It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Meghan Markle has become a worldwide fashion icon. Transitioning from ‘Suits” star to Duchess of Sussex has given her the voice to raise awareness about many of her passions, such as women supporting women, education and animals. But her platform has also constantly put her in the public eye…making her fashion choices and statements a popular topic of discussion.
During an outing on January 10th, 2019, Markle’s simple black dress was the perfect outfit for the occasion. As one of her four new patronages, Smart Works is a charity that helps prepare women for the workplace. During Meghan’s visit, she helped pick out outfits for the women to wear during interviews and even sat down with some of the ladies to discuss interview advice. Since joining the royal family, Markle has often used her clothing and accessories as more than just a fashion statement. By supporting brands such as Turquoise Mountain, Meghan uses her outfits as a way to bring awareness to incredible nonprofits, organizations and companies around the world.
With so much news surrounding lab-grown diamonds and the negative side of the mined diamond industry, it’s no surprise that Meghan decided to accessories her Smart Works outfit with a pair of gorgeous Kimai ear climbers featuring man-made diamonds.
“Aside from the design being less royal and more catwalk, press are picking up on the fact that these earrings are sustainable – a hot topic in the fashion world right now.” Source
Based on Markle’s previous influence in the fashion industry, many are saying that they will not be surprised to see a spike in the sale of lab-grown diamonds after this appearance.
Other than the ethical benefits of lab-created diamonds, these stones are also an environmentally friendly alternative — another interest of Markle’s as seen by the 7 charities she and Prince Harry chose to support through donations at their royal wedding. When comparing lab-grown to mined diamonds and their effects on our environment, the statistics are staggering. For starters, mined diamonds are obviously dug from the ground or sea, while lab-created diamonds are grown in a lab. So, for every 1 carat of mined diamond, nearly 100 square feet of land is disturbed and almost 6000 pounds of mineral waste is created. To put that into perspective, a white rhinoceros also weighs 6000 pounds. On the contrary, 1 carat of lab-grown diamond disrupts just 0.07 sqft of land and only 1 pound of mineral waste. So we’re comparing rhinoceroses to mice…
But the disrupted land and mineral waste aren’t the only effects of mining for diamonds. Large amounts of water are not only used in the mining industry but also polluted. Not to mention the 125 pounds of carbon emission (per 1 carat of mined diamond) created. In total, air emissions on a single carat of mined diamond are 1.5 billion times higher than those of a lab-grown one.
And, although many celebrities in the past have opted for “ethically sourced” mined diamonds, more and more information surrounding these diamonds has been revealed. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell 100% where a mined diamond was sourced. And, there has been problem after problem surrounding the Kimberley Process and the specifics surrounding regulations of mined diamonds.
A recent study on the Kimberley Process and promise of a conflict-free industry states:
“The most glaring problem is the certification scheme’s narrow terms of certification, which focus exclusively on the mining and distribution of diamonds, leaving broader human rights issues around worker exploitation unaddressed.”
With so much information out there and so many individuals (such as Leonardo DiCaprio) devoting their life work to changing the problems that taint the mined diamond industry, it would not be surprising to see more and more celebrities choosing lab-grown diamonds. As we’ve seen time and time again (Lady Gaga’s meat dress), Markle isn’t the only celebrity who chooses to raise awareness of topics she’s passionate about through their clothing.
Lab-grown diamonds are the future. Celebrities are often some of the first individuals to set trends — whether that be for fashion or a social issue — but in this case, it’s for both. There’s no longer a need to harm our earth to have gorgeous diamonds.