ReNewable Now's Natural Beauty helps you cut through all the confusion when it comes to products and services that put eco-concience people's concerns first. From cosmetics that bring you a truly natural blend of bio-active mineral make-up with the fabulous, organic infused, highly pigmented color palette you are looking for, to jewelry that makes eco-sense, salons & spas that will make you feel great, and style and fashions that are produced by sociably responsible companies and individuals. We know you’re looking for the best and safest way to achieve that look, and we want to help you find those resources that will make you, our visitor, look and feel your best while doing the best for our planet.
On the softer side of things and just in time to get your skin ready for spring, Tom's of Maine is introducing the newest additions to its natural body care line, including three body washes and four beauty bars available nationally. Made with some of nature's most trusted botanicals, the line features dermatologist-tested Natural Moisturizing Body Washes and new, reformulated Natural Beauty Bars. Like all Tom's of Maine body care products, these new offerings contain no artificial fragrances or preservatives and use no animal testing. So what exactly are botanicals, and why are they so poplar? Botanicals are the fiber, juice, oil, pulp, tissue, or other components derived from plants and they can be used in cosmetics, food supplements, personal care products, or pharmaceuticals. They're popular because they are promoted as being "all natural," and they've been around for years, Cleopatra used black cumin seed oil as a beauty treatment, and calendula has been used as a skin-healing poultice for hundreds of years. So lets just say they've been tested over time, for Tom's of Maine it's no wonder they choose botanicals to compliment their history of 47 years of supporting hundreds of nonprofit efforts by giving 10% of its profits back to organizations that support people and the planet and by encouraging employees to use 5% (12 days) of employee time to volunteer.
Sportswear to Clean Up the World's Oceans
Yoga Democracy has been committed to creating a line of yoga wear exclusively from recycled fibers from the beginning. Now, they've added recycled nylon made from fishing nets to their product line up which includes leggings, sports tops and shorts, making them the first company in the US to introduce this "Eco Tech Fabric" into the yoga wear space.
Ocean litter is a major ecological problem. While the exact figure is hard to pin down, one report jointly issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Environment Program (UNEP), estimated that 640,000 tons of abandoned nets are spread across the world's oceans, representing 10% of ocean trash. By finding an alternative use for abandoned fishing nets; putting them to use to make high quality fabric, a financial incentive is created for industry to change how it disposes of materials at the end of their industrial life. It also gives consumers a sustainable alternative to standard nylon that is one of the most energy intensive fabrics to produce.
While the use of recycled fibers is not new to the sportwear industry, most notably adaptation of recycled polyester made from recycled plastic bottles, nylon has received considerably less attention. The fashion industry's take-up has been slow reflecting the high costs for sustainable nylon alternatives and technological challenges in converting material back into nylon 6 yarn for use in textiles.
YogaDemocracy.com with its direct to the consumer retail model and in-house sewing production is making sustainable techno fabrics accessible to the average consumer.
US consumers consumed around $97 billion of athleisure apparel in 2015. A switch by consumers to recycled synthetic fibers would have a major impact on the industry's environmental footprint. For every 10,000 tons of regenerated material 70,000 barrels of oil are conserved.
Yoga Democracy uses two different types of recycled nylon, both made with Econyl® yarn from recycled material and produced by Italy based Aquafil Group. The company is committed to making recycled nylon a core part of its line up alongside recycled polyester made from recycled plastic bottles, which makes up the bulk of the fabric it uses in production. All its recycled polyester is hand-dyed using a zero-water, low energy process called sublimation at the Yoga Democracy workshop in Cave Creek, Arizona.
CHEENI BABY and KIDS, Apparel that
celebrates the wonders of nature
Growing up in Dallas, Texas, Sheela Lalani's blended Indian and Spanish heritage meant that she always felt different. She wore simple Indian clothing such as a shalwar kameez, and later transitioned to donning gorgeous saris. But it wasn't until she traveled to New York that she discovered just how colorfully diverse a city could be. Her European travels showed her more of the same: the world is full of beauty.
Taking inspiration from that eye-opening revelation and the life-changing birth of her own daughter, Lalani has created a girls' clothing collection that evokes pride in her heritage. Cheeni Baby - cheeni meaning "sweet" in Hindi - intends to revere and honor the uniqueness of each ethnicity. Elegantly arched peacocks and flower-toting elephants dance across jewel-toned designs that hearken back to Lalani's Indian roots and the free-spirited Bohemian sensibilities of her Spanish ancestry. The apparel encourages playfulness and the discovery of the wonders of nature while celebrating cultural harmony.
