09 Dec Diamonds Do Good
In a world of instant gratification, social media’s proclivity for self-promotion and in some ways self-involvement, consumers are ironically more socially conscious than ever. We, as people, still care about each other and want to give back by simply using our purchasing power.
In recent years I have noticed that more and more brands and corporations are making genuine efforts to do good. From TOMS by a pair and we give a pair concept, to Mr Price’s local designer collaborations, MySchool’s buy and give back at the same time model and De Beers support of the Diamonds Do Good initiative, big corporations are giving back on behalf of and with the consumer.
Whilst the “one-for-one” model works quite well in that it plays to the feeling of instant gratification that consumerism has created, programmes like the Zimele enterprise development initiative are equally important. Rooted in sustainability and growth, the tangible social benefit resulting from your purchase, is not so immediate, but is long term.
Founded by The De Beers Group of Companies, including Forevermark, “the purpose of the initiative is to facilitate the creation, promotion, and expansion of sustainable businesses through funding and mentorship.” Since 2009, Zimele has supported 278 businesses and created more than 2,800 jobs, like that of Mercy Sithagu, a 51-year-old woman who owns Sithagu Farm, a business that grew from farming on 1 hectare of land to 15 hectares since being involved with Zimele.
The importance of sharing stories around initiatives like Zimele isn’t just to dispel some of the myths around the diamond industry. (We have all seen the films and heard the stories, so I am not going to get into those reputational matters.) Rather, the sharing of these stories of brands doing “good” is important, in my opinion, because it empowers one to swipe with consideration.
Responsible consumption by digging deeper and exposing oneself to these kinds of initiatives, in this case means that a diamond, doesn’t just have to be your favourite ring or earrings. It can be a way in which someone’s future is made better by you exercising your spending power responsibly.
This post was created in collaboration with De Beers and Diamonds Do Good supported by the Diamond Empowerment Fund