Boma Jewelry Awarded B Corp Certification
Boma Jewelry, a Seattle-based jewelry brand, was recently awarded B Corp Certification status, meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Boma becomes the only jewelry brand in Seattle, as well as one of less than 20 jewelry brands worldwide, to be awarded the certification.
Founded in 1981, Boma Jewelry is a family-run company focused on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profits. Boma built its first factory in Bangkok in 1985 to support and build a community of jewelry makers. In the early 1990s, Boma became one of the top-20 silver-jewelry manufacturers in North America. By 1997, Boma was available for purchase at some of the biggest retailers in the United States, including Nordstrom and American Eagle.
The B Corp Certification process is administered through B Lab, a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 that created the B Corp Certification to award organizations who voluntarily meet certain standards of transparency, accountability, sustainability and performance. A commonly used analogy is B Corp Certification is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification for milk.
Suzanne Vetillart, chief executive officer of Boma Jewelry, stated that the B Corp Certification is one of the best tools created to help companies and organizations set, achieve and exceed sustainability goals. Vetillart believes the certification not only helps the company reach those goals but also acts as a road map for consistent improvement.
“Having this framework for evaluating our sustainability goals is something we continue to use today. While it’s overwhelming to know where to get started and how to make real impact or change, for us it was important to just get started,” Vetillart said. “Working with the B Lab team, we were encouraged to know that every leading sustainable company or organization had to start somewhere. What matters is continual dedication and improvement over time.”
Less than 4 percent of companies who complete the assessment score well enough to become certified. There are currently over 4,000 certified B Corps in 70 countries and 150 different industries. Over 100,000 companies manage their impact using the B Impact Assessment.
The rigorous certification process for Boma took three years, with evaluators looking at the source of the precious materials used in the supply chain to the brand’s environmental policies and community engagement. Vetillart mentioned that some of the truly hard parts of the process were not just making the commitments to decreasing their carbon footprint or decreasing plastic use but also adhering to them as well.
In 2016, Boma Jewelry created the Boma Girl Fund to help support the families of the Boma-factory employees. Every year, Boma commits funds to scholarships, book drives, family and community events, and spiritual and wellness activities for its employees. The Boma Girl Fund also offered Boma an opportunity to show how they were already making an impact on social issues. In 2020, Boma created the Boma Grant Program to provide mentorship and production resources for independent BIPOC jewelry designers.
The company announced in 2021 that it would begin the switch to renewable energy sources with the goal of becoming carbon net zero by 2025. The company also uses various methods to practice sustainability such as relying on recycled silver. Boma recycled nearly 5,000 ounces of silver in 2020, reducing the need for mined silver. Boma has also released a Zero-Waste collection using dead-stock materials including stones and pearls.
To celebrate the brand’s 40th anniversary, a pop-up shop has been announced in Seattle during the month of October. The pop-up gives fans of the brand the opportunity to shop the full line of Boma products, including items previously archived. The pop-up will also include weekend events highlighting other AAPI-owned brands in the community.
Photos courtesy of Boma Jewelry.