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Blog

I’m Niki, the founder and designer of Enji Studio Jewelry. We’re a sustainable luxury jewelry brand based in beautiful north county San Diego.

at Enji we’re on a mission to bring you meaningful, modern, ethical design that shows off your style, honors the journey of your life, and reflects your values. We craft each piece for you in our Carlsbad studio bringing new life to recycled gold and silver and using only FairTrade and ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones.

Enji was founded in 2014. We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing and giving back to the local and global community. We create our pieces for everyday wear.

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As creators and consumers, our choices now have a global impact. This is why we consider how things are made to be important and this to be part of our responsibility as a business and global citizen. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. This is why we make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fairtrade stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper and clothing.

Niki is a GIA Graduate Jeweler. She was awarded the 2016 Halstead Grant Award and 2014 Windgate Fellowship Award by the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Europe and her work can be seen in the pages of Glamour UK, Basic, Evening Standard, National Jeweler, and more. To see her one of a kind art pieces and CV check out nikigrandics.com

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. We make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fair mined stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper.

As a member of Ethical Metalsmiths, we hope to be among the first movers bringing transparency and sustainable practices into the luxury fashion jewelry world. Ethical Metalsmiths and Fairmined gold and gems.  All our pieces are made in our studio in San Diego and we use low-impact, environmentally conscious studio practices to lessen our footprint. 

We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing, because it’s important. To us, to you, to the women and men who mined the stones we use to create our pieces. We also donate a portion of each sale to organizations that help empower women locally and globally and work to end domestic violence and human trafficking because that’s part of the future we want to see.

Ethical sustainable jewelry fairtrade fair trade fair-trade jewelry recycled gold recycled sterling silver San Diego Carlsbad ethical gemstones ethically sourced sustainable

Filtering by Category: Sustainability

Love leather and the environment? 5 things to look for in vegan leather alternatives

Niki Grandics

Can I tell you a secret? I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for about three years, but only gave up leather this year. While giving up meat and dairy was a breeze (I wasn’t really a fan, to begin with), my weakness for luxe leather shoes and bags, has made giving up leather way more of a challenge. But I can’t ignore the impacts of leather on animals, the environment, and the workers in the supply chain, so this year when boot season came around, I decided to do some homework and look for vegan alternatives that feel just as luxurious as the real thing.

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The Gold Initiative at the Pyramid Mine

Niki Grandics

Have you ever wondered where your gems come from? With our Pyramids Capsule Collection, we know exactly where our gems come from, a single source in Bahia, Brazil, the Pyramid mine. The mine owner, Brian Cook, first formalized his claim and began organizing the miners over the course of 14 years and has created a responsible sourcing initiative that is unique in the industry. Unlike large tech projects like DeBeers blockchain platform which could further marginalize small mining communities that can’t pay to play, this initiative starts small scale with artisanal mining communities in Brazil.

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Transparent vs Traceable vs Ethical, is Blockchain the answer for ethical sourcing in jewelry?

Niki Grandics

If you can trace a flower or a single avocado back to a single farm or field, you should be able to trace a diamond back to a mine, right? Blockchain for the jewelry industry is actually already on its way, with large mining corporations like DeBeers and Alrosa investing heavily into their own blockchain programs. DeBeers is even testing out their program on diamonds 2ct and above and plans to expand it to smaller sizes in the future. These two mining companies on their own account for almost 80% of all diamond mined today. But what about the other 20%?

GIA, Rappaport, have tried creating industry-wide blockchain networks for traceability, however, DeBeers has made it perfectly clear that their blockchain network is only theirs and won’t connect with any industry-wide traceability initiatives. And unfortunately they’re DeBeers and they’re huge and influential and ultimately they do what they want. Large (expensive) tech projects like this may be no big deal to a company that large, but what about the artisanal miner? The Tanzanian Women Miners Association certainly doesn’t have the funds to compete, and ultimately any traceability solution we come up with needs to take small-scale miners into account, or we risk further marginalizing some of the most marginalized people on the planet.

