We are a brand that is creating conscious conversation through jewelry creation. We are challenging the jewelry industry to a higher level of transparency. Consumers hold a lot of power. We aim to educate our consumers so they can contribute to this transformation of an industry that has been operating under bloody pretenses for far too long.
We value our planet and the health and justice of humanity so we are committed to making the most ethical and sustainable choices as a company. Read about the issues below and why we made the choices we did in our jewelry.
Mining for precious minerals disrupts and poisons the earth. The jewelry industry creates toxic waste, allows for total land degradation, and requires high amounts of fossil fuels to operate. These issues rage invisibly under the surface of shining jewelry. Harmful production practices also impact the health and safety of people involved in mining and manufacturing. Jewelry supply chains are notoriously hard to trace. Let’s be the change and end this now.
The diamond mining industry directly affects 10 million people around the world. Most of the known natural diamond reserves are located in Congo, Botswana, Australia, and South Africa. In many of these countries there is no fair wage, and workers get paid as little as $1 a day. Children are often forced into labor, enduring phsycially demanding tasks and exposed to sexual assault.
The Kimberley Process was created as a means of tracking the murky supply chains. The need to create a guiding body came about due to increased societal awareness of blood diamonds, which by definition: are produced in war zones to finance civil wars. This has been a successful but controversial initiative.
While social progress is slowly (emphasis on slow) adapting to modern standards, the environmental consequences of diamond mining are still too high. Diamonds are mined in two major ways. Primary deposit mining and open pit mining, both techniques disturb the surrounding ecosystems, striping away tonnes of land every day. An unintended consequence of these practices is acid mine drainage, the diamond industry's top environmental liability. This happens when the minerals exposed from mining react with air and water producing acidic runoff, harming nearby water resources and mobilizing heavy metals into ecosystems
Digging for 1 carat of minded diamond causes 1.5 billion times air emissions than growing one carat diamond in the lab. - Frost & Sullivan Report
“2.63 tonnes of mineral waste is disposed when extracting a carat of diamond” - Internation Grown Diamond Association
“Mining for a carat of diamond generates 57,000 grams of carbon emissions” - Internation Grown Diamond Association
Despite what the earth-mined gemstone industry wants you to believe, the mining, distribution and sale of stones is still wrought with environmental and human rights problems.
Gemstones are found on all seven continents, created from combinations of magmatism, metamorphism, and sedimentation. Highly valued by humans for their obvious beauty, gemstone mining has left lands infertile, destroyed endangered flora and fauna in the surrounding regions and left unfilled pits that fester the spread of malaria to local vulnerable populations. In the process of excavation, the discharging of tailings, sediments, and chemicals from extraction lead to the contamination of water tanks. The water jets used in open pit methods lead to erosion and unstable land. Runoff from the contaminated mines leads to contained drinking water. Mining activity drives local populations to relocate as it’s impossible to live on dead, unusable land. For these reasons we have chosen to use lab grown gemstones instead of earth minded gemstones. Lab grown gemstones use way less energy compared to the fossil fuel heavy extraction processes.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
One of the most exciting breakthroughs has been the ability to grow CVD lab cultivated diamonds, that are anatomically the same as earth mined diamonds. These diamonds have a smaller footprint which is why we have chosen to use them at Chapter Six.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Gold is the metal of myths, a gift from outer space, that humans have been enthralled with since its discovery. It sounds and looks magical, but the actual process is far from idyllic. The most common type of industrial gold mining is open pit mining. A process which digs up tonnes of land in hopes of extracting a few trace minerals. This process leaves landscapes barren and ecologically fragile. One of the most harmful practices associated with gold mining is the release of mercury into the air. This in turn heavily impacts air quality.
Cyanide heap leaching is a low cost practice that leaches the very poisonous cyanide into the earth in exchange for the production of heavy metals. The true cost of this method is too high with negative externalities including highly toxic waste which goes straight into nearby water bodies such as rivers, lakes, and oceans. The impact? Destroyed coral reefs, damaged aquatic life, and polluted nearby human populations.
For every gram of gold produced, artisanal gold miners release about two grams of mercury into the enviroment - Brillant Hearth
“Producing gold for one wedding ring alone generates 20 tons of waste” - Earthworks
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory, metal mining is the nation’s #1 toxic polluter
After the energy intensive extraction process gold changes hands many times, leading to unfair wages, especially at the bottom of the chain. Low pay particularly affects miners and polishers, who suffer greatly for no reward.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Working with gold poses human health impacts as workers continuously breathe in large amounts of siliceous dust potent with harmful metals. On top of this poor air quality inside the mines lead to major health concerns. With no international regulations for fair wage and fair treatment, those who need the most help, suffer the greatest.
Recycling gold already in circulation is our solution to mitigating these issues. By decreasing demand for new metals, we can appreciate and value this metal that has already been extracted and increase it’s lifetime usage. Recycled gold is not a perfect solution however. Read more about this choice on our values page.