We always knew we wanted to design a diamond collection but as a jewellery brand founded on ethical production, we were only prepared to do this on one important condition – the diamonds had to be ethically sourced. This meant saying goodbye to the old-fashioned way of diamond mining (full of negative impacts on our planet and people) and finding a new, more sustainable approach.
The first issue with mined diamonds concerns the fact that they pass hands so many times that supply chain transparency becomes extremely murky and is therefore very difficult to know where the diamonds have originated from. Even diamonds extracted in accordance with the Kimberley Process have untraceable origins.
The second issue concerns the process of mining and its harmful impact on the environment, leading to deforestation, destroying of precious ecosystems and wildlife, as well as contaminating natural water supplies due to the toxic chemicals that are emitted during the process.
Finally, mines are often located within communities suffering from extreme poverty; this often means little to no labour laws which leads to unsafe working conditions with no care given to the welfare of workers. Furthermore, children work in these mines under horrific and harmful conditions for as little as one dollar a day.
Understandably, for all the reasons above we simply could not justify the use of mined diamonds in our collection. Instead, our solution of using lab-grown diamonds has much less of an impact environmentally and socially, yet the process still results in a diamond that is chemically, physically and aesthetically identical to a mined diamond.
How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made?
The process of lab-grown diamonds is simple. A small slither of a diamond, known as a ‘seed’ is put into a sealed chamber where immense heat and crushing pressure surrounds the stone for several weeks resulting in gases sticking to the seed and growing the diamond in size. The final product is a rough diamond, ready to be cut and polished for use in jewellery.
The process to grow these diamonds is quite energy intensive, however we source our diamonds from a factory in India which is run on 60% renewable energy. We're also looking at ways we can support our supplier to increase this to 100%. In the meantime, we've been investing in carbon offsetting projects to balance all emissions released during production.
Lab-Grown Diamonds Vs. Mined Diamonds
When it comes to the quality, lab-grown diamonds are graded exactly the same way as mined diamonds, meaning they are just as precious. Because the production process is less costly, a diamond of the same quality will be more affordable.
Plus, while the production process of lab-grown diamonds is energy intensive, the C02 emissions produced from mining diamonds is still far greater, so there is a clear environmental benefit too. By choosing to work with lab-grown diamonds, we have reduced our carbon footprint by 307 tonnes of C02 emissions per kg. That's the equivalent of powering 59.7 homes for a whole year.
So really, what are you waiting for?
Our Conscious Diamond collection features delicate pieces made from 100% recycled gold and guilt-free lab-grown diamonds. Browse the full Conscious Diamonds Collection here.