as we figure out how to co-exist with the risks of a highly contagious and constantly mutating virus, we also start to reflect on how we have changed. 

A world where one – reading the newspapers or watching t.v. – sees polarisation spreading, with politicians feeding the crowd with confetti spread-easy to swallow-pills of “visions of reality.”

People that believe in conspiracy, once an oddity perhaps, are now gathering through the power of social media and are no longer feeling just odd or different. They found their tribes, their fears ignited.

From someone who is everything but a conspiracy theorist and who hates to see how sleek political figures try to profit from the current situation, I have done my utter best to seek to understand. To be milder, especially to those I don’t understand. 

First, the jewelry industry produces a product or service, but it’s run, of course, by people. We are a niche industry with a global market. We come from Asian, African, American, Russian, Australian, European, and everything in-between countries, with different cultures, geopolitical strengths, and weaknesses. Some of us experience intense political pressure, some of us go through an economically weak period. Some of us come from very stable countries, such as myself, and others from recent war zones.

Our global community has a variety of faiths. We have different social standards at times. But when it comes to our industry- we work as one. We have to. We respect religious faith, even when one is an agnostic, like me. We try to show respect for our cultural differences, and yes, we fail at times. But most of the time, not on purpose.

When there is a common goal or a common interest, we step over all these things and encounter each other to create a product or close a deal.

 

One of the biggest trends we will see in 2022 and beyond is the rise of stories…(more about this specifically soon!) The rise of authenticity, the rise of doing good. Every player in the jewelry field has to understand that there is no future for companies whose sole purpose is to make a profit. Consumers, especially the young generations, are seeking to buy with their hearts. Yes, there are still young people queuing outside fast-fashion chains, eager consumers who don’t like the think much about the consequences of cheap fast fashion. But even for these stores, it’s not a sustainable way of doing business in the long run. (there will always be someone cheaper, willing to sacrifice something, although it’s never profit) 

It’s not about creating some extraordinary story about the purpose and how one works with recycled gold only when one is a designer, e.g., People will connect with people through story. Through the values that you share.

Those who understand the value of inclusion have actively hired more diverse; employees of different backgrounds, ages, color, or races. They understood that it’s not just showing a more complete spectrum of people in their ads but that constructive change starts inside a company.

Understanding their values and the WHY of their company’s existence, they did things that aren’t shared just as eagerly as a model with down syndrome shining on a catwalk. They took small steps daily, forming a sound basis to rebuild their companies.

In a quest for getting in the limelight, we are all a little guilty of greenwashing. It is not just about sustainability but about all the topics we feel are increasingly important. From more understanding for mental health to underlining the importance of having empathy as leaders, and from showcasing our diverse hire or female empowerment even when we know we did it because we felt it’s what others expect nowadays. It looks great in our marketing communications. Our motives for specific steps in becoming a ”better” company might not always be super authentic or inspired.

There is political correctness police out there, on social media and everywhere else, to call out those who aren’t profoundly authentic.

Do you know those companies with an all-white employee base that showcases that one diverse hire in every single company photo? Or those who try to create traceability of their stones and can’t seem to give proof of every single stone? Those who understand that fur is no longer ok in high-end luxury (finally!) and now bring jewelry with farmed crocodile leather, missing the point but arguing that they know where the leather comes from. They try, fail, try again, fail again, but seek to become better. Yes, some companies get it. They seem to do everything right from the beginning. But most of them are trying to step into the future and struggle.

But we, the public, the influencers, the journalists, the observers, have to be kinder, truly kinder, and mild. We, too, need to be better.

Change needs time. Let’s cut each other some slack. (and yourself) Be mild.

Doing good IS the future. Having a purpose, a voice, something good that you stand for as a person, and a company is becoming more critical.

We like to hire people who understand this. We want to do business with people we respect for their values, the why of their company, the sustainability of their service or product.

And then there is the final jewelry consumer, the person our entire industry depends on, who wants to see us do better.

They like to see who we are when considering buying from us. How kind we treat each other, how well we intend to respect each other and the planet. That we are more than a product. Do good, be better, be more than a product.

As I thought about writing this article, I realized that if we want a long-lasting, sustainable change of the future, we need to be kinder. Mildness. Understanding those who are so different from us is a hack of challenge, but I know there is no better way to practice kindness and mildness than that.

Let’s try to reward those who try to do better. Make a remark about it. Say something nice. Encourage that person who tries to make a difference, even if just a tiny one on the work floor. Embrace those who try and the benefit of the doubt when they fail.

Be good, do good, tell your story, tell your employees and clients why you make what you make, and do what you do. Tell them that growth is welcome and ideas to improve too. Show your values. Connect. Make an effort to establish a real connection. And make 2022 the year that consumers will notice you for the right reasons!

 

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