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The Clarity Project, A Sustainable Jeweler

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then The Clarity Project is the gal pal for the socially and environmentally conscious woman. They provide high-end jewelry of the heart: bridal jewelry and rings, necklaces and earrings for other special occasions. We got the chance to speak recently with Rachel Lichte of The Clarity Project’s team about their development since they were named a 2010 SBIO finalist.

Adult literacy program graduates, Kono, Sierra Leone.

The Clarity Project is a virtual company with offices in Santa Clara and Los Angeles, California, and Sierra Leone.  After starting by purchasing from a women’s co-op in Lesotho, in southeastern Africa, they have grown to source their stones from Namibia, Canada, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The Clarity Project re-invests net profits from jewelry sales into mining communities, supporting elementary education at Muddy Lotus School in Bongema and adult literacy programs in Kono, Sierra Leone.  And so far their sales have enabled excellent results even though they haven’t done any formal advertising.

Class three, Muddy Lotus School, Bongema Village, Kono District, Sierra Leone

Customers have discovered The Clarity Project mainly by word of mouth and online exposure, where their jewelry speaks to the hearts of people who want to be proud of what they wear.  Proud because that piece, symbolizing a significant emotion, is beautiful to behold, and whose purchase enabled a process that is fair and supportive of its source. “Nearly everyone who has purchased an engagement ring returns for their wedding bands,” said Rachel. 

Small-scale mining operation, Kono, Sierra Leone.

The Clarity Project won major exposure by becoming a finalist in the DailyCandy/Chase, Inc. “Start Small, Go Big” national competition a few months after their SBIO experience. And the experience of the 2010 SBIO was a major highlight and inspiration in The Clarity Project’s history, an opportunity for which Rachel is grateful. “It was fantastic to connect with other social entrepreneurs; they all really understood each other and their particular challenges. It was very exciting to be around people doing amazing things and to be part of that community.”

Rachel encourages future SBIO participants to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs.

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