Cheeni Baby works with ethical manufacturers to handcraft custom-designed clothing on sustainable fibers. Dresses are hand-block printed using an artisan method from Jaipur, India. Whenever possible, organic and natural fibers and non-toxic dyes are used.
Children see the world with eyes wide open. Developing minds are emboldened to possess a self-awareness and individuality. And the multicultural styles of Cheeni Baby awaken compassion, understanding, and a fascination with different perspectives. Help us teach love by celebrating the colorful abundance of each other from the beginning.
Cheeni Baby will give back by supporting Global Initiatives and helping children in different parts of the world, including the United States. Funds will help end poverty and provide education to global youth.
Cheeni Baby is available for pre-order now. The world is full of beauty. Embrace it.
Sustainable Cosmetics Strats From the Outside, In
Hair care bottles made of plant-based materials, refillable fragrance flacons, skin care brands that take back tubes and jars for recycling, and cosmetic compacts that can be re-used—all are milestones within the beauty industry’s continual drive toward developing packaging that’s more sustainable. In addition, many brands and manufacturers have made huge strides in areas such as diminishing waste, capitalizing on solar or wind energy, reducing multiple coatings and creating packaging that fully
evacuates the product.
Brands that hold sustainability and eco-friendly practices at the core of their DNA, often rely on the product’s packaging to tell their story through recyclable symbols, certifications, refillable products and noticeably lighter weight components.
“In general,” says Katherine O’Dea, senior fellow with GreenBlue, a nonprofit organization that includes the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, “Packaging is the consumer interface so the easiest way to get consumers’ attention in this regard is with the words recycled content and recyclable. Recycled content speaks volumes about being green,” she says, adding that packages made of recycled materials and those that can be recycled are today’s key trends because consumers understand (or think they understand) these terms.
But while these terms may convey an instant green message to consumers shopping with environmental causes at heart, the term sustainable packaging has evolved to also define what many now consider to be a necessary way of doing business, a way to think through the entire supply chain for the greatest efficiency when designing a package.
Thus the concept of sustainable packaging has changed as brands and suppliers learn what works and what doesn’t, what’s practical and what’s not, what makes sense now and what’s further down the road. But this doesn’t mean the goal has waned; it’s more that the emphasis may have shifted, and while some naysayers claim that the world’s current economic situation has put eco-friendly packaging on the back burner, in reality, sustainable packaging and practices have become essentials of remaining competitive in the beauty—or nearly any other—business.
Gwyneth Paltrow to Co-Develop High-Performance Organic Makeup
The cosmetic and beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar business that spans the globe and many are now seeing the economic opportunity when it comes to organic cosmetics, and this includes the likes of major celebrities such as Gwyneth Platrow.
Recently Karen Behnke, founder of Juice Beauty, to announced that Academy Award winning actor and founder of goop, Gwyneth Paltrow and the company goop have joined forces in a long-term business venture. Juice Beauty will be expanding our high performance makeup formulations made with certified organic ingredients under the creative leadership of Gwyneth.
“At goop, our priority is our readers, so we only recommend products that we believe in, have tried, and love,” said Ms. Paltrow. “We are always looking for clean products that fit our values and what the goop audience wants. When we were introduced to Juice Beauty, we were amazed at the efficacy of their products, which contain certified organic ingredients and we are thrilled to be partnering with them in both make-up and skin care.”
The two California entrepreneurial companies bonded over their love for eco-chic living with true dedication to sustainability which gave rise to this long term partnership arrangement. Under the new U.S. based joint business venture, each of the companies and Gwyneth will hold stock in the other and Gwyneth will hold the title of Juice Beauty’s Creative Director, Makeup. Teamed together, Paltrow, Behnke and Juice Beauty’s scientists will lead the development of a new collection of high performance makeup made with certified organic ingredients that will be released by Juice Beauty in late 2015.
“What an exciting time at Juice Beauty announcing this long-term business partnership with Gwyneth, goop’s CEO, Lisa Gersh and goop,” said Juice Beauty Founder, Karen Behnke. “Gwyneth is the ultimate strategic business partner and she will enhance what Juice Beauty stands for – creating authentically organic formulations that perform as well or better than conventional chemically laden products”.
