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Why sustainability matters

Why sustainability matters

Sustainability matters: here’s why

If you read my last post, you’re keen on why I’m committed to sustainability in the jewelry I create. Granted, buyers are drawn to the sparkle in a diamond melee or One Of A Kind Ring, but let’s step back for a moment. There’s more to jewelry than meets the eye.

Fair trade + conflict-free in the world of jewelry

I create jewelry with diamonds because diamonds are the hardest stone in the world, they never erode (which makes them an ideal heirloom) and their beauty is extraordinary. I’m adamant about their sourcing. Call it karma; I want to know that miners were not exploited in the process of acquiring the diamonds and that communities and environments were not destroyed. It’s news to no one that diamond mining can be fraught with unsavory, even deplorable circumstances. The distributor who supplies my diamonds—the only distributor I buy from—has visited the mines and cutting facilities, and vouches for their fair-trade practices.

A word of caution

Greenwashing is common in many industries, and the jewelry industry is not exempt. A business may claim to be eco-friendly or sustainable by using or selling conflict-free stones. However by law all diamonds bought and sold in the U.S. must adhere to the Kimberley Process Certification, which specifies that all diamonds imported to the U.S. must be 'conflict-free,' thus committing to using conflict-free diamonds is a low bar to set and achieve. The problem is the Kimberley Process is fraught with problems. The KP has many loopholes and can be worked around, it does not guarantee diamonds did not fund war crimes or human rights abuses, and it does not address the unfairness of labor or the environmental degradation rampant within the diamond and mining industries.

Additionally, some businesses use disclaimers such as, 'sustainably sourced when possible.' While I believe it is a thought in the right direction, continuing to source and support non-sustainable resources doesn't really address the issue, and doesn't guarantee that the jewelry was actually made from sustainable sources. It is actually why I stick to such a limited palette - so that I can very tightly control my sourcing. The hard-line stance that I take to ethical mining and sourcing goes further by committing to only using 100% recycled metals, and only using stones that are either reclaimed or fairmined/fairtrade, and of course conflict-free.

Guilt-free jewelry

To my customers: be assured that neither people nor the environment were exploited in mining the diamonds and metals featured in your One Of A Kind ring or Kate Maller Jewelry necklace, bracelet or earrings. On that note, the holidays are around the corner. Get a head start on your shopping—or treat yourself to a treasure from The Aspen Collection, new this fall.

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