Good Design Has a Conscience
Everything we use or consume in our daily lives originates from one of two methods: growing or mining. And all these materials ultimately come from the earth. This thought was foremost in our minds when we created the Earthwise Jewelry® Collection almost two decades ago.
Knowing the environmental and social costs associated with the materials we use, we simply could not sleep at night if we accepted the status quo. We respect all people whose land and labor provide us with the precious stones and metals we use in our jewelry creations, as well as the earth itself.
With that in mind, we started looking for more humane and responsible options for obtaining materials and found the world’s first conflict-free diamonds. But we didn’t stop there. We also developed methods to use only recycled gold and platinum instead of supporting hard rock mining, with its devastating environmental effects. And we began assisting communities throughout the globe in the development of their colored gem resources, so that communities could prosper and earn their just reward from their own natural resources.
None of this was easy. But as designers and responsible global citizens, we felt it was our duty. As the first jewelry company to tackle such a wide range of issues, we had to create our own solutions to many of the problems we discovered.
In choosing to use any finite material, the scales must be tipped so that the benefits outweigh the cost. Whether the finished object is jewelry, a table, or an article of clothing, significant thought must be done, far beyond creating a pretty shape. This makes the work of the designer more difficult than it ever has been, but it’s the least one can do if they hope to create good design.