We are living at a time when the origin of the goods we wear, the energy we use, and the food we eat is being inspected, at times scrutinized. This is the notion that forced me to consider the fact that in order to get married, I needed a stone. And if I were to buy a stone, I needed to know its birthplace, its supply-chain, and its journey.
Aside from running Clarity Project, a primary focus of my work, study, and life has been on the impact of our luxuries, specifically fashion. With this interest, I am thrilled to live in a time during which there is a revival of focus on the impact of what we do and what we wear. There certainly is a great deal of chatter with that regard.
Major fashion conglomerates are generating Environmental Profit and Loss Statements (EP&L) on each of their SKUs and transforming their corporate-social responsibility (CSR) from a department that makes philanthropic donations to one that inspects the actual practices inside the company and treats each part of the supply chain as an opportunity to generate positive impact. Even hedge funds, a sector known for its capitalistic focus, are beginning to realize there is an opportunity and validity to looking at companies with sustainability as a primary focus. The world is changing.
That said, we offer to all perspective diamond buyers a challenge:
As you research the right avenue for you, your budget and your ideals, to purchase a diamond, a ring, or any jewelry for the person you love, to add another targeted question to diligence list for the jeweler or sales person behind the counter.
That question is, “Can you share with me a bit about where this diamond came from?”
Unless you are working with one of very, very few “Mine to Mistress” shops, which struggle to achieve scalability, or interacting with someone who dabbles in mistruth, I can venture a guess as to their response.
Picture this: You are standing in a well-lit room full of glimmering stones. A moderately, but non-intimidatingly, attractive sales person stands in front of you. They have shared with you the details of the Four C’s and the reaction your partner is going to exude when you offer such an exquisite gift.
You then ask, “Can you share with me where this particular diamond came from?”
Do not fault the sales person for their lack of confidence in the response. It is not their fault they are representing an industry that operates on the notion that most people will not ask what you just did.
“This stone, I cannot. I can share with you that all of our diamonds” all of our diamonds “have been passed through the Kimberley Process and are guaranteed conflict-free.”
From here you can take one of two paths. You can accept their kind and true response, or ask more about the validity of the Kimberley Process. You could inquire if they consider only warfare to be “conflict” or if simply mining during the weekdays as opposed to going to school is conflicting for a child to engage in. You could ask about the cutting room where the diamond was polished, or even the insane amount of water used in the mining of that stone.
Our challenge for you is not to challenge the jewelers you ask, but only to investigate for yourself the availability of fact in an industry that would prefer you did not.
After speaking with any number of jewelers, we would love to hear the answers and responses you receive and welcome you to share your story and experience at Challenge@ClarityProject.com.