But the reality, experts and workers say, is more complicated. Switching en masse to lab-made gems may have environmental upsides, and relieve companies of reputational risks. But it could disfranchise the same communities that consumers are concerned for – and it comes at a moment when traceable, ethically mined gems are more accessible than ever.
‘Something is wrong’
“If you start to grow diamonds in a lab, you’re not only taking away a job, but you’re also closing down communities and closing down countries,” says Urica Primus. “How will [miners] survive, how will they sustain themselves, their livelihoods, their families?”
Artisanal mining is terrible because it’s shitty work for little money. So, let’s stop it.
But, if we do stop it, then where will people be able to get their shitty work for little money?