Like all success stories, Ingle & Rhode was brought to life because of a personal frustration, in this case: purchasing ethical engagement rings. Back in 2006, it was rare to get an honest answer from a jeweller when asking the questions “where are these diamonds from?”, or “under what conditions was the piece of jewellery made?” Co-founder, David Rhode, was fed up with compromises and sketchy supply chains, so together with his friend Tim Ingle, they created a solution.
Enter: Ingle & Rhode
Aside from being utterly gorgeous, Ingle & Rhode wedding and engagement rings are masterpieces made by master craftsmen from ethically-sourced precious gems and metals. It’s not every day I come across a brand who has pages and pages available on their website, detailing their entire supply chain and sustainability efforts. It’s common to find a token ‘ethics’ page for brands to tick a corporate social responsibility box, but Ingle & Rhode are miles better than that. Ingle & Rhode have perhaps the most extensive ‘ethical sourcing’ and ‘about’ page I have ever seen. It’s impressive, to say the least.
I’m reminded of Gandhi’s quote, “There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.” The same goes with jewellery, and Ingle & Rhode totally get this.
The metals in Ingle & Rhode jewellery are made only from Fairtrade gold or recycled platinum.
“Gold certified to Fairtrade standards provides small-scale miners and their communities with the opportunity for better living and working conditions.”
Ingle & Rhode work with four Fairtrade-certified mining organisations: MACDESA, AURELSA and SOTRAMI in Peru, and SAMA in Uganda. These Fairtrade gold mining groups ensure humane and respectful workplace systems are practiced all year round. They also implement extra projects that ensure the entire community surrounding the gold mines are empowered and supported. This includes initiatives such as shared childcare for children while their parents work flexible family life hours, subsidised electricity to local villages, and various major infrastructure projects, like erecting schools and medical services.
Recycled gold & platinum
If Fairtrade gold isn’t your thing, and you’d prefer to reuse and upcycle, Ingle & Rhode also create their pieces from recycled gold and platinum.
“Our recycled gold and platinum comes from a refinery that sources old gold and platinum from numerous post-consumer sources, including existing jewellery, and then refines these metals back to their pure form.”
Over the past few years, I’ve learnt that recycled gold and platinum are of identical quality to newly mined gold and platinum. Using up resources that already exist, simply makes sense; especially when it’s just as good! Ingle & Rhode’s refiner is independently audited and certified, to make sure the materials are always 100% recycled and never compromise on quality.
Truly conflict free diamonds & traceable gemstones
Conflict free diamonds are hard to come by. Even the Kimberly Process, a process established to ensure conflict diamonds do not enter the mainstream supply chain, does not provide absolute peace of mind that diamonds are conflict free. Diamonds from Africa can jump through many loopholes and corruptive systems, to become conflict free certified under the Kimberly Process, when really… they aren’t at all.
With this in mind, Ingle & Rhode diamonds are all Kimberly-certified, but gems are only used if they can be traced all the way back to the source. Basically, Ingle & Rhode diamonds and gems are a step beyond conflict free; they’re traceable.
The same rigorous ethical sourcing practices applies to Ingle & Rhode’s sapphires, emeralds and rubies too.
Fairly designed & made
Just when you thought they couldn’t get any better, Ingle & Rhode jewellery is designed and made in the UK, not in some random factory overseas that even the brand don’t even know about (often the case!).
“Our craftsmen and women are amongst the most respected in the industry. Their extraordinary talents show in the exquisite finish of each and every one of our pieces.”
You can tell by the way Ingle & Rhode talk about their makers, the team are treated as they deserve. Every set of hands are treated fairly in the production line of a piece of jewellery at Ingle & Rhode, and the more I learn, the more I am utterly blown away by the care for detail and respect for everyone involved.
Going above and beyond simply how the jewellery is created, Ingle & Rhode’s focus on people and the planet, extends to their customers too.
“There are so many things I love about my job, but if I had to choose just one, I suppose it would be knowing you’ve helped a customer find their perfect engagement ring. It’s a great feeling when a client comes back in to choose their wedding bands after having had such a positive experience sourcing an ethical engagement ring.” – Ingle & Rhode co-founder and Director David Rhode.
Customers considering purchasing an ethically made ring, can book an appointment with the knowledgeable London-based team. This ethical jewellery brand meet with couples to create bespoke rings from sentimental pieces that already exist, showcase their ethically made ring range, and provide a wealth of information around all personalised possibilities.
Pushy salesmen are not what you’ll find at Ingle & Rhode.
“We hate the ‘hard sell’ and believe treating our customers with patience and respect is best for our business and our brand. Ultimately, it’s all about trust,” says David Rhode.
Going against the norm
There’s no doubt ignoring mainstream manufacturing processes and money driven values, will always be difficult. David, co-founder, explains their “biggest challenge is working in an industry that is awash with competitors claiming to be ‘ethical’ and ‘green’ when in fact they are not and simply use it as a marketing term.”
In a sea full of brands using these buzzwords to ‘greenwash’ customers, Ingle & Rhode keep their focus on their own work, and continue to produce in the most ethical and sustainable way possible. They do everything they can to have the smallest possible impact on the environment; to make jewellery as ethical as it possibly can be.
It’s no surprise VOGUE claims “Ingle & Rhode is one of London’s number one jewellery destinations”. They’re leading the way to cleaner, greener gold, and showing us all just how possible it is to create jewellery that is beautiful for the wearer, maker, and the planet.
If it’s a special occasion (congrats!), or you simply want to check out Ingle & Rhode’s work for yourself, visit ingleandrhode.co.uk.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Ingle & Rhode. WSpecific product information is checked with the company. For more information about our policies, click here.