OUR JOURNEY

The journey towards our ethical jewellery business has been an organic process from humble beginnings. It entwines several different passions, environmental and ethical good practice, sustainability and the delivery of excellent customer service, but most of all… making people happy!

The Story So Far…

Fine jewellery is gifted for life’s most special moments, often marking a beautiful journey, such as life commitment to each other or a celebration of milestones. It should not be tainted with pressure to overspend, social judgement or expectation about what is ‘traditional’ or ‘‘normal’.

I realised that most people looking to purchase meaningful jewellery for the first time, are left feeling nervous and disempowered, often browsing countless shops trying to make sense of what they are looking for. They feel pressure to overspend, expecting to know all the questions to ask and make a decision quickly in a glass countered shop with intimidating pushy, suited and booted salespeople who falsely tell them natural diamonds are an ‘ethical choice’ and a ‘sound investment’. Most of us will make a purchase not knowing if the jewellery is actually made in an ethical way, not fully understanding why it has cost a fortune and the whole experience felt more stressful than meaningful.

Whilst I was drawn to the imaginative possibilities of creating meaningful jewellery for people, I was also disillusioned by industry standards that turned a blind eye to the harmful, widespread effects of diamond mining. So, in 2010, I committed to doing things better — for the earth, our customers, and in turn, our business.

We spent the first 5 years educating and teaching people that there is a better way of purchasing jewellery that is genuinely meaningful. Where materials used are sustainable, practices that are not harmful and pricing is fair.

I wanted to create a safe place for people who wanted to ask all the questions they needed to, without time pressure, or pressure to go over budget. I wanted everyone to feel equally important, regardless of what they could or couldn’t spend and I wanted everyone that came to us to understand the truth about the diamond industry’s outdated practices and why choosing a more modern forward thinking approach to purchasing fine jewellery was the only genuinely meaningful option.

We hope that we can be part of your journey.

Elaine x

Our Mission

Ethica is moving the jewellery industry forward.

We carefully choose suppliers and manufacturers that share our strong passion for sustainability and that are already carbon neutral, or working towards it. We use lab grown diamonds and gemstones grown above ground and have never, and will never use diamonds that are naturally mined.

Our packaging, manufacturing and gem setting practices are sourced as sustainably as we possibly can too. We choose UK manufacturers and support local craftsman that use traditional methods, who create the most beautiful and exquisite jewellery. We also use recycled materials where possible and fair trade gold that provide a positive impact to responsible mining, reducing our role in today’s commercial mining practices.

Our jewellery strives to support a better future for our world, with careful sourcing, planning, and learning — a complex process we work on every day.

Our Mission

Ethica is moving the jewellery industry forward.

We carefully choose suppliers and manufacturers that share our strong passion for sustainability and that are already carbon neutral, or working towards it. We use lab grown diamonds and gemstones grown above ground and have never, and will never use diamonds that are naturally mined.

Our packaging, manufacturing and gem setting practices are sourced as sustainably as we possibly can too. We choose UK manufacturers and support local craftsman that use traditional methods, who create the most beautiful and exquisite jewellery. We also use recycled materials where possible and fair trade gold that provide a positive impact to responsible mining, reducing our role in today’s commercial mining practices.

Our jewellery strives to support a better future for our world, with careful sourcing, planning, and learning — a complex process we work on every day.

Our Responsibility

TO PROVIDE THE BEST FOR YOU

We are here for you! Not only do we make everything specially to order for you, we are constantly brainstorming new and innovative ways to improve your experience at Ethica.

TO OUR PLANET

Our products, materials, manufacturing and strong ethical ethos, since 2012 reflect our dedication to decreasing our impact on the environment.

TO PROVIDE OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SUPPORT

We have been trusted since 2011 and have gathered over 800 5 star reviews in 6 years. We will always strive to deliver the very best experience to all of our customers.

Meet The Team

Since starting out in 2011 to now, our team has grown into a dedicated and talented group of six women (and four dogs!) It also wouldn’t be a teams page without mentioning Martin, our web developer and Colin, our stone setter. Both of which we have worked with for years, and have made Ethica the business it is today. Keep reading this page if you’d like to get to know the people behind our small business..

Our-Story-Elaine
Founder

Elaine Reffell

Mum of the Team (quite literally Em's mum!), Green Fingered Gardener, Dog Lover & Extremely Accident Prone.

I started the business in 2010, working from my small office at home in Cornwall. I wasn't really sure where I was going with it, but what I did know was that it gave me a sense of purpose and self worth at a time when my children were at school and I found myself spending long periods of time alone at home. The more I learnt about diamond mining and its cruel practices, the more passionate I became and wanted to educate people, like me, who knew nothing or very little about this outdated industry.

In the early years, my children, Emily and Tom, would come home from school and see me working all the time, watching me try to grow the business as I learnt how to build a website with no previous experience whilst juggling the odd customer who managed to find us on Google!
They were always so encouraging and supportive towards me and never complained and in 2016, Emily decided to join me after completing her A levels and Tom joined the business temporarily in his gap year, supporting with the tech and imagery side of things before heading off to university, where he is now studying dentistry for the next 5 years. Words cannot explain how blessed and proud I am of them both, especially as we have faced some very personal challenges together, which has strengthened our bond even more.

