top of page
Search

5 Signs Of Greenwashing Laboratory-Grown Diamonds

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

By Julia Griffith FGA DGA EG
THE GEM ACADEMY

Edited 02/10/2023



Greenwashing is rife nowadays. In the land of laboratory-grown diamonds it is frustratingly common. Here are 5 signs that indicate a brand may be making laboratory-grown diamonds sound more environmentally friendly than they actually are...


Laboratory-grown diamonds have gained immense popularity for their allegedly environmental benefits. It is regretful that the positive aspects of this mass-produced product are often embellished.



 


Not all brands are as transparent and eco-conscious as they claim to be. It is unfortunate that many engage in "greenwashing", a deceptive marketing tactic that exaggerates environmentally friendly qualities.


To help you make informed choices, here are five signs to watch out for when a brand might be greenwashing laboratory-grown diamonds:




1. Vague Sourcing Information


A trustworthy brand should provide clear information about the origin of their laboratory-grown diamonds. If a company is reluctant to disclose details about who originally grew the stones, it may be a red flag.


Look for brands that proudly share the journey of their products. This should include the name of the producer and what the producers do to create a more responsible product. You should be able to verify this by checking out the producers website too. Transparency is key.





 


2. Overly Positive Claims


Be cautious of brands that make overly optimistic claims about the environmental benefits of laboratory-grown diamonds. While these stones are made and not mined - no process is without impact. Stay away from brands that make grand statements such as “zero mining involved”* without any explanation of how this is the case.


Grand claims like this suggest that the company does not know how their products are made, let alone any environmental impacts. Remember: Though the stones are not mined – their ingredients almost always are.


Genuine brands are often very modest as it's impossible to be 100% sustainable in any business. They will acknowledge the environmental footprint of their laboratory-grown diamond production while highlighting its significantly lower impact compared with other growth methods.


* The only producer that I know of that do not involved any mining at all regarding production processes is Sky Diamonds.





 


3. Future plans only


It is crucial to exercise caution when encountering green claims from companies that only promise future sustainability initiatives without addressing their current actions. While intentions to become more environmentally responsible are commendable, tangible actions in the present are what truly make a difference. It’s about the journey – not the goal. If a company is yet to take a step – they are greenwashing.


Companies that are genuinely committed to sustainability will not only articulate their future goals but will also transparently communicate the concrete steps they're taking right now to reduce their environmental impact. Skepticism is warranted when a company's sustainability narrative revolves solely around future promises, as it may be an attempt to divert attention from their current practices, which could be less eco-friendly than they'd like you to believe.



 

Read article:

 


4. Ignoring Other Aspects Of Their Business


Be cautious about green claims from brands that solely focus on the laboratory-grown diamonds while neglecting all other aspects.


A company's commitment to environmental responsibility could encompass many aspects of its operations. Including the metals they use for their jewellery pieces - whether it be recycled, Fair Trade, or single-sourced gold. Or smaller aspects such as the packaging they use. Some may consider their carbon emissions through more efficient transportation practices.


Brands genuinely dedicated to sustainability will often demonstrate a holistic approach, addressing multiple facets of their business. If a company disproportionately emphasizes only one aspect, such as laboratory-grown diamonds (which have an incorrect ‘green’ reputation by default), it may be a strategy to divert attention from less sustainable practices elsewhere in their operations.




 


5. Unverified Claims


Beware of brands that make green claims without providing verifiable evidence. Look for companies that share third-party assessments or certification confirming the environmental credentials of their laboratory-grown diamonds.


Trustworthy brands will have nothing to hide. In fact, they brag about every single positive action they take as being a more responsible business requires a tremendous effort. Companies that are B Crop Certified have gain this status through positive impacts.


Some producers may get certification for their stones. I am not referring to laboratory-grown diamond reports but rather separate certifications from recognised organisations to validate their ethical and sustainable practices. These certifications, like the SCS-007 Sustainably Sourced Diamond certificate and the Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury verify the responsible procedures a company adheres to.


Others may have government-issued certificates to verify their sustainable practices as a business. This seems true for those used renewable energy sources.


If a brand or a particular stone lacks any third party verification - it's worth digging a bit deeper into their practices. There is a chance that the products they sell are just another mass-produced product.





The good news is that there are brands out there that are genuinely committed to offering a more responsibly-sourced product when it comes to laboratory-grown diamonds and jewellery. By staying informed and asking the right questions, you can find and support these more responsible companies while enjoying the beauty and brilliance of truly eco-friendly laboratory-grown diamonds.


Remember that when it comes to laboratory-grown diamonds:

No traceability – no proof of sustainability.


 

A Conversation with Sustainability Consultant Vivien Johnston Glass

Addition 02/10/2023

I conversed with the knowledgable Vivien Johnston Glass who professionally consults on sustainability and other ethical concerns.


Vivien makes excellent points as to what is reasonable to expect from a retailer selling laboratory-grown diamonds. In truth, they can not be expected to know the suppliers of every stone they have.


So, what is the solution? The answer may be to make no claims unless one has verifiable evidence to support them. The solution may very well be certified goods.


"To separate transparency from traceability... Transparency is what we need. Traceability maybe not."
"If you know your own suppliers and retailers do not make any sustainable claims except where they have verifiable 3rd party evidence to support it, that will (hopefully) encourage more producers and brands to collaborate to gain certifications in future, especially if there is a premium being paid for the certified goods."


If you'd like to learn more about sustainability, read this article by Vivien Johnston Glass, published in Rapaport Magazine.


 


In conclusion, while laboratory-grown diamonds have a general narrative of being sustainable, this is not necessarily true as not all are created with eco-friendly practices. Greenwashing does a lot of damage in the long term to entire industries as we are creating a consumer expectation that few can stick to whilst making the natural alternatives appear worse than they often are.


Be vigilant for signs of greenwashing, such as vague sourcing information, overly positive claims, only discussing future goals and not current practices, a lack of thoughtfulness in other aspects of their business, and unverified statements.


By doing so, you can confidently choose jewellery that not only sparkles but truly has low impact on our planet. Your purchase can be a reflection of your values, and supporting genuine eco-conscious brands is a step in the right direction for a more sustainable future.


As a final note – I do not expect brands to be sustainable. However, if a company is going to promote themselves on sustainability then it better be true.


By Julia Griffith FGA DGA EG
THE GEM ACADEMY

 







 



330 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Thank you for subscribing!

SUBSCRIBE HERE  to join our monthly newsletter:

bottom of page