Founded by local Sarah Healey, the newest addition to Kitchener-Waterloo’s small business lineup only uses ethically obtained gemstones in their pieces. Luxe.zen hosts a collection of rings, necklaces, earrings, and raw crystals.
What started out as a side hustle during the pandemic has now grown into an in-person and online store, and is being carried by the Truth and Beauty Company.
“I’ve always turned to art to heal. I take a lot of inspiration from the gems themselves. I wanted to create things people could use, appreciate, and would last,” Healey said.
Now, Healey has a dedicated team of professionals to help turn her passion into a profession.
Luxe.zen focuses on creating affordable and beautiful pieces with human rights and sustainability in mind. They try to reduce their environmental and social impact as much as possible. For example, 80 per cent of the sterling silver and 14k gold used in their products is recycled and each product is packaged with low-impact packing materials which include upcycled paper and textile material.
“The jewellery industry has a problem: [the] pieces we love fuel conflict, unsafe working conditions, and environmental destruction in the places where gemstones, crystals, and metals are mined. We aim to change that,” Healey wrote on the company site.
“A lot of jewellers are calling their jewelry ‘ethical’ but are not being transparent about their sources,” Healey said.
Luxe.zen works with Moyo Gems, an ethical gemstone collaboration that was founded in East Africa. Moyo Gems works with female artisanal miners in Tanzania and Kenya. These gems include rubies, sapphires, tourmaline, and garnets, among others. Moyo means ‘heart’ or ‘life’ in Swahili, the dominant language in Tanzania and Kenya. Moyo Gems uses low technical machinery in their surface-level mining.
“The women miners are earning a living supporting their families,” Healey said. “I’m actually able to report who mined the stones that I used and [Moyo Gems] connect jewellers to the source.”
In addition to their collaboration with Moyo Gems, Luxe.zen have also created their own gemstone eco-system in their studio to reduce gem shipment emissions. The production team at Luxe.zen mostly uses recycled metals when producing their jewelry.
“We are working to change the industry by demonstrating good practices and advocating for all jewelry makers to do better.” Healey continues in her company’s ethos statement.
On Luxe.zen’s page, “Sarah’s Picks”, customers can shop a wide variety of gemstone jewelry that highlights each month’s cause. For October, gems in this collection help promote mental health and wellness and 10 per cent of all proceeds from Sarah’s Picks help support Carizon Family and Community services.
Alongside their quest to be an ethical business, Luxe.zen also encourages its customers to be informed consumers.
“Every decision, every purchase, every social media like, follow and share can all create awareness and impact the better. This is what our business is all about. We are passionate about educating others on our industry and hope you can help us make a difference,” Healey said.
“If you have a vision of what you want the world to look like, go after it. There’s always an option as a consumer for you to support and live your values,” Healey said.
For more information about and to support Luxe.zen, you can visit their website at luxezen.com or follow them on Instagram @luxe.zen.