From using recycled gold and consciously-sourced diamonds to supporting our local goldsmiths,
here’s how we’re imbuing our engagement rings with sustainable shine
Words by Kim Brett5 mins read
Over the past few years, receiving (or choosing) an ethical and consciously made engagement ring
has become increasingly important for the modern, more eco-conscious couple. After all, an engagement
ring is a piece of forever, a culmination of all the chapters of your love story so far, therefore it’s
only natural that we want our forever rings to be untarnished by any unpleasant associations with
environmental or humanitarian conflict; to leave behind a pristine heirloom and a better world for
our future generations.
Of course, every piece of diamond jewellery we create at Chupi features stones that adhere to the
Kimberley Process – a trading practice committed to eradicating conflict diamonds – however, as a
brand with sustainable and ethical practices at our heart, we’ve always chosen to go above and beyond
the requirements of the Kimberley Process. But outside of stone sourcing, what other factors are there
to consider when selecting an ethical engagement ring? Whether you’re considering a ring from Chupi or
elsewhere, read on to learn more about finding an ethical engagement ring.
Using recycled gold
From its effect on the environment to exploitation of its workers, it’s no secret that the gold mining
industry is detrimental to our planet on both a human and environmental level. Recycled gold offers an
alternative to mined metals, and means that less of our discarded metals – including the ones found in
our electronic devices – end up in landfill.
All Chupi pieces, from cast to clasp to claw, are crafted with 100% recycled gold. Our solid gold
engagement rings are no exception. Our recycled gold is sourced from our carbon-neutral partner
supplier in Germany, who uses renewable energy and clean, closed-loop systems to reduce energy and
waste in the refinement process. Each piece is hallmarked* in the Assay Office in Dublin Castle as
an assurance of its strength and purity.
Using consciously-sourced diamonds
Just like the gold mining industry, diamond mining’s negative impacts on the world – both environmental
and humanitarian – are well known. And while diamond mines are under intense scrutiny to adopt more ethical
and conscious practices, a responsibility also lands with jewellery maisons and designers to source their
diamonds in a way that protects the planet and those working within the diamond industry.
If you’ve read our guide to diamonds, you’ll know that at Chupi, every diamond we source – lab-grown or
classic – is done so consciously. All of our classic diamonds
are recycled or responsibly mined (and of course, adhere to the Kimberley Process). Our lab diamonds meanwhile,
are held to the same meticulous sourcing standards as our classic gems, and have the added virtue of being carbon-neutral
where others grow theirs in dirty coal-fueled plants.
Established in 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was founded to foster crystal-clear
transparency within the diamond supply chain, in order to prevent conflict diamonds or blood diamonds
from entering the trade. The scheme requires all diamonds to be exported in tamper-proof packages
alongside government-issued documents of origin. Frequent inspections of traditional diamond mines
and barring non-compliant mines or countries from trading means that Kimberley Process certified stones
are clean and conflict-free.
Working with local craftspeople
It takes creatives and craftspeople, artisans of all disciplines to make a single piece of Chupi
jewellery. We’re proud to design and handcraft all of our jewellery within just a few miles of
our Dublin-based flagship store and jewellery studio, paying homage to our homeland’s heritage
of quality craftsmanship, supporting our local artisans, and minimising our carbon emissions.
From our founder and designer Chupi Sweetman to our master goldsmiths, casters and diamond setters,
your Chupi piece will pass through thirteen skilled pairs of hands before it comes to yours. To avoid
overproduction and waste, every Chupi piece is made in small batches or individually to order.
Using sustainable packaging
When it comes to making a difference, every little bit helps. With so much packaging in the world ending
up in landfill, we wanted to extend our sustainable credentials to our own packaging options. Working
with renowned packaging designer Vincent Villagér, our goal was to create a packaging suite that could
live on as a keepsake or equally be easily recycled. As much a beautiful design object as functional
housing for your treasures, the suite is made almost exclusively with natural, biodegradable and
sustainable materials, from paper and card to silk and organic cotton.
We avoided the use of plastics in every possible area and opted for recycled plastic where unavoidable,
minimising our carbon footprint at both creation and end of use, moving us ever-closer to our commitment
to become plastic free by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2023.
"When we first started looking at redesigning our packaging, we knew we wanted it to be so much more
than a box. We wanted to create something that would live on. Something not just sustainable, but
Chupi Sweetman Founder & CEO
“When we first started looking at redesigning our packaging, we knew we wanted it to be so much more
than a box. We wanted to create something that would live on,” says our founder and CEO Chupi Sweeman.
“Something not just sustainable, but beautiful. Each piece of our suite has a little interactive element,
to make all your marked moments – proposals or otherwise – as memorable as possible. They’re beautiful,
tactile objects. Things you want to keep with you.”
“Growing up, I remember seeing stamped jewellery boxes lined up on my grandmother’s dressing table.
The treasures of her life,” she adds. “I wanted to see our jewellery boxes marked with our logo on my
own dressing table in 50 years: a timeless symbol, a mark that will look and feel precious forever.”
If you’re looking for your forever ring, but are unsure where to start, book a virtual
or in-store engagement appointment with one of our experts. Our talented team is on hand to answer any questions
you may have, and make sure the process of finding your ring is as comfortable and joyful as possible.