If you’re a mindful traveler, you can reap the rewards of exploring the world while also having a beneficial impact on the local communities you encounter. And this purchasing power can be harnessed long after you’ve unpacked from your trip. By applying a similar mindfulness, the dollars you spend back home can also positively affect faraway destinations.
Buying a diamond is a key example. As major life purchases go, it’s an intimidating and thought-provoking one—with considerations that go way beyond choosing a square or pear shape stone. While diamonds remain an enduring symbol of glamour and romantic commitment, consumers increasingly want to understand the ethical implications—and commit to purchasing diamonds that are conflict-free and responsibly sourced.
In other words, just as movements like farm-to-table dining, fair-trade products, and ethical fashion have made their way into the mainstream, so too has the desire to choose diamonds whose journey from the mine to the jeweler has been conducted with integrity. A 2015 Nielsen study showed that sales from brands with a commitment to sustainability have grown more than 4% globally in the past year, while those without grew less than 1%. Plus, an impressive 66% of global respondents are willing to pay more for sustainable goods.
Clearly a robust market exists for ethically sourced diamonds. But even the most conscientious consumers can get overwhelmed. How can you ensure that the stone you select is mined responsibly and confers benefits to the community where it originated?
That's where Forevermark comes in. Forevermark’s commitment to responsible sourcing comprises of three pillars: opportunity for women, environmental stewardship and integrity. The latter guarantees that each Forevermark diamond has been mined, sorted, and polished under stringent criteria—from mines that adhere to strict business practices resulting in assurance that its diamonds are natural, untreated, and conflict free. Less than 1% of the world’s diamonds are eligible to bear the Forevermark inscription, a unique serial number the depth of just 1/5000th of the width of a human hair, which displays its promise that the diamond is rare, beautiful and responsibly sourced.
As part of its responsible sourcing promise, Forevermark, through The De Beers Group of Companies, invests back into local communities in a host of ways: by building schools and hospitals; funding micro-credit enterprises for female entrepreneurs and hosting mentorship programs; all alongside a commitment to raising environmental standards and preserving biodiversity around De Beers’ mines. For instance, for every acre of land the Group uses for mining, it dedicates five hectares to conservation. These practices help spread the benefits of the diamond industry so that they don't just flow overseas, but also go back into the communities from which the stones are sourced.
So, with a little insider knowledge, anyone in the market for a diamond can feel good about where their diamond comes from. And by seeking out a responsibly sourced diamond, the dazzling symbol of lifetime commitment can also represent a life-changing effect for communities at the other end of the process.
Created in partnership with Forevermark.
© 2016 AFAR Media