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5 Tips for Ethical Jewelry Buying This Holiday Season

Niki Grandics

Can I tell you a secret? Gifting is my favorite part of the holidays. And jewelry gifts to me have always been such meaningful and emotional gifts that carry stories and memories with them. I’ve loved fashion and jewelry since I was kid, but my passion for fair fashion and sustainability started in 2013. Since then, I’ve turned my passion for jewelry and fair fashion into a career and have been designing under the Enji name since 2014.  As a jewelry lover, fair fashion advocate, and Ethical Metalsmiths member, I really believe you vote with your dollar, so even with my love of holiday gift giving, I try to shop according to my values and buy gifts that do good. While it seems like a lot to think about and a lot of research, here are a few quick tips that will make it easy to buy amazing jewelry and shop your values this holiday season:

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How to Shop Your Values During the Holidays

Niki Grandics

Can I tell you a secret? I really love giving gifts, and I’m always a little bit of procrastinator when it comes to my holiday shopping. Anyone else in the same boat? Last year going into Black Friday, I wrote about why I gave up fast fashion (you can read the post here), and since then I’ve come up with a list of shopping guidelines I go by and I won’t go too into detail (but you can read the details here *link post*) but I buy things that generally fall into the categories of vintage, vegan, fairtrade, or recycled/upcycled. At the end of the day, I really believe you vote with your dollar, so as much as I love holiday gift giving, I try to stick to this with my shopping too. While it seems like a lot to think about and a lot of research, here are a few quick tips that will make it easy to shop your values this holiday season:

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Beat the Summer Heat

Hilda Chang

If you can, investigate making most of your meals outside. Elect to use a propane grill if you can, or low emissions and clean coal. Electing to cook outside is not only a great way to enjoy your summer, but to also reduce energy.  This will help keep your house from getting too warm and help you save the money and trouble of turning on a stove and air conditioner at the same time.

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Save Money and Reduce Your Waste

Niki Grandics

With so many natural disasters recently it is almost undeniable that climate change is real. Many people, especially those who hold power in government, deny the fact that our world is changing and that eventually, our own way of life will have to change as well. However, power doesn’t lie in a single government or even a single person. California has already made plastic bags illegal to reduce waste and help aid in the fight against climate change. But helping in the fight against climate change and reducing waste does not have to be hard if you are willing to take initiative and here are some of our suggestions.

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Light Pollution: The pollution no one talks about

Hilda Chang

When people talk about pollution they usually will think about either plastics and oil being dumped into the ocean, or tons of carbon emissions being released into the air. These pollutants have very severe consequences not only for our environment but to our health, as we are now realizing. Many people will advocate their voice when it comes to the threat to their physical well being and often is successful in obtaining some type of pollution regulations. However, there is one type of pollution that isn’t openly talked about.

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5 Believable Myths about Hybrid Cars

Hilda Chang

Driving is one of the first privileges we have when we come of age. The first thing we usually do when we become 16 or 17 is ask your parents to teach us to drive because driving means independence. It means we are old enough and wise enough to handle a big responsibility, even if we are still young. However, the modern cars of today might not be the same from those back when we were learning to drive. I for one, remember being taught to drive in a 2008 Toyota Corolla, and now more than a decade later, the 2018 Corolla looks like a spaceship compared to the 2008 model. But as we progress in our technology, so do the cars as newer models emerge. The hybrid and electric cars of this era have been gaining traction like never before, and Enji feels it is time to start a conversation about them by dispelling our top 5 hybrid car myths.

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The Bittersweet Truth: Is Chocolate Extinction Possible?

Hilda Chang

Chocolate is one of the most integral parts of our lives. Most of us have fond memories of eating warm chocolate chip cookies with milk or having a nice cold scoop of chocolate ice-cream on a hot day. Although chocolate wasn’t always a part of American history, today it is one of the most commonly sold luxury goods. However, with this increase in demand came consequences. It is estimated the world’s chocolate supply will not be able to meet the consumer’s demand by as early as 2020, driving chocolate prices sky high. This scares many consumers who have a strong affinity to chocolate. Enji like any other person wants to know if this apocalyptic future is possible. Is there a way to prevent this? What can we do to keep our coveted sweets?

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The Underwater Wonder: An Inside Look Of The Great Barrier Reef

Hilda Chang

Often revered as one of most breathtaking scenes in nature, the Great Barrier Reef dances with life in the Pacific Ocean. This magnificent reef is one of the most visited tourist attractions home to colorful marine life. Not only does this reef provide a home to animals but also stimulates Australia's economy. The dense crowds of tourist provide a steady income to many of the local stores and shops that rely on the reef’s beautiful attractions. Climate change, however, has taken its toll on this mesmerizing ecosystem. Enji wants to try and reveal just how extensive this damage is and how it compares to previous years. We want to tell you an unbiased opinion of just how grave the circumstances are in the Great Barrier Reef.

