Reflections on Sustainability and Jewelry
The Question of Sustainability.
From recycled and fair-mined gold to transparent Diamond supply chains and eco-friendly business practices, the jewelry industry has come a long way since the early 1990s. It was then that the term “conflict Diamonds” became commonly known, serious examination of metals mining began, environmentally friendly packaging and more became topics of concern. We at Hamilton Hill are pleased that sustainability is important to our clients, that the industry is making great strides, and that we have a role to play in progress towards healthier individual lives and a healthier industry.
In a discussion about Hamilton Hill’s approach to sustainability, we can start by noting that though jewelry is not a necessity it is, however, central to the livelihoods of many people, including: the HH team; our designer partners, 95% of whom are small-scale, artisanal individual or family businesses; stone and metals suppliers; a large community of support product professionals; and more. Furthermore, when jewelry is wisely chosen and well cared for, it can be worn and enjoyed for a very long time.
We are glad to tell you more about our approach to sound ecological practices and to introduce you to initiatives in place to make jewelry an increasingly clean, responsible industry that respects people and places and serves as an example to other industries. Born from greed, grievous errors of judgement, and an uneducated consumer, impressive initiatives now give the industry a chance to lead and love through action, transparency, and education.
Corporations large and small, countries, niche communities, and dedicated stand-out individuals lead the way. Education and the willingness to change, which as the maxim says is never easy, make progress possible.
Some of our corporate and personal practices, and of our designer partners, aimed at improving the life of the earth and inhabitants are mentioned below:
- Hamilton Hill is a financial backer of the critically important Mercury Free Mining organization led by the irrepressible Toby Pomeroy since 2017. Mercury Free Mining | Creating a Mercury Free World | Creating a Mercury Free World
- Hamilton Hill acquires natural Diamonds from suppliers who participate in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme established in 2003 to assure transparency from mine to market and prevent the use of Diamonds in warfare and other societal conflicts. We also offer Canadian Diamonds, ethically mined with traceable origin. Hamilton Hill currently offers lab-grown Diamonds which are often perceived as sustainable alternatives for natural Diamonds. Lab-grown Diamonds are, however, a cause for ecological concern due to large-scale energy usage. The Hamilton Hill position on these Diamonds is evolving as we learn more about the natural and human resources involved in this still relatively new industry.
- Hamilton Hill works exclusively with jewelry makers – local, national, and international – who create using recycled gold, platinum, and other metals. Metals we purchase for use in custom design and repairs are also recycled. We send scrap metal – yours and ours – to be refined and reused (“urban mining!”).
Click the links below to learn more about the actions of some of our partners and your favorite designers, many of whom have achieved high-level and difficult-to-obtain certifications, testifying to their achievements and commitments:
Though we’ve not entirely met our “green” packaging goals, most of our gift packaging (bags, boxes, tissue paper, etc.) is made from recycled materials and U.S. made. Some packaging we give you is provided by our designer partners, for example Majoral and Niessing mentioned above, who are passionately dedicated to producing eco-friendly packaging.
If no or minimal packaging is what you’d like, simply say so whether you’re here in person or we’re shipping to you. You are also invited to return packaging material to us anytime.
We’re here to answer your questions and offer educational resources.