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How Jewellery Can Be Sustainable

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With COP26 continuing in Glasgow as negotiators work out the finer details of how countries can meet the pledges their leaders have signed up to, all kinds of issues will be under the microscope.

While the usual suspects like energy, transport and forestry have been considered, however, there are also issues that concern each and every industry, including jewellery. A jewellers in Buckinghamshire can’t replant the Amazon, but there is still a part to play.

Indeed, the BBC raised the issue of the impact the jewellery trade can have when it reported on a fierce debate in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, where it is reckoned a billion dollars of diamonds lie beneath the Buxwaha Forest, home to several endangered species.

While conservationists want to stop the mine, fearing deforestation, the state government argues it will bring jobs and prosperity.

Such a row might seem like the choices are always this tough, but the reality may be very different, according to one of the most renowned diamond firm in the world.

As Macau Business reports, De Beers has reported that its research shows consumers now value sustainability as much as price and design when choosing diamonds.

The report, titled Sustainability: shaping the future of the diamond sector, noted that this definition of sustainability is a broad one covering more than just the environment, with fair pay for workers, conflict free sourcing and support for local communities among its other concerns.

All that suggests that the jewellery sector will in fact be pushed increasingly in the direction of being a good global citizen, which De Beers has publicly committed itself to across a range of these ethical issues.

Our own scale of operations is never going to be like that of De Beers, but we can all play our part. The fact that our jewellery is made locally means the final piece you wear will have a lower carbon footprint in its final journey.

Of course, diamonds themselves are made of pure carbon, but that’s staying in rings and necklaces, and not in the air.