Interview

In Conversation With…Bhavya Vaghasia

Bhavya Vaghasia is the youngest custodian of the Vaghasia family legacy spanning over 50 years. His background in finance and marketing, with an emphasis on sustainable finance, serves as a robust foundation for his role in the world of responsible luxury. 

As CEO of Luxury, Bhavya has been instrumental in fortifying VD Global’s ethical procurement practices. Under his stewardship, the family firm has established stringent measures that ensure transparency, traceability, and integrity in all its operations. 

What does ‘responsible business’ mean to you? How does this relate to VD Global? 

Responsible business to us means conducting operations in a manner that is ethical, sustainable, and mindful of our impact on society and the environment. It involves a commitment to fair trade practices, ensuring that our diamonds are sourced and manufactured responsibly with provenance, and making certain that our processes are ethical and environmentally friendly. 

In relation to VD Global, we view responsible business as the cornerstone of our operations. Our commitment to luxury and quality does not overshadow our dedication to ethical sourcing, manufacturing and sustainability. For over five decades, we have been dealing with diamonds in a fair, ethical, and sustainable manner, earning us an impeccable reputation in the industry. 

We understand our clientele’s growing concern for ethical supply and sustainability. Therefore, VD Global is fully transparent in supplying traceable diamonds and continuously engaging with stakeholders to be responsible. We not only cater to the tastes of the luxury market but also to the values of the conscientious consumer. 

We believe that true luxury is being able to enjoy the finest things in life without compromising the well-being of our planet or its people. This belief is what guides our actions and decisions at VD Global. 

What drove VD Global to join the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC)? 

VD Global’s decision to join the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) was driven by our unwavering commitment towards ethical and sustainable practices in the luxury jewellery industry. Being a part of the RJC aligns with our ethos of combining luxury with responsibility, allowing us to better serve our high-end clientele who value both aspects. 

The RJC is a globally recognized standards authority in the watch and jewellery industry, dedicated to creating a sustainable supply chain from mine to retail. By joining this esteemed council, we can further reinforce our pledge to ethical sourcing and manufacturing, sustainability, and traceability of our natural diamonds. 

Moreover, it provides us with an opportunity to collaborate with other industry leaders who share our vision for responsible business practices, enhancing our knowledge and accelerating our impact on the lives and livelihoods throughout the luxury supply chain.  

Joining the RJC is a testament to our dedication to not only maintain but to contribute to elevating the standards of responsible business practices in the luxury industry. 

Do you have any special initiatives or partnerships that we should keep an eye out for? 

In the realm of luxury and sophistication, we are proud to announce our newest venture: a small size traceability pilot launched in association with technology pioneer Sarine, right from the heart of Geneva. This groundbreaking initiative aims to revolutionize the industry by facilitating the traceability of each stone in a mixed parcel from as small as 0.005 carats. This ensures the ethical sourcing of our natural diamonds, a testament to our commitment to quality, ethical sourcing, and expertise. 

In 2023, we reached a significant milestone by achieving 100% traceability on provenance for all stones ≥0.08 carats in solitaire-stone parcels and +/- 0.18 carats for multiple-stone parcels manufactured in VD Global premises following a FIFO methodology.

Our dedication to sustainability is unwavering. As part of the UN Global Compact, we are signatories to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and actively participate in job fairs organized by UN Women to recruit emerging female talent into the VD Global family.  

We have set ambitious science-based targets for the near-term and net-zero emissions and are investing in onsite and offsite solar panels and windmills. Our comprehensive waste management strategy is another step towards our goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. 

Lastly, the ultra-rare Beating Heart Diamond discovered late in 2022 will be travelling with us around the world in different exhibitions. “The Beating Heart” is not just a diamond; it is a marvel of natural history, embodying billions of years of Earth’s geological processes. This unique gem features a smaller diamond moving freely inside its larger counterpart, a rarity that showcases the extraordinary conditions under which diamonds can form. This exquisite piece, recovered by De Beers Group and analysed at the facilities of De Beers Institute of Diamonds, is recorded on the Tracr platform, enhancing confidence in its traceability and sourcing as well as giving insight into its history and heritage.
 
The creation of “The Beating Heart” diamond involved a natural selection process of geological proportions. An intermediate layer of poor-quality fibrous diamond was naturally etched away, leaving behind the high-quality core and outer layer. This natural process highlights the survival of the fittest theory in a geological context, offering a unique narrative of natural beauty and resilience.

'Beating Heart diamond' via vd global

What changes do you wish to see in the diamond industry? 

As a purveyor of luxury and quality, we envision an evolution in the diamond industry that prioritizes both opulence and ethics. We wish to see an industry where the excellence of each diamond is matched by the transparency of its journey. 

We strongly advocate for increased provenance. The path a diamond takes should be as clear as the gem itself. This would not only maintain the integrity of our precious industry but also assure discerning clientele of the ethical origins of their purchases.  

Secondly, we also desire a stronger emphasis on sustainability. The extraction and processing of diamonds should minimally impact our environment, with robust measures in place to reduce carbon emissions and preserve our natural landscapes. This would mean an elevated degree of collaboration with our partners in the mining and logistics sector to refine calculations of scope 3 emissions. 

Thirdly, we urge for fair and safe labour practices to be the norm, not the exception. Every individual involved in shaping a diamond’s journey should be treated with respect and dignity, receiving equitable compensation for their work. 

Lastly, we aspire for increased synergy within our industry. In alignment with UN SDG 17, “Partnership for the Goals”, we believe that through collective commitment, we can elevate ethical sourcing and sustainability standards, thus protecting the integrity of natural diamonds. 

Do you have any advice for businesses/companies that wish to start or develop their sustainability journey? 

Sustainability is more than just a passing trend in the luxury sector; it’s a necessity. Do not be afraid to embrace innovation by seeking out new processes and technologies that can help elevate your impact. At the same time, many firms in luxury have a rich heritage, which should be respected and incorporated into your sustainability journey. For us this meant preserving traditional craftsmanship while also embracing sustainable practices.  

Joining organizations like the RJC, WDC, WJI 2030 and ORIGINALLUXURY can provide valuable insights and opportunities for collaboration. Learning from those who have embarked on similar journeys can be immensely beneficial.

Lastly, it is important to remember sustainability is a journey, not a destination. It requires constant effort and adaptation, but it will help you implement rigorous systems required today and be prepared for those in the future. 

'beating heart diamond'

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Marketing & Communications Team
Responsible Jewellery Council
communications@responsiblejewellery.com
+44 207 321 0992 ext. 206