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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: Social Issues

It's Time for a Fashion Revolution Part 2

Niki Grandics

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Today both people and the environment suffer because of the way the fashion industry operates and the way we consume fashion. We live in a capitalist society, meaning companies have to sell more clothing and make a profit in order to succeed, but by no means should it ignore the true costs of their operations or come at the expense of people’s health, dignity, or lives or at the expense of the environment (after all, what good is money if we’re all dead.)

H&M, one of the companies who manufactured at the Rana Plaza prior to the collapse, burned $4.3 billion in unsold clothing last year. But that’s not even the ridiculous part:

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“The scale of the problem illustrates H&M’s vast size — as one of the world’s largest clothing manufacturers, it produces hundreds of millions of items each year. There are so many that a power plant in Vasteras, the town where H&M founded its first store, relies partly on burning defective products the retailer cannot sell to create energy.” -New York Times

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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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Talking Fair Trade at the Jewelry Industry Summit LA

Niki Grandics

Fall seems to be all about ethical sourcing and sustainability at Enji with the Jewelry Industry Summit in Los Angeles this past week and Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference coming up at the end of the month. Speakers, Cristina Villegas from PACT (the largest non-profit you’ve never heard of), Monica Stephenson from Anza Gems, and Stuart Grice of Hoover and Strong (one of the largest precious metal refiners in the country) spoke about various parts of the mining sector for gold and precious gems around the world.

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Change is happening- the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference

Niki Grandics

I’m writing this from my Southwest flight back home and leaving Chicago so inspired after the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference. This is only the second year of the conference and the second time I’ve attended, this year with almost twice the turnout of last year. The conference brought together everyone from designers, gem dealers, NGOs, nonprofits, gemstone cutters, representatives from the State Department, and even artisanal gold and gemstone miners from South America and East Africa to hear each other’s perspectives and come up with solutions to complex issues in the jewelry supply chain.

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Equal Pay Day: Why it is Important to Remember

Hilda Chang

Tomorrow is Equal Pay Day, and although America has progressed from previous years, it is important to understand why this day has great significance. The past year has been pivotal in America's history as we bring more democratic change for minorities, women, children, and environmental issues. But, there is still one problem that isn’t getting address or is often out of sight out of mind. Equal pay! You might think “why is it important to discuss? We live in a free market society, if employees accept low wages, then that is their problem.” But there is more to this story than meets the eye, for a complete understanding why this is an issue we must dive deeper.

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Cruelty free makeup guide

Hilda Chang

The cosmetic industry is problematic. From heavily relying on fear tactics for marketing to testing and welfare issue, the makeup industry has many situations where it might seem less than optimal. However, companies listened as women found their voice and started standing up for what they believed in. Concerns about testing, quality control, and sustainable/ ethical practices became known and cosmetics started changing and evolving. Outdated practices, such as animal testing, became frowned upon and started a revolution of beauty products with sustainability in mind. Supporting the transition to cruelty free make is huge for further development. Enji has comprised a list of 10 animal friendly cosmetic brands to support as they help revolutionize the standards of the makeup industry.

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What You Want To Know About Organic Cotton

Hilda Chang

The word “Organic” has become a bit of a buzz word lately showing up on restaurants, foods, and other products. But it is more than just a trend, it is a movement toward a more sustainable and ethical future. When most hear the word organic we picture foods free of harmful chemicals and additives. However, the word organic applies to more than just food. Cotton for example is one the top growing industries to use this word, proclaiming that their organic product is superior to the modern cotton harvests. Enji wants to help our readers and fans understand what exactly this means and why you should care about organic cotton, even if you are not eating it.

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The Story Behind our Hashtag Earrings

Niki Grandics

Following the Golden Globes red carpet blackout, I saw so many articles covering the gorgeous gowns and stunning diamond and emerald jewelry the stars wore to the event. And for good reason, there were some truly out of this world amazing pieces to cover, but especially among jewelry publications, I saw nothing covering the reason for the blackout or its underlying message that time’s up.

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Can Seaweed Be The Answer?

Hilda Chang

This past year America had many large and powerful natural disasters, from the east coast of hurricane Irma to the west coast of the California wild fires. Although many believe climate change is not real, these catastrophes have helped highlight the dangers of climate change. However, one company is fighting hard during the holidays as they try and provide a realistic solution to climate change.

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Plastic Free Living Tips

Hilda Chang

Hello loyal Enji fans! It has been a great week here and as we gear up for the holidays we ask that you each consider buying ethically and sustainably. We have shown you what impact your actions have and that you are the greatest force driving this planet. Although it might be difficult to change your lifestyle in one day, we found an article full of helpful tips to eliminating plastic from your lifestyle.

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The Journey Of Your Recycling

Hilda Chang

Have you ever wondered what happens to your recycling after it is picked up? In this fast pace world, it can be difficult to think beyond the “right now”, but we like asking the tough questions of where our resources come from and where they end up. We try to reveal that which is usually overlooked or taken for granted. We wanted to know what happens to our recycling after those blue bins. Is it being properly taken care of and how? To help keep our facts straight and credible, this blog will reflect the San Diego area.

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8 Ethical Fashion Influencers To Help You Stay Motivated

Hilda Chang

The journey to sustainable and ethical fashion can seem daunting, especially when you alone on your journey. To help keep your motivation high, as you continue to make responsible choices, Enji has found some wonderfully conscious influencers to take inspiration from. These strong women are doing their best to help keep their wardrobes fashionable and ethical.

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Why I Chose to Give Up Fast Fashion (And What I Learned Along the Way)

Niki Grandics

I feel infinitely blessed to be able to pursue a career in the jewelry industry and create pieces for women who want to change the world. I have always had a love for fashion and jewelry and like a lot of people my age, I would shop somewhat often and also shopped at fast fashion retailers like H&M and Zara. Ultimately it was the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 that opened my eyes to this aspect of the industry and led me to begin exploring these issues and more ethical and sustainable paths. I set out on this path hoping to have a clearer conscience and maybe a few extra dollars in my bank account, it has led me to learn some unexpected lessons and ultimately helped shape the ethos of my business as well.

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What is The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Hilda Chang

We have recently been posting many blogs about sustainability in your home and how to improve your impact on the earth. Although we all know that going green is a better for the environment, it can be easy to start doubting whether your hard work and dedication is going to improving anything. The truth is that although it may not feel like it, you are helping tremendously. One example of how you are helping is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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Shifting To A Circular Economy

Hilda Chang

Many of us buy items with a limited life. Take for example a plastic bag, this item is used for a single time before it is discarded. The solution for this waste problem has often been recycling and although it is a good idea it might not be possible. Many cities do not carry the capacity to recycle all or most of our waste. This is where the idea of a circular economy comes into play.

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How To Properly Recycle

Hilda Chang

The recent rise in recycling and sustainability has become increasingly prevalent in our society, especially with California being one of the most progressive states. You may have noticed that many institutions, such as libraries and universities, have started to use green or blue recycling bins in combination with traditional trash cans. These bins are the beginning stages of San Diego being a zero-waste city by 2040, but I have also noticed many people are confused when encountering these bins. Today I want to clear up some confusion and talk about what is appropriate recycling material and how to properly recycle in your own home. For research purposes I will be using San Diego guidelines as they are similar, but I encourage everyone to figure out their own city's regulations on recycling.

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