Lighting Up African Children’s Lives
In business, it's every company for itself, right? This might appear especially true in the fast-paced apparel sector, where "fast fashion" companies produce runway-inspired clothes just weeks after they debut on the catwalks. But the maxim isn't always true. In fact, it's collaboration, not competition, that's defining the future of global apparel production.
Let me tell you a story about the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a garment-industry effort to try to improve the way clothes are made to support sustainable practices and workers' rights. We're measuring what had never before been measured; the environmental and social performance of apparel and footwear via something called the Higg Index, which rates factories, products and brands.
On a beautiful day in San Francisco, a group of companies met to develop the Higg Index, which launched in July 2012. Instead of meeting in a glamorous boardroom of a fashion house in New York or Paris, the SAC working group met in the community room inside a member company's retail store. But the room was air conditioned down to 4C. Participants from all over the world hadn't packed for meetings in what felt like a vegetable storage locker.
First, we had to warm up. So a dozen executives scoured the retail racks like teenagers, borrowing parkas, hats, scarves and even gloves from our host store to start working together over the course of the three-day meeting.
But how were we going to improve the sustainability infrastructure of our entire industry when we couldn't get the carbon-spewing HVAC system to work properly for a single meeting in one little room? Adding layers of clothes seemed to be the perfect metaphor for end-of-pipe solutions that don't address the real underlying issues.
To make matters worse, the chill extended to the group itself. The assembled companies simply did not agree on how to measure the facilities that produce the world's supply of clothing and footwear.
Looking back, that day marked the uncomfortable beginning typical of any good collaboration.
The SAC brings together the entire apparel and footwear value chain including retailers, brands, factories, materials providers and the stakeholders that hold it accountable. Building the Higg Index was no easy task as it measures the performance of a brand, the facilities where products are made and the products themselves. To create the Higg Index, the whole value chain has to agree on its form and function as well as its structure, contents and process for awarding points.
After three days of discussing everything – how fast retailers could move, suppliers' capacity to make significant environmental change and how to score a company-owned waste water treatment facility, to name just a few of the topics – the group decided to wrap up the negotiations.
The SAC culture requires that anyone who has concerns, but "can still live with it," should defer to the group and allow it to build on even a reluctant consensus. Sometimes we have "principled and paramount objectives" that force a re-start, but fortunately, the group decided to proceed.
Yet there was considerable concern about our facilities assessment tool: were we being aspirational, unrealistic, or not going far enough? Those who thought we were being unrealistic predicted not only confusion, but also a wholesale rebellion from facilities that would have to conduct the Higg's assessment.
One retailer said it would go along with the assessment for the industry, but would not implement it itself. Another was already planning to rapidly assess its entire supply chain. Disaster was predicted. As a new executive director trying to align the supply chain, I saw this headache getting worse and potentially even threatening our platform of collaboration.
During the following months, this disharmony continued. The retailer that wanted to move fast, moved very fast and released the assessment to thousands of suppliers. A competing retailer was deeply concerned that this was going to confuse the supply chain (and especially their shared suppliers) before it was ready.
I found myself spending a good deal of my life on the phone trying to make peace. But while my personal mediation efforts made some difference, it was the numerous conversations between competitors that turned the tide. As one retailer went through its Higg Index experiment with thousands of suppliers, another explored its pilot with dozens – and then they shared results. They discussed what worked, what didn't and what could be improved, all without leaking any competitive information or needing facilitation.
As we prepared for the annual release of the upgraded Higg Index this year, I expected that the same sort of disagreement would stall, or even threaten, the new release. To my astonishment, all of the companies who had expressed the greatest misgivings about our facility assessment had now become the strongest proponents. These companies were now applying the assessment to their supply chains and didn't want to slow down.
Why were the reluctant companies now embracing the assessment? Because their peers and competitors had proven it was possible and had shared their experiences. Neither the first nor the last to make change paid a price for their pace of transformation.
While collaboration is now a common buzzword, my experience shows that it's the only route to solving many of the great challenges facing the planet and its inhabitants. But collaboration itself is not always what one might expect.
The SAC's work shows that it requires competitors both to race to the top and to help their peers up when they get there. Impactful brands and retailers know that gains in sustainability don't come from being marginally cleaner or greener than their competitors and winning a few additional values consumers. They understand that the greatest impact and rewards in sustainability come from transforming the entire value chain.
Jason Kibbey, executive director of SAC
Lighting Up African Children’s Lives
Thato Kgatlhanye of South Africa has been named a recipient of the 2014 Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier youth entrepreneurship award, for her solar schoolbags concept.
