Brilliant Earth claims their jewelry qualifies as eco-friendly because they use diamonds that are Beyond Conflict Free, they utilize recycled precious metals, they ship their products in packaging from responsibly managed sources and they use wood from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for their ring boxes. They also claim to be a Certified Carbonfree company. All these things add up to eco-friendly jewelry. Furthermore, Brilliant Earth reviews from customers tend to enthusiastically expound on how beautiful their rings are. Or they talk about how they’re so happy to have found the ring of their dreams. Since beauty is subjective, let’s review whether Brilliant Earth’s claims of being eco-friendly are valid.
The current standards for conflict-free diamonds only require that the diamonds not be used to finance rebel movements against governments. However, Brilliant Earth feels this doesn’t go far enough. Brilliant Earth offers Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds. This means that Brilliant Earth’s suppliers are required to source their diamonds from mines that follow internationally recognized environmental, trade and labour practices and standards. Furthermore, they require that their suppliers be able to show a strong chain of custody protocol for their diamonds and be able to define and track their diamonds by origin. According to the neutral independent auditor SGS Global Services, Brilliant Earth’s suppliers do conform to the custody protocol and diamonds can be accurately traced to their origin. However, this audit was done in 2016 and there is no evidence to suggest that this is still the case.
Brilliant Earth’s website states that their jewelry is “primarily” crafted from recycled precious metals. As a result, they are able to diminish the impact of gold mining on the environment. They state that the sources of their recycled metal are existing jewelry, industrial use metals and electronic components. Brilliant Earth even has its own jewelry recycling program, offering to turn old jewelry into something new or giving customers credit towards their next purchase. However, they do not state how much of the jewelry they cast contains recycled metal and how much is new. Without this information, we have to take Brilliant Earth’s word for it.
The FSC promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. Wood sourced from FSC guarantees that it came from a forest that is being responsibly managed to prevent environmental devastation. Brilliant Earth uses FSC wood for its ring boxes, a fact that is easily verifiable and therefore trustworthy. However, Brilliant Earth claims that its shipping packaging comes from responsibly managed sources but they don’t specify what sources those are. Therefore this claim is a little doubtful.
Brilliant Earth states that they are a Certified Carbonfree® company. They partnered with Carbonfund.org to counteract the impact of their carbon emissions by contributing to the Tropical Rainforest Conservation in Brazil. The Tropical Rainforest Conservation project is focused on protecting 750,000 acres of rainforest in Brazil. In doing so, the project is helping to reduce carbon emissions, improve water quality and conserve the habitat of threatened and endangered plants and animals. In addition to their contribution to this project, they have also vowed to work towards reducing their carbon footprint. We can be reasonably sure that this information is true.
Brilliant Earth defines itself as eco-friendly jewelry because it uses Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds, recycled precious metals, FSC certified wood for its ring boxes, packaging from responsibly managed sources and is a Certified Carbonfree® company. We have examined each of these claims and not all claims stand up to scrutiny. Although we can’t say with 100% certainty that their jewelry is 100% eco-friendly, there is enough proof to the majority of their claims for us to be certain of their commitment to the environment. Brilliant Earth is, therefore, a good option for beautiful jewelry that is relatively eco-friendly.
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