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It’s Time for a Fashion Revolution

Niki Grandics

This week is Fashion Revolution Week. Some of you might already know and might already be asking your favorite brands “who made my clothes?” (or jewelry or accessories), and if so hats off to you and thank you for making your voice heard and helping hold the fashion industry accountable. If you’re newer to sustainable fashion, no worries, Fashion Revolution week is a great way to start getting involved! I’ll go into the history and impact of Fashion Revolution and why it’s important to get involved.

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Top 2017’s Environmental Success Stories

Niki Grandics

Every year we hear about the environmental struggles we are trying to overcome and the tragedies that have occurred. With all the negative stories surrounding sustainability and global change, it can be difficult to feel as though you are helping the environment. The negativity surrounding environmental issues can make it feel like a lost cause. However, the whole year isn’t filled with one great tragedy after another, there are plenty of scientific achievements and environmental progress that occurs course over the year. Unfortunately, these stories are not reported as frequently as disasters or somber tales. Here at Enji we believe it important to remember how far we have come. So, we dedicate this post to yesterday’s Earth Day. We have compiled a list of what we believe to be great successes in environmental causes.

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Circuits and Boards: What You Want To Know About Electronic Recycling

Hilda Chang

Take a good look around you and notice how electronics have influenced us. From being woken up in the morning by our alarm clocks to setting our security systems before bed, electronics are prevalent in our lives more than we care to admit. Our electronics have lives and as time marches forward, they will become futile as they are replaced by newer versions or worn down. Our modern world relies on various electronic systems, and with the rapid growth rate of our technology, you might wonder where do all our old devices end up? Enji had the same question too, and we decided to do a little research and give you everything you need to know about electronic waste.

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How To Bring Sustainable Lunches To Work

Hilda Chang

Being sustainable impacts every aspect of your life and shapes how we begin to consume products. Lunches are a perfect example, many of us work full time jobs and this means you usually swap lunches at home for those at our desks. Most offices are not equipped with all the luxuries of a full-sized kitchen, often forcing us to bring in a premade lunch or eat out. But a person who has a sustainable lifestyle might not find any of those option enticing as they both can produce a lot of waste. Enji want to share some tips for those of us who want sustainable lifestyles without forgoing any meals.

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Journey of a Lifetime: A Starter’s Guide for Sustainable Travelers

Hilda Chang

How you get to your destination also matters. Every single transportation option comes with a degree of impact. Biking and backpacking have relatively low impacts while flying probably has the most. Consider all the possible ways for you to arrive to your destination. Perhaps instead of a plane, you can take a transcontinental train where you can enjoy the scenic route. Consider taking a direct flight to your destination if you absolutely must fly. Most emissions from planes come from takeoff and landing.

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Green Paws And Love: A Sustainable Pet Owner’s Guide

Hilda Chang

Love. A strong motivator since the dawn of time and creating bonds that can last an eternity. Many people convert to a sustainable lifestyle because they love their homes, their planet, and they want to do what they can to protect it. But, what about those of us who choose to share our homes and hearts with our special friends? Our four-legged companions are directly impacted when it comes to our lifestyles. Whether you have a mischievous pup or a cuddly cat you want to take care of them to the best of your ability and ensure they live out their days in luxury. Enji personally knows a great deal about pets and sustainability, as more than half of our employees own one or more pets. And then there’s of course Dio, our shop dog. As dedicated sustainability pioneers, we thought it was about time we share some of our secrets about how we maintain our pet’s green paws as they join our sustainability journey.

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China's Ban on Imported Trash and It's Global Effects

Hilda Chang

China has been importing trash globally since the 1980's and with recent changes in legislation there could be some global impacts. Although it is great that china will now reduce the amount of 24 different solid wastes, they have been the lead processor of excessive waste. Australia who use to export their garbage is now faced with an overwhelming amount of consequences. An out of sight out of mind behavior among exporting countries, like Australia, is now coming full circle as countries contemplate what to do with their excess waste. 

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