Thato’s business, Repurpose Schoolbags , up-cycles plastic bags and integrates solar technology that charges during the day and provides light at night.
Discarded plastic shopping bags are turned into a retro-reflective textile that make up the bags. An embedded small solar panel charges during the child’s walk to school and transforms into a solar lantern; which can provide sufficient light for study for up to 12 hours when fully charged.
One of the wonderful aspects of the concept is the children’s families don’t pay anything for the bags.
Disadvantaged schools with children who lack basic school supplies and walk long distances to and from the classroom each day are identified by Repurpose Schoolbags. ‘Giving Partners’ then purchase or donate on behalf of the students. Giving Partners are provided with information regarding how much plastic was recycled, along with photos from the handover event and letters from children and teachers at the disadvantaged school.
Repurpose Schoolbags now has 8 full time employees and numerous plastic bag collectors. The bags are produced in a factory in Rustenburg, South Africa.
So far, 120 children have benefited from the solar schoolbags and over 10,000 plastic bags have been repurposed.
Rethaka (Pty) Ltd is the parent company of Repurpose Schoolbags.
“We are not a charity, but a purpose-driven business that does what is right, not what is easy,” states the web site.
“Through our green innovations, we redefine societal problems into solutions. We make it our business to uncover sustainable opportunities that create a far-reaching impact for low-income communities, with a particular focus on children and women.”
The Anzisha Prize rewards young entrepreneurs who have developed and implement solutions to social challenges or started successful businesses within their communities. Now in its fourth year, the Anzisha Prize received 339 applications from 32 countries this year.
Thato Kgatlhanye from South Africa, At the age of 18, Thato Kgatlhanye and two friends set up Rethaka, a company that aims to combine business with social good. Rethaka’s first business venture is an environmentally-friendly innovation called Repurpose Schoolbags.
The schoolbags are beautifully manufactured from recycled plastic shopping bags with built-in solar technology that charges during the day and transforms into a light for schoolchildren to study after dark in homes without electricity. They are also designed with reflective material to increase child visibility and pedestrian safety for children walking to and from school.
A Mexican Plant Could Lend the Perfume Industry More Green Credibility, But At What Cost?
The mere whiff of a dreamy perfume can help conjure new feelings or stir a longing for the past. But the creation of these alluring scents, from the high-end to the commonplace, can also incur an environmental toll. That could change as scientists, reporting in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, examine a more sustainable way to produce a key perfume ingredient and supply it to fragrance makers around the world.
José M. Ponce-Ortega and colleagues explain that out of the three main ingredients in perfumes, the fixatives, which allow a scent to linger on a wearer's skin rather than quickly dissipate, are often pricey. A particularly coveted fixative comes from a rare whale digestive excretion called ambergris. Not only is its cost exorbitant, but its use is in perfumes in the U.S. and other countries is illegal. That's why many perfumeries long ago turned to a synthetic version. Although not as costly, the substitute still commands a high price, and requires considerable time and energy to make.
A simpler way to make synthetic ambergris exists, but the catch is that the starting material is a flowering plant found in Mexico. That means the plant would have to take a fuel-consuming, environmentally unfriendly journey across the ocean to Europe, where many perfumes are made. So Ponce-Ortega's team wanted to see whether the process would be worth it.
To find out, the researchers conducted a supply-chain analysis. They found that producing the fixative using the Mexican plant would generate considerable local profits to the tune of $20 million per year and create hundreds of jobs along the supply routes. They did find an environmental cost to the process, but that could be mitigated by using renewable energy sources to produce the fixative.
OSCAR's GREEN BEAUTIES
In the weeks leading up to the 86th Annual Academy Awards, actor and model, Kellan Lutz, and Bond girl beauty, Olga Kurylenko, had their plans to wear eco-friendly designs on the famous red carpet. The custom threads were designed by Suzy Amis Cameron’s eco-fashion campaign, Red Carpet Green Dress, and proved without a doubt that you don’t have to trade style for conscious and sustainable designs.
Kurlylenko stunned in a floor-length red gown and Lutz looked dapper beside her in a fitted tuxedo. Both designs were made out of environmentally friendly materials and Kurylenko wore a pair of vegan shoes created by Beyond Skin, an ethical U.K. based footwear and fashion label that partnered with PETA to create a vegan, limited edition, red carpet shoe.
