Is fine jewellery a sustainable purchase?
When you invest in fine jewellery, you want to wear it daily, and proudly. But what if it doesn’t align with your ethics? And more importantly, how do you ensure your fine jewellery does? Here’s how to ensure your fine jewellery is a sustainable purchase.
The environmental impact of fine jewellery
The production of fine jewellery impacts the environment significantly. Mining for metals, diamonds and gemstones has an ecological footprint, here are some of the things jewellers are doing to stop that impact on the planet:
- Recycled materials: There is a growing trend of using recycled gold and silver to reduce environmental impact. That is, old and unwanted metals are repurposed to make new jewellery, rather than mining for new metals.
- Reducing carbon emissions: There are many initiatives to lessen the carbon emissions from the jewellery industry, such as lab grown diamonds and gemstones, which use significantly less energy and cause less pollution than mining.
Ethical mining and fair labour
Apart from the environmental issues surrounding the fine jewellery industry, there are ethical concerns about labour practices. This is because of the social concerns surrounding ‘blood diamonds’ and unethical working conditions. Here are some things the jewellery industry is doing to address these concerns:
- Ethical mined diamonds: More and more countries are taking part in the Kimberley Process, a process designed to ensure only ethical natural, mined diamonds make their way to market.
- Fair labour practices: Ethical jewellers will ensure their supply chain is transparent. They will adhere to all laws, ensure that the workers have fair wages and benefits, and that there is no forced or child labour in the chain.
- Community development: Many jewellers contribute to community development by investing in local infrastructure, healthcare and education in mining areas.
The rise of lab-grown
Lab-grown diamonds have emerged as a sustainable alternative to mined diamonds. Here’s why lab-grown stones are a better option for the planet, and for your pocket:
- Eco-friendly production: Lab-grown diamonds offer a less environmentally harmful alternative to traditional diamond mining. They are ethically created with no ethical concerns and use far less water and energy to make, than natural diamonds take to be mined. Because lab-grown stones are grown in a lab, they also don’t involve any environmental disruptions that can be associated with natural mined diamonds, like deforestation and destruction of animal habitats in the process.
- Authenticity and quality: A lab-grown diamond is a real diamond. Lab-grown diamonds are created from the ‘seeds’ of real diamonds (like how plants are grown), so by choosing a lab-grown stone you don’t miss out on any of the quality, beauty or specifications of a natural mined stone. Your stone will be authenticated just like a natural, mined diamond. And because of the lower costs associated with lab-grown stones, you’ll likely be able to achieve a higher carat weight for your budget.
Here’s how you can ensure your fine jewellery is sustainable
- Identifying sustainable brands: Ensure the brand you’re choosing to buy from has committed to sustainable practices, or utilises sustainable methods, such as using recycled jewellery and lab-grown stones. If purchasing natural, mined diamonds, you should check that the business only utilises ethical diamonds, and follows the Kimberley Process. Any reputable jewellery brand will either have this information displayed on their website or will be happy to tell you their practices if you reach out to their customer service team.
- Caring for jewellery: A good way to practice sustainability with the jewellery you already own is to ensure you care for it properly, maintaining the jewellery you already own, so that it shines for years to come.
- Promoting sustainable practices: By purchasing sustainable jewellery, it encourages the jewellery market to further lean into eco-friendly jewellery practices. Customer purchases influence which jewellery is created in future, so together, both customer and manufacturer can work together to make positive changes to the industry.
Choose The Diamond Store
Fine jewellery can align with sustainable practices when both consumers and manufacturers commit to ethical sourcing, innovative production methods, and responsible usage. By choosing ethically mined diamonds, embracing lab-grown diamonds, and supporting the use of recycled materials, we can all help contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly luxury market. When purchasing fine jewellery, ensure the brand provides transparent authenticity when it comes to their diamonds – like we do at The Diamond Store. We only utilise ethical diamonds and gemstones, embrace lab-grown stones and utilise recycled materials, amongst many other efforts to minimise our impact. Want to know more? Feel free to get in touch with our team, here, who can answer any questions you may have.