It is no longer enough to produce beautiful diamonds. As the latest De Beers Group report shows, consumers are prioritising sustainability over cost when shopping for jewellery.
Sustainability is no longer simply a buzzword in diamonds to be linked to CSR initiatives or marketing spin; it now has real-world commercial implications, influencing the way consumers shop. As the market increasingly shifts towards emerging consumer groups with a whole new set of values, jewellers must align themselves accordingly by seeking out suppliers of ethically sourced diamonds.
Did you know that jewellery ranks third in a list of products most frequently purchased based on sustainability considerations? It is outranked only by food and clothing. This research was delivered as part of the latest De Beers Sustainability Report and highlights one of the report's main takeaways: the shift in global consumer trends towards conscious spending.
The report claims that roughly a third of consumers value sustainability over price and design when choosing a natural diamond. This mindset is particularly prevalent in younger consumers: 30% of Millennials and 21% of Gen Z shoppers have already bought jewellery backed up by sustainability credentials, compared to just 8% of Baby Boomers.
While sustainable diamonds might feel like a new era for some, at Dimexon we have been championing sustainability and human-first ethics since our beginnings in the 1960s. As such, we were one of the first midstream diamond companies to tackle ethics surrounding traceability. We started tracing the journey of our diamonds through the supply chain long before blockchain existed, and partnered with specialist technology provider SAP way back in 2006 to develop an award-winning, and constantly evolving, system to provide full traceability on all our diamonds.
We are constantly strengthening our efforts to offer ever greater transparency, and make it easier for our clients to share the story of our ethical supply chain with customers in store. It is notoriously difficult for jewellers to source melee diamonds with credible traceability credentials, but Dimexon offers a solution. We already provide source of origin reporting on all our diamonds, but by 2023 we plan to give our customers full traceability reports on all stones weighing 0.18ct and above. By 2025, we will extend this reporting to mixed parcels of melee diamonds of less than 0.18ct. This is the kind of traceability tomorrow’s diamond shoppers will expect as standard.
As well as being fully traceable, our diamonds are also produced ethically at our cutting and polishing facility in Coimbatore, India. As well as providing ethical employment for more than 1,600 people – 85% of who are women – the site also has strict environmental policies. We have many great initiatives already in place, and also some ambitious plans for the future. We intend to be carbon neutral by 2030, to remove all single-use plastics by 2023 and to achieve zero landfill waste by 2025.
It would be naïve to say that this ethical way of running our businesses doesn’t come at a price – it does. Our diamonds are not the cheapest on the market, but they are the best possible quality and they come with an ethical pedigree that could sway purchasing decisions. It is also important to note that consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable luxuries. As the De Beers Group report uncovered, 56% of consumers are willing to pay a higher price – as much as 20% more – for diamond brands that provide evidence of sustainability.
There have never been more reasons for the diamond industry to take action. Consumers have made it clear that they want to buy from brands aligned with their own morals and those working to make the planet a better place. This is a trend that will only develop in importance in the coming years, which is why when it comes to sustainably sourced and produced natural melee diamonds with full traceability, Dimexon is the answer.