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Richemont, Kering Return to RJC

Jun 15, 2022 5:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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Richemont and Kering have rejoined the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) after withdrawing their brands over the Russia controversy, according to the standards organization’s chairman.

“There were 24 companies within those groups that resigned,” David Bouffard said at the Rapaport Social Responsibility Conference, which took place Sunday during the JCK Las Vegas show. “Within a matter of weeks, they all rescinded their resignations, and we’re happy with that.”

The two luxury giants were among several companies that quit the RJC in March and April in response to the organization’s failure to revoke Alrosa’s membership following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The council was unable to take action against the miner because its governing laws did not give it the authority, it claimed.

The RJC spent several weeks carrying out a legal review to reach that conclusion; during that time, its executive director, Iris Van der Veken, resigned, with John Hall succeeding her. Alrosa eventually stepped down voluntarily.

The RJC is now working with Kering, Richemont and other members to form a “governance task force” that will examine the organization’s bylaws so that it can act sooner in future, Bouffard explained.

“We want to make sure the next time an unprecedented event occurs that we have the legal authority…to make a change and either expel or suspend a member,” he added. “Two months ago, we did not have that.”

Richemont owns Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Buccellati, while Kering’s maisons include Boucheron, Pomellato, Qeelin and Gucci.

LVMH and its brands, which including Tiffany & Co. and Bulgari, did not resign and remain RJC members, the organization added in a statement.

“The RJC has more than 1600 members from 71 countries, and continues to grow with 202 applications received this year alone,” the statement continued.

Kering and Richemont were not immediately available for comment.

Update, June 15, 2022: A further statement from the RJC has been added to this story.

Image: A Cartier logo on a building in Chengdu, China, in April 2018. (Shutterstock)
Tags: david bouffard, kering, Rapaport News, Responsible Jewellery Council, Richemont, RJC
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