Below is our recent interview with Bob Hagemann, from Aether:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Aether produces the world’s first carbon-negative diamonds made from air, and is the first diamond jewelry brand ever to use carbon sequestration technology. This allows us to transform pollution from the air into a diamond of perfect composition — we transform excess carbon dioxide that would otherwise contribute to global warming into something beautiful.
Many lab-grown diamond brands claim to be sustainable and/or carbon neutral. However, while they attempt this neutrality through carbon offsets, they still have to source their carbon from somewhere – and that source is fossil fuels. Every other lab-grown diamond jewelry brand relies on carbon sourced from methods such as drilling and fracking, destroying the planet they claim to be protecting. Their claims of “sustainability” don’t really stand up to close inspection. For Aether, carbon-neutral is not good enough. We cannot reverse climate change by being neutral. Aether takes this a step further by creating carbon-negative diamonds that actually clean up the environment.
Aether diamonds are real diamonds – they are visually and chemically identical to mined diamonds that are removed from the Earth. Every one of our diamonds is certified by the International Gemological Institute and held to the same standards as mined diamonds.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: We are excited to announce that we’re the first company in the world to receive a vegan certification for our diamonds. The certification was granted in April by Vegan Action (vegan.org), which is one of the leading vegan certification organizations in the world. Vegan Action has over 20 years in operation and is the most trusted and best-recognized vegan logo in North America.
Since our launch last year, we have made a point of educating consumers about the differences between our diamonds and other diamonds on the market. Aether diamonds are made using sustainably-sourced energy and carbon sourced from air pollution to create our gemstones. This results in a positive impact to the environment, leaving the planet in a better condition than before our Aether diamonds were created. In comparison, all mined diamonds destroy ecosystems and wildlife habitats, and all other lab-grown diamonds on the market are reliant on fossil fuels as their source of carbon. Fossil fuel dependency means supporting drilling and fracking, and furthering the environmental and wildlife destruction associated with it. Aether’s are the only available diamonds in the world that help reverse the historical damage done to ecosystems and the environment by the diamond industry.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: All of our diamonds are grown right here in the United States, and our design and production operations are based out of NYC, and we’ve partnered with some of the best jewelers in the world, whom we’ve been able to develop relationships with from over a decade of experience in the industry. Right now we only sell finished jewelry, and our main focus is ramping up production as quickly as possible to be able to meet the incredible demand we’ve had for our Aether pieces. All of our items are listed on our website at aetherdiamonds.com. It’s important as a new brand that we be able to create a meaningful experience and offer the right types of education to our shoppers, who have often come to us because they’re looking for a new way of shopping for jewelry. Our Earthly Pleasures collection is serving as our signature collection that we’ve introduced for the brand launch. Our Commitment and Masculine collections will be evergreen, and we’ll add to them over time as we continue to create even more designs. It’s important to note that we specifically use the words “Commitment” and “Masculine,” instead of “engagement” and “men’s,” to be in line with the vision we have for the jewelry industry. The world is finally starting to realize that humans have such an enormous range and fluidity of identity, gender, orientation, lifestyle, etc., and that old labels and categorizations often no longer hold true. We love when people are able to be their true selves in every sense, and it’s so delightful to us to see that expressed through jewelry. It’s our hope that, no matter who you are, you can feel comfortable, welcome, and seen when shopping for a piece of Aether jewelry. We’ve taken some initial steps toward this with our launch collection, and hope to take leaps as we grow.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: We are planning to expand our jewelry collections and introduce pieces that are at more accessible price points over the next few months, all while exploring the elements of our jewelry designs in different ways. Our designs have a modern and airy styling to them, as an homage to the origins of our diamonds which are created from air. We also blended that into the concept of negative space. It’s still incredible to us, after all this time, that we can create something solid and beautiful out of “nothing”, out of air. The idea of negative space to us embodies the thought that there’s always significance in the space between: of something being “in the ether,” of the opportunity that exists from one moment to the next, of the things that are unspoken yet eminently felt. We also lean into the concept of skin as canvas for our jewelry designs. Not only does this allow us to explore the artistry of jewelry in a unique way, but it also serves as a symbol of the integration of the human element with the earthly elements. It’s a reminder that human beings are part of this planet, and the planet is a part of us. It reminds us that we have a duty as caretakers for the Earth, and that our impact can either be a positive one or a negative one depending on our choices. All of our jewelry is made with Fairmined gold, which is responsibly sourced and has the highest standards for human rights and environmental impact.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: For every 1-carat diamond, Aether removes 20 metric tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere: the equivalent of the average person’s carbon footprint for 1.25 years.