Our Cause

Bashford Jewelry isn’t just dedicated to making a difference in the jewelry industry, we want to make a positive impact on the world.

Our Cause

We donate $20 for every sale towards the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI). That’s right, together we’re working to become a force for change with every purchase.

There are myriad issues facing the diamond industry. And even though Bashford Jewelry only sources conflict-free diamonds from the Diavik and Ekati mines in Canada, we are cognizant of the many issues facing miners in other parts of the world, notably the African continent. This is why we chose the Diamond Development Initiative as the avenue to give back to those who are affected by the trade.

The Diamond Development Initiative is a non-profit charitable organization. Its mission is to fill the gap within the Kimberley Process by addressing poverty and exploitation faced by artisanal diamond miners. The aim is to turn artisanal and small-scale diamond mining into a sustainable initiative that benefits the miners involved and their communities.

The DDI is a collaboration between various stakeholders across the world in various aspects of the diamond and jewelry industry. They work together to fill in the areas left untouched by the narrow definition of the Kimberly Process mandate.

The vision of the Diamond Development Initiative is the empowerment of artisanal miners. To help them build an industry that contributes to the development of their respective countries and which appreciates their services as contributing members of society. Bringing them into the formal diamond economy and regulating their activities helps to bring about change in how the industry is managed.

Why Bashford Chose the Diamond Development Initiative

Artisanal miners are persons who dig for diamonds using rudimentary equipment. They are the most vulnerable to the issues affecting the industry and also contribute to some of the problems these diamond-producing countries face.

Human Rights Abuses: in an unregulated setting, miners face abuses and are often living in poverty. They are susceptible to diseases because their working conditions are deplorable. They are also faced with child labor issues.

Environmental Degradation: with uncontrolled mining, large parcels of prime agricultural land is lost to unsustainable practices. The top soil is removed leaving large craters in their wake. The mined areas are left to accumulate stagnant water which inevitably leads to the growth of mosquitoes resulting in malaria or dengue fever outbreaks. The processes used by artisanal miners for managing river flows destroys fisheries and lead to pollution of the waterways.

Traceability of Diamonds: One of the hallmarks of the diamond industry is traceability of its diamonds. This helps to prevent blood diamonds from making its way onto the international diamond market. With unregulated artisanal diamond mining, it is impossible to trace the origin of the diamond. Bringing the artisanal diamond miners into the regulated industry allows for standards and traceability. This permits tracking from production through to export, manufacturing, and retail.
Empowerment is a powerful tool is helping disenfranchised persons feel as if they are valued and are welcome members of society. This is what Bashford Jewelry seeks to do through its contributions to the Diamond Development Initiative. We want small miners to get their due rewards for their hard work. They should not be exploited. And given the lucrative nature of the industry, they should not continue to live in abject poverty.
The Diamond Development Initiative works towards achieving the sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations. As such, it advocates:
  • Discontinuation of child labor
  • Fair wages for workers
  • Prevention of human rights abuses
  • Reduction of poverty
  • Rehabilitation of mining sites through responsible use of land and water
  • Promotion of safe and healthy working conditions
  • Providing clean drinking water and promoting provisions of latrines on sites
  • Sustainable development of communities
  • Bringing together all stakeholders in the industry in a manner that leads to sustainable diamond industry and solutions to issues faced by artisanal miners
Most of the standards governing the mining trade relate to large miners. As such, the DDI crafted standards specifically to govern artisanal mining. Known as the Maendeleo Diamond Standards, these standards are geared at certifying the diamond production process at the artisanal and small mining level. This also helps to promote sustainability and ethically produced diamonds that consumers are more and more expecting to receive.

The Maendeleo Diamond Standards has as its basic standards:
  • Conflict-free zones for production in keeping with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
  • Safe mining operations that do not endanger miners and their communities
  • Violence-free production so that workers aren’t abused
  • Respect for rights of workers
  • Environmental responsibility promoting practices that benefit the environment
  • Fair pricing to ensure miners are paid a fair wage
All these issues are important to Bashford Jewelry and that is why we support the Diamond Development Initiative. We want to contribute to an organization that is making a tangible difference to the aspects of our industry that most people do not want to talk about or acknowledge.

You can rest assured that the diamonds you buy from Bashford Jewelry are ethically and sustainably sourced and that we are a responsible company giving back meaningfully to those who may suffer in the unregulated section of the industry.

It is a problem that can be fixed and which we will do our little part to contributing to making a difference. If you would like to know more about our chosen charity or how you can contribute otherwise to the cause, then please contact us at Bashford Jewelry or visit the Diamond Development Initative.