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Stop the Lies, Penelope Cruz

Jul 5, 2018 8:54 AM   By John Costello
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RAPAPORT... As the glitterati gathered for a swank cocktail party on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées to mark Paris Fashion Week, Penelope Cruz (pictured, right) was busy posing for the cameras alongside Nadja Swarovski (left). The Spanish model and movie star was attending the “Atelier Swarovski: Cocktail of the New Penelope Cruz Fine Jewelry Collection” event to promote her latest money-making venture.

Cruz had already worn some of her new jewelry in May at the Cannes Film Festival, but Monday’s event was intended to maximize media coverage for what she is touting as her “sustainable” jewelry range.

Those trying to sell synthetic-diamond jewelry tend to use all their creative energy to come up with alternative names for lab-grown diamonds rather than calling them what they are. Cruz’s use of “sustainable” joins other misleading terms such as “created” and “grown.”

However, Cruz’s biggest sin on Monday night was the explanation behind her motivation to produce this new “sustainable” jewelry. “I care about not having a negative impact on the planet,” she claimed.

I will not spend time exposing the lie that the production of synthetic diamonds has no “negative impact” on the planet, but instead focus on the fact that Cruz, like Leonardo DiCaprio before her, is responsible for spreading such lies and misinformation.

The investment in and promotion of synthetic diamonds threatens the livelihoods of millions of artisanal diggers. Around eight million of the world’s poorest people rely on the income that comes directly from the artisanal mining of diamonds. In some of the world’s most impoverished countries, mining is the only viable means of social and economic growth. The solution Cruz and DiCaprio should be promoting is responsible mining, not destroying the livelihood of those communities that depend on diamonds.

It is striking that while Cruz’s collection uses only synthetic diamonds, it features fair-trade gold and ethically sourced topaz. Why not use fair-trade diamonds? Why not support artisanal diggers and their families? Why continue to spread the lie that has been sown by synthetic-diamond producers, that lab-grown diamonds are the “ethical” and “environmentally friendly” solution? Why spread the lie that only synthetic diamonds can provide a clean conscience for people who “care about not having a negative impact on the planet”?

The reason is simple. It is far easier for Cruz — through ignorance of the real facts — to help the synthetics industry persuade people to turn their backs on Africa’s artisanal mining communities than to educate herself and support those in the diamond and jewelry industry that need it most.

Image: Swarovski/Instagram
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Tags: Cannes Film Festival, DiCaprio, ethics, Jewelry, John Costello, lab-grown diamonds, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nadja Swarovski, paris fashion week, Penelope Cruz, Sustainable Jewelry, Swarovski, Synthetic diamonds, synthetic-diamond jewelry
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