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Are lab-grown diamonds a good investment? Why a brand like Fàbera uses them
We all love jewelry, but we are becoming more aware of the atrocities caused by mining precious metals and diamonds on people and the planet. Fàbera Jewelry wants to put a stop to this – the Italian brand that uses recycled materials, lab-grown diamonds, and supports local artisans to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. In this interview, we dive deeper into their creative process and learn more about the impact they’re making in the fashion industry.
We spoke with Chiara Ferri – Co-founder and CEO of Fàbera Jewelry – about their made-to-order approach to lab-grown diamonds, the increasing demand of consumers for responsible production and transparency, the future of sustainability, and more.
Read more inspiring stories about the brand that decided to create its own responsible essentials, the brand that designed a completely circular pair of jeans, and the swimwear brand that respects and enjoys nature.
“Fàbera is a brand made for Millennials and Gen Z, who engage increasingly with transparent brands that have purpose and meaning”
Fàbera Jewelry is a young Italian jewelry brand betting on lab-grown diamonds in the wake of a generational shift towards ethical consumption. The pieces are handmade by artisans in Florence, using 18k recycled gold and the highest-quality lab-grown diamonds. These diamonds are chemically and physically identical to their mined equivalents, without the environmental consequences.
“Over the years, we came to realize that the industry wasn’t evolving with our generation, we felt like it didn’t talk to our generation — it’s a very traditional industry — plus with all the controversies from blood diamonds to child labor, that’s not what we’re looking for these days”, Chiara told us.
“We believe in creating jewelry you can feel good about wearing, without ever compromising between conscience and quality”
The CEO of Fàbera shared with us shocking industry metrics and said “It’s widely known that the diamond trade has a long and problematic history. Extracting diamonds from the earth using open pit mining is an environmentally disruptive and carbon-intensive process — an estimated 57kg of carbon is released for every carat of diamond mined and some mines are so huge, they can be seen from space.” She also highlighted the human rights issues associated with diamond mining. “Despite the introduction of the Kimberely Process in 2003 (intended to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds into the industry), there are still loopholes that allow for the exploitation of workers.”
Fàbera was also born from the desire to make the purchase of precious jewelry an inclusive, comfortable, and unique experience. The brand brings the piece of jewelry from the craftsman directly to customers, without intermediaries, and at a fair price. “Our mission is really to bring transparency to an industry that has known many controversies and do things differently with the exact same result”, Chiara Ferri told us.
Fàbera’s lab-grown diamonds are purchased from certified sustainability-rated producers providing consumers SCS-007 Jewelry Sustainability Standard – Sustainability Rated Diamonds, a third-party certification developed for the diamond sector. “This accreditation demonstrates industry leadership in tackling key environmental, social, governance, and performance issues of concern to consumers and stakeholders while maintaining a strict chain of custody to assure traceability.”
Aside from using only lab-grown diamonds, Fàbera shares with us its less wasteful model adopted to lessen its impact on the environment even further. “Our startup leverages a millennial-friendly drop model to introduce new pieces twice per year and focuses on a carefully curated selection of unique designs with quality over quantity.” Chiara went on to say “Instead of having thousands of designs, we offer a more curated selection of models that speak to what our community is looking for so that we don’t have excess inventory and can reduce waste.”
Fàbera’s made-to-order approach enables them to respond quickly to customers’ evolving demands and needs. “By selling directly to customers online, we are able to offer the same quality found at luxury jewelers, at a fraction of the price.”
“Sustainable shopping is an inevitable sea change. We don’t want to wait for it but accelerate it”
Chiara shared with us “We are proactively designing sustainability into our business strategy to capture a windfall of unmet demand. Most consumers want to purchase more sustainably, they just need help doing so.” She went on to say “We love the fact that jewelry can be one of the most sustainable pieces we invest in, as it is something that we tend to cherish, associate with personal memories, and keep for generations. This sparked the idea for our Second Life service, knowing that many of us have pieces in our jewelry box that can be rethought, redesigned, and their lifespan extended.” Fàbera brought this bespoke service to a wider audience, making it accessible to anyone, anywhere. “It’s the ultimate modern and luxury take on recycling.”
“Fàbera wants to make sustainable jewelry purchasing easier for all consumers and if we embrace and support the sustainability conversations, everyone will benefit”
Chiara Ferri told us that the most pressing challenge is still education, with the market rife with “misinformation”. “We find many consumers remain relatively unaware of what a lab-grown diamond is and most of them confuse these diamonds with zirconia or crystals. It is currently challenging for consumers to know the origin of mined diamonds due to the many steps it goes through and the number of hands they pass through before reaching the store.”
She continued by saying “If you search lab-grown diamonds on Google – which is where the customer journey begins for many – there is limited information and education online, and much of what is found can be misleading, partially derived from a disconnect with the mined sector and the lab-grown side.”
Not only are consumers valuing experiences more, but they’re also looking to invest in ethical companies. Chiara told us “younger consumers demand greater corporate responsibility. They can increasingly discern actual impact from greenwashed marketing ploys, and they want to wear their values on their apparel and accessories.”
Fàbera’s mission is to make people more conscious of their personal footprint and use their purchasing power to shop more mindfully.
“The pandemic has changed how many of us think about the things we’re buying in general”
The Co-founder of Fàbera Jewelry shared with us her perspective that people are much less interested in the concept of ‘fast fashion’ and are investing in higher quality pieces that they will keep forever. “Upcycling and circular fashion brands have never been more top of mind, and I am optimistic that we will continue to see brands and consumers investing in this space. And it is not just consumers becoming more environmentally conscious, but living through the pandemic has also led to people wanting to support small businesses in ways they never have before.”
Chiara went on to say “We are really focussed on continuing to educate people about lab-grown diamonds and introduce our brand to more people, but ultimately, one of our biggest goals is to eventually help bring an end to unethical diamond mining. That’s a lofty goal, but an important one – and we’re starting to lay the groundwork now.”
We conclude the interview with Fàbera by announcing the opening of their first atelier at Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence in April.
“We are very excited about this new chapter our young startup has achieved as we will welcome our customers in a unique, creative, and international environment. Manifattura Tabacchi – a revitalized old tobacco factory – is an ambitious regeneration project which aims to bring a new district of the city to life, giving it the creative energy of fashion, art, and design. A regeneration that respects the existing structures with a view to contemporary and cultural development, which is also sustainable, flexible, and with minimal environmental impact. All aspects aligned with our philosophy.”
How does this type of information make you feel? Would you like to see more brands open up about their production processes and future goals? Let us know in the comment section 💬😊
Read more about Fàbera Jewelry‘s sustainability journey →
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