From Just Jared:
The gown is made from 100% GOTS certified organic peace silk and 100% GOTS certified organic silk. It was first hand-dyed with Sappanwood – a legume which produces a reddish-colored dye and is sustainable due to its fast growth rate – then overdyed with madder root to give it a deeper shade of red.
The “Vampire Academy” actress said about her glamorous gown, “I really admire what Suzy does and it’s important to bring awareness to the fact that we need to be more green. We don’t lose quality or beauty. It just takes a bit of thought.” She added, “It just proved you don’t have to kill animals to wear beautiful things.”
As mentioned above, although the fashions were earth-friendly, they did contain some silk. Silk worms are boiled alive inside of their cocoons during the process to obtain silk. Some great silk alternatives include nylon, milkweed seed pod fibers, silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments, polyester and rayon. We love the idea of eco-wear taking over the fashion world but prefer the vegan options.
ORGANIC DEODORANT Smells like success!
Amy Cazin always found personal deodorants more offensive than people who don't use them! Natural alternatives never worked for her or her children, at least. So she decided to research all the carcinogenic or Alzheimer-causing possibilities of paraben and aluminium salts, and find alternatives.
If you spot propylene glycol in a product, remember that it's a neurotoxin and affects kidney function. These substances are sometimes found in products that are labelled as natural, but you hardly need to be told they most certainly aren't. Amy's home in Tampa Bay in Florida became the centre of a different approach to body odour or BO.
Bacteria on the skin need to be washed off daily, and not only in adolescents. The smells created from their waste give you a body odour (BO). The products Amy came up with in her research were totally natural and organic, and even edible, like the baking soda which some people use to whiten their teeth. This is sodium bicarbonate, which does act as a mild skin irritant because of its pH.
The carbon dioxide it produces affects the acidity of the skin, which is normally less acidic. Normal skin pH varies from pH4.5 to 6.2, which is pretty acid in some areas and almost neutral in others. Many other deodorants can lower the acidity drastically, which damages the skin while encouraging a really acidic bacterial environment. They really grow fast in the acid conditions.
The other problem that bothers us in deodorants is the desire of the producers to get the perfect fragrance. These synthetic smells really get up our nose. Perhaps a chemistry background makes you slightly allergic to certain substances or the horrific range you are assaulted by in a perfume department of a store! Asthma and allergies, of course, have been traced to these chemicals, too.
Skin absorbency is yet another problem with poisons. With very natural substances, unlike some organic compounds on sale, the absorption will be similar to that our ancestors have adjusted to over the centuries.
In a similar vein, the sweat that is stopped by antiperspirants really needs to release naturally created body toxins, just like the kidney does when it filters. This coconut oil-based product of Amy's doesn't block the pores and still manages to prevent body odour from appearing. It's quite pleasant to have no yellow aluminium stains on the shirt armpits for a change.
The effect of the PPP (Primal Pit Paste) is a cooling effect as you rub it in like a lotion or body butter. The coconut oil is likely to melt at higher temperatures but it provides a useful base for the deodorant effect around the skin.
And the effect of Primal? Well the name indicates that its basic ideology is to be natural. The anti-bacterial properties mean that less smell is created, while the lack of chemical perfumes means its suitable for anyone, especially athletes who produce so much sweat ie. bacterial fodder.
The waste products that get out of your pores are catering for bacterial taste, developed over millions of years of unicellular growth and evolution, alongside our hair and skin! The idea of a deodorant that simply restricts their activity, without using unnatural chemicals seems similar to stopping the use of pesticides. The effects of chemicals in both cases can be disastrous.
ALL NATURAL COSMETICS GROWING STRONG
Beauty is big business. Suffice it to say that most cosmetics companies are in the business of making money, despite the effects their products may have on the environment or the very people that use them. For instance, today’s cosmetics are known to be chock-full of parabens (that act like estrogen and can disrupt our natural hormonal balance), talc (which is closely related to asbestos), and BHA (a toxic preservative).
Although we may not know the long-term effects of many of these chemicals, such toxins slathered and sitting on the skin can be absorbed into the body. With thousands of possible carcinogens floating in our cosmetic drawer, is beauty really worth the risk?
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics is turning this ethos on its head with their worldwide push towards ethical products and practices. First and foremost, LUSH believes in making effective products from fresh ingredients (it’s even in their name!). This means that LUSH’s products are cultivated from organic fruits and vegetables, essential oils, and safe synthetics.
"LUSH believes in using natural ingredients to let the skin and hair function naturally in a healthy way."
