As consumers become more conscious about the products they’re buying, the ethical fashion trend is gaining momentum. This trend leads people away from buying cheaper clothing and jewelry and instead investing in long-lasting, sustainable, and ethically sourced pieces. But what exactly does this mean?
In simple terms, ethically sourced jewelry is jewelry that gets made without a negative impact on the people who made it or the environment it was produced in. This can mean several things, such as:
- Jewelry whose origin is traceable backward to verify its ethical production.
- Jewelry that uses recycled material. For example, gemstones.
- Jewelry that uses synthetic diamonds.
- Jewelry where no child labor is involved and the mine offers fair wages and working hours.
- Jewelry that’s mined in such a way so as not to pollute or negatively impact the environment in any way.
Brilliant Earth is a leader in the ethical jewelry market. The company began in 2005, intending to build a more transparent, sustainable, and ethical jewelry industry. To this end, they utilize “beyond conflict-free” diamonds, recycled metals, and pre-owned items.
They call their diamonds “beyond conflict-free” because they ensure that not only are their diamonds free from association with civil war, but they are also clean of human rights abuses and harmful environmental impacts. Additionally, they ensure that the mines these diamonds originate from employ ethical labor practices.
Furthermore, Brilliant Earth contributes positively to community development. They donate five percent of their profits to charities that support communities affected by blood diamonds in Africa. They are also involved in support organizations such as the Diamond Development Initiative. This organization works to improve conditions for small-scale miners around the globe. Additionally, they have been pushing for changes in certification in the diamond industry.
Let’s take a closer look at Brilliant Earth’s ethically sourced jewelry.
Brilliant Earth reviews differ on the affordability of Brilliant Earth’s jewelry. Some reviews feel that for the product their offering, the prices are reasonable. However, other reviews state that Brilliant Earth is more expensive than jewelry companies offering similar products compared to other jewelry stores. Nonetheless, customers should note that Brilliant Earth offers ample evidence of the ethical origins of their jewelry while other businesses do not.
Let’s look at all the different ethically sourced jewelry options that Brilliant Earth offers.
Brilliant Earth can trace their diamonds to their origins, and they offer customers a diamond origin certification. They also employ strict auditing processes to ensure that the diamonds come from reliable suppliers. These processes include monitoring the diamonds from when they are mined to the time they are cut and polished. In this way, they can guarantee that their diamonds meet the “beyond conflict-free” criteria.
Customers can choose the country of origin of the rough diamond when searching on Brilliant Earth’s website. They also have the option of selecting a recycled diamond. In this way, they can customize their jewelry with the diamond they desire.
If a consumer has any concern about the origin of a diamond, their best option is to choose a lab-grown diamond. A lab-grown diamond is the most ethical of all diamonds because it is grown in a lab rather than being mined. As a result, you bypass all the ethical issues surrounding mining.
Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds. In both chemical composition and optical view, they are identical to mined diamonds. However, since it costs less to acquire them, they are priced 15-20% lower than naturally mined diamonds.
The mining of precious metals is a serious strain on the environment. Precious metal mining also has a history of labor abuses and involvement in civil war. For this reason, Brilliant Earth gets their gold, platinum, and silver from certified responsible refiners. In addition, these refiners have been audited to ensure they comply with the standards set forth by organizations such as the London Bullion Market Association and the Responsible Minerals Initiative.
Brilliant Earth mainly makes their gold and silver jewelry using recycled materials. Other precious metals come from various sources, including post-consumer materials like industrial-use metals, electronic components, material from in-house recycling, refining, product manufacturing, or other secondary sources.
Furthermore, Brilliant Earth also sources its tungsten, meteorite, and tantalum responsibly. The tungsten comes from mining areas that don’t produce conflict materials. It’s also processed in refiners that conform to RMAP (Responsible Minerals Assurance Process).
The meteorite jewelry is made of Muonionalusta iron. It’s believed that this material from outer space fell to the Earth between 120,000 and 800,000 years ago.
Tantalum derives from a natural chemical earth metal. It belongs to a category of metals known as refractory metals. Refractory metals are known for their strong resistance to heat and wear. Brilliant Earth only uses tantalum processed in conflict-free mines and production facilities.
Brilliant Earth has several showrooms in the United States. However, they ship internationally from their website, so their products are available to customers outside the U.S.
Customers have the option to browse the website or showroom on their own, or a jewelry specialist can assist them. However, the website is easy to navigate, so a guide is not really necessary.
The Brilliant Earth website features a convenient search interface that offers a number of filters to help you narrow down your search results. Additionally, there are sections devoted to different types of jewelry, including engagement rings, wedding rings, diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry.
Moreover, they have an extensive education section that customers can peruse to learn about the pieces they want to buy.
If you want some professional guidance, you can book a virtual appointment with a jewelry specialist. Each appointment is 50 minutes and offers consumers the chance to learn more about Brilliant Earth’s products and find out valuable diamond and gemstone information.
These days you have to work pretty hard to ignore the realities of diamond and precious metal mining. This industry is rife with human rights abuses, civil war, and environmental degradation. Therefore, it behooves you to be an ethically conscious consumer. Fortunately, Brilliant Earth provides a range of jewelry options that you can choose from.