After David Rhode struggled to find his fiancÃ©e an ethical engagement ring, he not only proposed to her, but also to Tim Ingle to set up a luxury ethical jewellery company. Tim said yes and together they launched Ingle & Rhode last month in the UK.
All their jewellery is procured and produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Now what does that mean in an industry where exploitation of Earth and people is almost conventional? It means Ingle & Rhode are tackling the three main problems in the jewellery industry: human exploitation, conflict (or blood) diamonds and environmental damage. The key lies in having created, through careful investigation, a supply chain where the origin of each metal or gemstone can be traced. Human exploitation such as child labour and horrendous working conditions is addressed by only working with suppliers who "guarantee health and safety standards for their workers, do not hire child labour, and pay fair wages". Ingle & Rhode also give 10% of their profit back to the communities which whom they trade for health, education and development projects.
When it comes to protecting the environment, only gold is used that is produced without mercury or cyanide. The white diamonds come from mines that are under environmental regulations and cultured diamonds are produced without mining in the US.
The main issue with diamonds is the conflict they produce through wars funded by illegal sales. Ingle & Rhode make sure each diamond is conflict-free by tracing it back to its source, which is either Lesotho or Canada.
So whether you're looking for an engagement ring, something for him or her, or maybe a designer piece for yourself, check out the beautiful designs of their in-house collection and of other UK designers that collaborate with Ingle & Rhode. We particularly like Stephanie Ray's Bamboo Silver Earrings. Thank you Cate & Gabrielle for the tip! ::Ingle & Rhode
More precious ethical jewellery on TreeHugger ::Katherine Hamnett ::Rust Belt Jewellery ::Tarma