LUSH believes in using natural ingredients to let the skin and hair function naturally in a healthy way. They believe that natural ingredients produce natural results. Your skin gets the most out of these fresh ingredients’ nutrients; in fact, about two-thirds of their product line is made wholly without preservatives of any kind. They look great, smell delicious, and feel fabulous!
Not only are LUSH’s products safe for human use (and sometimes even consumption), no ingredient ever used is tested on animals. According to their website, “Cosmetic companies are responsible for providing safety assurances in whatever manner they deem appropriate. This can be done without any new animal testing by relying on the roughly 20,000 established cosmetic ingredients that have already been evaluated for their safety, and through the use of a growing number of proven, non-animal test methods.” LUSH’s commitment to anti-animal testing is so strong they’ve even begun to proactively seek an end to testing on animals by awarding an annual (hefty) prize to address alternative testing practices, policies, research, and awareness.
The good karma put into the universe by LUSH also has a positive impact on the environment, vitally important to the authenticity of an eco-friendly company. At the core of their philosophy is “naked” and “packaging-free” products. That means that most of their products are shipped with little or no packaging whatsoever! When packaging is required, however, LUSH tries to use recycled-only or compostable materials wherever possible.
The company spends a great deal of time concentrating efforts on new and innovative ways of interacting with the environment. LUSH believes in saving electricity by using renewable energy sources, reducing water usage (i.e. soaps come in bar- not liquid- form), and making their products locally to source low-impact transportation globally. Kudos to LUSH for reducing their carbon footprint!
When it comes to being innovators in social business and sustainable products, LUSH is lathering us up for a better tomorrow. Their line of eco-friendly handmade cosmetics are good for body, mind and soul. Do your skin and our planet a favor and check them out at www.lush.com.
Have you ever wondered what it took to make that lovely gold ring on your finger? It took countless fossil fuel spewing machines bringing down thousands of trees and thousands of gallons of water digging yawning craters where the gold ore was believed to be located.
Once extracted, the ore will then be subjected to a chemical treatment to extract the gold. Nearly 200,000 tons of poisonous chemicals, generally cyanide, are used to separate the gold from the rock each year. In all, the process may create 20 tons of toxic waste to produce enough gold for just one ring. And that toxic pollution may be what gets left behind if incidents occur like that in Honduras of August 2010 which released high acidity and metal concentrations into the water sources. The alternative: eco friendly jewelry.
What is Eco Friendly Jewelry?
Eco friendly jewelry can be defined as jewelry that was produced from materials that did not require the further deterioration of the environment. One of the materials that can be used in making eco friendly jewelry is post-consumer recycled gold. This gold was gathered from old jewelry that was no longer in use. Most of these are class rings, broken necklaces and bracelets, and the single remaining earring. This gold can be recycled to make new pieces of eco friendly jewelry, without having to mine for raw gold.
Aside from gold pieces, eco friendly jewelry may also include beads from recycled wood that may come from the responsible forest management of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Other pieces may utilize recycled materials like nuts, bolts, washers, or old hardware parts. These types of green jewelry create unique pieces without harming the environment.
Conflict Free Diamonds
Due to the value and popularity of diamonds, many diamond-producing countries have suffered at the hands of rebel and terrorist groups who fund their operations from the sale of these precious stones. Angola, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are a few of the conflict areas that have been terrorized by militia groups controlling their local diamond trade.
There are now conflict free diamonds that are ethically sourced. These diamonds were mined without trampling on human rights, utilizing child labor, or creating environmental destruction.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was created in 2002 to try to control, if not eliminate, the blood diamond trade. The United Nations has backed this system to now document and track diamonds marking them with the Kimberley Process certification ensuring that their origination was not from a conflict zone.
Fair Trade Jewelry
Another eco-friendly option is fair trade jewelry. Fair trade jewelry supports ethical and fair business practices throughout the jewelry supply chain. These jewelry options also help to regenerate local economies, provide safe working conditions, support cultural integrity and help environmental sustainability.
(2010) About FSC. Retrieved August 31, 2010. http://www.fsc.org/about-fsc.html
(2007) Ask EWG: Is there eco-friendly jewelry? Retrieved August 31, 2010. http://www.enviroblog.org/2007/09/ask-ewg-is-there-eco-friendly-jewelry.html
(2008) A Wedding Ring Produces 20 Tons of Waste. Retrieved August 31, 2010. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,542561,00.html