The Responsible Jewelry Edit
Lab-grown diamonds, ethical gold and traceable stones – meet the jewelry brands setting the new conscious standard.
‘We love jewelry, but we believe the industry needs more transparency,' says Jessica Warch, co-founder of Kimai. 'There can be a lack of clarity around where pieces come from or how they are made, which is why we use lab-grown diamonds. This is to avoid all the negative impacts of mining, plus there’s no trade-off in quality or design – lab-grown diamonds are physically and chemically identical to mined ones but they come without the negative social or environmental impact. That’s because the same geological conditions that occur in the ground can now be reproduced in a lab, which is amazing. More and more, we want to know where the things we buy come from. That’s very important to us. As conscious consumers, we wanted to bring more transparency to the jewelry industry. So that’s what we do.’
Melissa Joy Manning
‘Since the inception of my brand, I have been committed to social responsibility,' says Melissa Joy Manning. 'All of our jewelry is handmade by artisans who earn a living wage and full benefit package. As my company grew and I learned more about the environmental impact of jewelry production, I committed myself to environmental responsibility – our jewelry is made in our green-certified studio in California. When I started my company in 1997, it was incredibly important to me to figure out how to bring craft back to the US and support artisans in my community. Coupled with my long-term love of nature, the ethos of my brand became an integral component of my company's development. I want to leave the world better for my existence, not worse. Lastly, I co-founded the CFDA Sustainability committee and regularly mentor other artists who want to embrace the same principles in their work.’
‘WWAKE is designed using recycled gold and diamonds, and also responsibly sourced stones from around the world,' says Wing Yau, founder. 'Since 2017, WWAKE has designed several collections to support specific community mining projects. Through these responsible projects, WWAKE is able to support in building our local economy as well as lifetime bonds with the people at our sources all over the world. Our diamonds are either reclaimed or antique, and we also use Canadian diamonds that are 100% traceable to the source, which, unfortunately, is rare in this industry. We are proud to say we use transparent supply chains. It’s my responsibility as a designer to source my materials as responsibly as I can, and ensure that my stones don't contribute to the harm of workers and the environment during the production process.’
‘Spinelli Kilcollin is dedicated to sustainability and really considers every element of its supply chain,' notes Min Lee, Farfetch's senior jewelry manager. 'The gold and silver it uses are recycled metals, which we’re pleased to see – finding recycled metal suppliers and manufacturers is not easy. The amount of consideration it has invested when it comes to sustainability is notable. The rings are so simple, clean and wearable.’
‘As a family-run business, we have always put ethics at the heart of Chopard’s values,' says Caroline Scheufele, Chopard co-president. 'To me, true luxury comes only when you know the handprint of your supply chain and I’m very proud of our gold sourcing program. Our in-house program, The Journey To Sustainable Luxury, has a direct impact on the lives of the people in mining communities. Being in a profitable business and practising good stewardship of environmental and social justice is essential. I sincerely hope that more companies from our industry will join us in this movement by putting ethics at the heart of their aesthetics.’
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