Can luxury and conscience coexist?
Kudos to designer Sabiha Foster for injecting conscience and corporate responsibility into the diamond market. Foster uses only diamonds from conflict-free countries in her designs (an allusion to the civil wars in many diamond-producing African nations), and avows that no human or environmental sacrifices have been made to obtain the gems.
There has been some criticism from others in the industry; a spokesman for De Beers declared, “The fact is that 99.8 per cent of the worldâ€™s rough diamonds are now certified ‘conflict-free,’ and also “The claim that diamonds ‘have impeded development’ in Africa is simply wrong. In fact, diamond revenues support essential programs of national development in stable, democratic countries such as Botswana, South Africa and Namibia.”
Foster combines conflict-free diamonds with colored synthetic stones in her designscosponsors at D4Hâ€™s inauguration in New York included Gemesis, a Florida company that produces lab-grown gems. A D4H necklace, made of over 50 diamonds and valued at several hundred thousand dollars, made its debut at this yearâ€™s Oscars ceremony. And the diamond debates wage on…
More info about ethical standards for the diamond and gold industries can be found at ResponsibleJewellery.com.