Our joint passion to grow the business has paid off as we now have a lovely team of people working with us, who are like an extended family!
I won't lie, it's been a lot of hard work (and sacrifice) but we all believe in what we do, never losing sight of our dreams and the response from our customers has been overwhelming.

I feel truly privileged to have shared this journey with such beautiful people.

I hope you will share our journey too x

Emily
Director

Emily Reffell

Fitness Fanatic, Animal Lover, Calming Queen, Simon Reeve Fan

Emily started working alongside her mum, Elaine, when she completed her A-levels in 2017, when the business was little more than an online website run from home. She helped grow the business into what it is today, doing a little bit of everything (as you do in a family business!) and is amazed at how far the business has come since then, not to mention extremely grateful for the wonderful team that has developed along the way (it’s hard work juggling so many plates!)

When not working, she can be found outdoors: cycling, yoga-ing and walking the dogs are a go-to, or (attempting) surfing being the most recent new activity.

Loves animals, especially her two dogs, all things travel, and good food. Hates sitting down (weirdo!)

Martin Russell
Website Developer

Martin Russell

Website God, Agony Aunt, BBQ Hosting King and an extremely slow coffee maker.

Martin of Webcube Media provides professional website design, development and maintenance services. Martin is a highly experienced web design and development expert having delivered hundreds of successful projects over the past 20 years. He started his path with a civil engineering degree which lead him into in to overseeing significant projects for large household names including Toshiba, Panasonic, Kawasaki and the NHS. Martin provides exemplary attention to detail with all projects that he undertakes for us which has maintained our relationship with him since day 1 and we wouldn’t have been able to get to where we are today without his patience and support.

He is also the world's SLOWEST coffee maker (it takes him a good 25 minutes).

Loves Pasties, Cider and French Cheese. Hates when people use the word 'like' all the time.

Photographer & Marketing

Abigail Hobbs

Dog mum, Elaine's Princess, Sophie's work wife

Abi joined Ethica in November 2020 as our photographer and website manager. She graduated from Falmouth University in 2018 with a degree in Photography and as well as working with us, is a freelance lifestyle photographer working with clients such as Quba & Co, Anns Cottage and Partner In Wine.

In 2018, alongside her partner Jake, she co-founded The Cornish Larder, an award-winning producer of preserves and sauces which can now be found in well over 100+ deli's around the county and beyond.

When not working here, for The Cornish Larder or for herself, she can be found drinking Cider (big up the Rattler), spending time on the Cornish Coast, talking about her puppy, thinking about her puppy and looking at photos of her puppy.

Did we mention she has a puppy?

Loves Travelling, Hates early mornings (having to get up anytime before 10am is tough)

Favourite piece of Ethica Diamond Jewellery: Aesa (which is lucky considering that's the ring she was proposed to with!)

Social Media Manager & Illustrator

Sophie Williams

Author, Illustrator, Yoga Lover, Human Sloth, Tom Daley Fanatic, Abi's work wife

Sophie joined the team in May 2021 as our resident Illustrator and Social Media Manager. She graduated from Winchester School of Art in 2018 with a BA honours in illustration and since then has worked with clients such as Anorak magazine, Cicada books and Ann's Cottage Surf Shops.

Outside of work you'll likely find her doing some yoga #sophiestretches, drawing commissions, having a BBQ on the beach with her boyfriend or watching Ru Paul Drag Race with her cat Shirley.

Favourite piece of Ethica Diamonds Jewellery: Solana Ring
Loves Pineapples, Harry Styles, Cute stationary and Sloths, Hates Running and Rollercoasters.

Customer Service Queen

Claire Whaley

Happy camper, an unflappable problem solver, yummy mummy and the one that keeps everything organised

Our Gin drinking camper van lover who secretly has an obsession with shows like married at first sight.

Loves Gin, Hates her endless pile of washing!

Customer Service Queen

Olivia Pountney

Shopaholic, Cornwall's glam mermaid, the best maker (and drinker) of cocktails, boujee bargain hunter & the one everyone goes to for advice

With a degree in Jewellery Design and Precious Metal-smithing, Olivia loves anything that sparkles (although give her a frozen margarita and she will love that more).

Loves Sea Swims and Love Island, Hates weird jellyfish and bellybutton fluff.

Chief Decision Maker

Henry Reffell

Henry has been with the team for many many years, think of him as the 'wise old man' of Ethica Diamonds.

Loves Cuddles, Hates Freddie.

Chief Sleeper

Tao Reffell

Tao has been with the team a very long time, think of her as the 'wise old lady' of Ethica. She loves her role here as Chief Sleeper and we have to admit, she is extremely good at her role.
Chief Shoe Destroyer/Trouble Maker

Freddie Kendall-Hobbs

Freddie joined the team in February 2021. He is an integral part of the team, and no piece of jewellery gets despatched without his seal of approval. He also likes destroying cardboard boxes, has expensive taste in destroying shoes (Birkenstocks and Havianas are his favourite) and winding Henry Up.

Loves the beach, Hates the hairdryer.

Chief of Security

Yoda Pountney-Mills

Yoda joined the team in May 2021 as Head of Security. He takes his role extremely seriously and will never be found sleeping on the job....

Loves Balls (the toy type), Hates Baths