Wouters & Hendrix is the first Belgian company from the diamond sector to terminate its membership in the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). This body watches over ethics and sustainability within the international diamond trade.

We are cancelling our membership as a result of the position RJC is taking on the war in Ukraine,” Wouters & Hendrix announced. Several international luxury brands, such as Gucci, Pandora, Richemont and Saint Laurent previously withdrew from the body. They did so because the discredited Russian company Alrosa remained an active member of RJC – and still received the ‘responsible’ certificate.

Iris Van der Veken, the Belgian director of the Responsible Jewellery Council, already resigned a short time ago, because she did not agree with the organization’s attitude towards Alrosa. “All our support also goes to resigning Executive Director Iris Van der Veken,” Wouters & Hendrix stated. “She fought to make RJC accessible to many SMBs like us.

Wouters and Hendrix says it no longer believes in a sustainability organization that imposes codes of conduct, but refuses to remove the membership of some members who support the war. “The fact that Alrosa itself took the initiative to leave the RJC says it all.” Under pressure from major jewelry companies, Alrosa finally stepped down from the council itself on Friday.