- Daily Zen
Aether Diamonds is a diamond luxury that chants about environmental stewardship.
We had a chance to interview Ryan Shearman, Co-Founder and CEO of Aether Diamonds who brought material science and jewelry in the industry with the goal to make the world carbon-negative by 2030. In his words—“Life can be chaotic. The sooner one accepts that fact, the sooner they can equip themselves to deal with it appropriately.” He addresses how sustainability can define and transform the climate crisis in the world with commercial solutions.
Industry Leaders: What is the story behind Aether Diamonds?
Ryan Shearman: Aether was born out of a desire to use my hard skills—entrepreneurship, material science, and jewelry development, to help address the climate crisis. It was during a conversation with my cofounder, Dan Wojno, that the concept of creating diamonds from air pollution was first discussed. He was living in Bangkok at the time and was directly familiar with some of the challenges associated with poor air quality. As engineers, we were both excited by the potential impact of direct air capture technologies and we made it our mission to develop commercial solutions that sat on top of that tech stack.
Industry Leaders: Is there any ‘rule of life’ you follow to keep things running around you?
Ryan Shearman: Life can be chaotic. The sooner one accepts that fact, the sooner they can equip themselves to deal with it appropriately. You must be able to go with the flow, embrace change, and trust those around you if you are going to keep your head above water.
Industry Leaders: How would you address the global and national imperatives and implications of how you compete, contribute and operate in the industry?
Ryan Shearman: We’re not looking to operate like anyone else in the industry. Our motives are very different. We incorporated as a public benefit corporation so that we could balance purpose and profit in all that we do. As I like to say, we’re not a company with a mission—we’re a mission with a company. Our aim is to use commerce to power an engine of change. Being successful in business will allow us to deploy greater resources towards solving some of the biggest challenges facing humanity today. Our approach is to toe the line between science and culture because we believe both are critical if we are to have a real impact. Hopefully, we’ll be able to inspire consumers and other companies along the way.
Industry Leaders: How is the goal of becoming an independently carbon-negative company by 2023 turning up so far? What’s next for Aether after 2023?
Ryan Shearman: We made significant strides this year towards achieving our goal of being independently carbon-negative by 2023. We have a clear strategy for how we are going to scale up our production capacity, which ties directly to our carbon footprint and the net impact we have as a company. This will culminate with the construction of our first vertically integrated production facility right here in the US. Beyond that, we are excited to begin expanding our manufacturing capabilities so that we can bring other solid carbon products to the market.
Industry Leaders: What sustainable features are of key importance to Aether and how do you plan to keep a hold of them?
Ryan Shearman: “Sustainable” is an interesting word and one that I regularly struggle with. There is no strict definition for what it means and its ambiguity allows it to be abused quite often. What is of key importance to Aether is that we operate with the utmost responsibility in all that we do. We have worked hard to embed environmental stewardship into our corporate DNA. Integrating that into our internal decision-making frameworks, corporate goals, and major KPIs will ensure that we can live up to these ideals for the long run.