Santa Cruz, CA
It was that time. Our friends were getting engaged, their fingers freshly adorned with diamond rings. With devotion and excitement, it seemed couples everywhere were purchasing beautiful engagement and wedding rings, revealing their timeless and selfless love.
Yet we began to pick up on a common sense of frustration and helplessness. Couples everywhere were feeling concerned that their ring decision might contribute to a corrupt and harmful system; they were having trouble finding a ring that combined their sense of style with their values, and they wanted to be sure their hard-earned dollar was going to the best possible use. As we explored our options in greater and greater depth, we had an idea. So with typical optimism and resolve, Shane, Rachel, and Jesse – three childhood friends – set out to begin the journey.
Soon enough, we were meeting with human rights researchers, Fair Trade leaders, diamond retailers, suppliers, traders, manufacturers, cutters, polishers, and the miners themselves. It became clear that many people, way beyond our closest friends, were looking for a fair alternative. It also became clear that this alternative did not yet exist. "Conflict Free" was the ineffectual norm, while other jewelry companies claimed social responsibility yet avoided supporting the most impoverished mining communities. No one could guarantee "fair." No one could guarantee where the money went. The Clarity Project was born.
We saw the potential for more. By fully leveraging diamonds, gems, and precious metals – which have little intrinsic value – with innovative and effective non-profits building schools and restoring land in mining communities, we realized we could redefine the underlying value of a diamond. There was a possibility to create a ring that couples would feel proud to buy and wear, featuring a diamond that would provide ongoing support for those miners who have been marginalized for so long.
With Shane's entrepreneurial spirit, Rachel's strategic insights, and Jesse's research experience, we soon found ourselves in a unique position in the emerging market for honest luxury and shameless elegance.
From friends looking for a personal solution, now our goals are threefold: Create beautiful, timeless jewelry to match the top jewelers, improve the quality of life for miners and their communities, and build a new type of sustainable business that can make our first two goals possible.
Building an ideal Fair Trade system will require international cooperation. With lofty goals, we find ourselves in a small network of passionate people working around the world sharing a common vision. We, The Clarity Project, promise the same honesty, determination, constant improvement, and care that we demand for ourselves. The Clarity Project is an ongoing process, and we invite you to join us in our discovery.