At Positive Luxury we believe that innovation is how we will escape the climate crisis – it is so important to us that we have made it one of the four pillars of our ESG+ assessment. That is why we are delighted that this month Butterfly Mark certified brand Stephen Webster are launching an innovative new collection with Skydiamond that has the potential to both inspire and send shockwaves throughout the jewellery industry.
Skydiamonds, created by environmentalist Dale Vince OBE, are physically and chemically identical to earth-mined Diamonds. Using a unique patented technology, the carbon is mined from the sky by vacuuming up air and extracting the invisible particles of harmful man-generated carbons, exhausting cleaner air back into the atmosphere and then feeding the carbon into the lab to grow Skydiamonds. This process is carbon negative, meaning that not only are they not doing more damage, they are helping to repair some of the damage already done. We caught up with Stephen Webster to discuss the collaboration, how to find the right partners, and how brands can replicate their success.
What process did you go through to assess Skydiamond’s sustainability credentials?
Our journey with Skydiamond began over seven years ago when Dale Vince, founder and entrepreneur, visited my London office. With him, he brought a small packet containing three brown crystals. We tested them and they were 100% diamonds, only not like any diamonds I had seen before, they had been made entirely from the sky, using a carbon-negative process that transmutes atmospheric carbon into certified diamonds. I was hooked.
After five years of continual research and development the process to create a Skydiamond was perfected, marking a revolutionary moment for the jewellery industry. Everything used to create a Skydiamond comes from the sky. The carbon it’s made from is taken from the atmosphere. The energy used comes from 100% renewable energy made from the wind and sun. It was a process I had to see for myself in person and have subsequently visited their Stroud office many times. In terms of sustainability credentials, you can’t get more sustainable than that.
How did you discover Skydiamond and Single Mine Origin gold?
After my first encounter with Dale, we immediately discussed the prospect for Stephen Webster to be the official launch partner for SkyDiamond, feeling that both brands had great synergy for being progressive in the market, and knowing that Stephen Webster the brand, would look at this new innovative with excitement, rather than as a threat to current processes.
From then, whilst Dale and the Skydiamond team worked on fine-tuning the once brown crystals into high-quality colourless gems, the Stephen Webster team looked to how we could approach launching this new type of diamond to the market. We wanted to break with all tradition and to design exclusive cuts to go with these futuristic gems. In total, we have designed four unique cuts: Meteoric, Stellar, Volt, and Rocket.
We came across Single Mine Origin Gold as part of our team’s on-going research to collaborate with suppliers who can offer full traceability of materials. What is unique about SMO Gold is that every gram of gold can be tracked from the mine to the finished product via a QR code. Furthermore, this unique code allows each client to gain insight on the community and environmental projects their purchase has helped to support – an innovation we fully champion.
Both SkyDiamond and SMO Gold align across innovation, transparency and future proofing – creating a piece of jewellery for a buyer looking for genuine change, modernity and a compelling story behind an important purchase.
When choosing partners do you use the same process for each collaboration or is it bespoke for each new partnership?
It is unique for each new partnership. The collaboration has to be authentic to the brand and align with our values.
For Skydiamond, the disruptive spirit and innovation to provide an alternative diamond extraction process that benefits our environment really appeals to us. It is truly extraordinary.
What advice do you have for sustainable businesses seeking to build sustainable partnerships like this one?
Be patient. This partnership has been seven years of continual work, with many setbacks along the way. Innovation takes time. If you believe in the vision of the project, see it through until the end.