The working conditions associated with diamond mining where most of the world’s diamonds are mined are universally unacceptably bad. Much of this is about Africa, where conditions are awful. Workers here endure this suffering for as little as a dollar a day. Much of this is child labor. According to work from Ohio State University, children roped into the diamond mining trade are often physically and sexually abused while being forced to work for peanuts.
Sites like these are also often breeding grounds for virulent diseases due to lack of sanitation and terrible living conditions.
What do we, in the rest of the world, get in return for allowing this go on? Soil erosion, mass deforestation, and overwhelming ecological destruction. Oh, and a bunch of pretty little gemstones.
What if I told you that we could get the exact same pretty little gemstones without any forced labor, child abuse, disease, soil erosion, mass deforestation, or overwhelming ecological destruction? What if I further told you that we could get that and remove 20 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere for every gemstone produced, and that the final result would be identical in terms of the quality of the stones?
The company that makes the world’s only carbon-negative lab-grown diamonds (through a patent-protected production model) is called Aether Diamonds.
It may surprise you to learn that the only way for investors, through publicly-traded vehicles, to invest in Aether is through shares of Maison Luxe Inc (OTCMKTS:MASN). Aether Diamonds is a significant investment holding of MASN.
As an extra point, the global diamond industry is worth over $87 billion per year at this point. This is very important for reasons we will cover below.
The Big Picture
In addition to its investments in Aether, Maison Luxe Inc (OTCMKTS:MASN) also offers luxury retail consumer items that are responsibly sourced and affordable. The Company operates as a niche high-end luxury goods retailer, helping interested consumers obtain rare luxury items that may otherwise not be reliably available due to the nature of the luxury retail marketplace.
MASN is developing its model along several lines, all converging around the very high-end luxury retail marketplace.
The company deals as a supplier for businesses selling high-end products directly to consumers. One of the most prominent relationships is with Signet International.
But the company is also working to sell directly to end-market consumers through its showroom in New York City’s famous “Diamond District” and also through a developing ecommerce initiative that is now underway, which could be a significant factor in its upcoming sales growth potential.
According to its recent communications, the company recently engaged its Board Member, John Cormier, Founder and CEO of WatchFacts, to fully overhaul the company’s online presence, including its central website, its social media presence, and all related newsletters and web-driven content and relationships, including setting up a multi-channel sales infrastructure.
Mr. Cormier will also help to lay a strong branding and marketing foundation for Maison Luxe to drive more consumer-focused sales and brand engagement. In addition to being the CEO and Founder of WatchFacts, Mr. Cormier also manages a technology solutions firm called “The Collective Solutions” (www.thecollectivesolutions.com), through which he has designed several technology watch programs including JomaShop.com, eBay.com’s Authenticate, Amazon’s Certified Pre-Owned, Signet, and WatchFacts.com.
Based on received design documents, the company’s eCommerce platform will have the potential to integrate with Amazon.com, Ebay.com, Walmart.com, FarFetch.com, 1stDibs.com, and other eCommerce portals. The Collective will also work with Maison Luxe on Event Planning, Partnership Building, Consumer Engagement, Building a Marketing Funnel, and Ad Retargeting.
Maison Luxe Inc (OTCMKTS:MASN) powered to multi-million-dollar sales last year after launching. The company’s announcements thus far in 2021 suggest that pace is being met and likely exceeded as the world reopens and the luxury goods market thrives in a sea of savings and stimulus. In addition, the company is well-positioned for the ESG theme given its investment exposure to the only clear ESG-qualifying diamond producer in the world.
The Bigger Picture
In other words, MASN is a diversified story in terms of model, but it is strongly tethered to growth in demand for very high-end luxury goods. That suggests a strong tailwind in place over the shorter term due to strong economic growth, rising inflation, accommodative monetary and fiscal policy, and very strong household balance sheets. In fact, the luxury goods space is projected to see something of a boom over coming quarters.
But over the longer term, the company’s early-stage investments in Aether Diamonds may be a very compelling piece of this puzzle.
As noted above, the global diamond industry is worth over $87 billion per year at this point. The industry that supports that level of demand is currently the opposite of ESG-compliant. It’s environmentally destructive at scale. It is socially dreadful. And one can easily make an argument that any entity with those two characteristics has irresponsible governance built into the equation.
At the same time, the investors of the present and the future are very different from those of the past. Millennials and Zoomers are set to take control of this process in terms of determining where capital moves.
One might think of it as a big pie chart. Right now, capital has mostly flowed into the big players, like Alrosa, De Beers and Rio Tinto. As more and more of that pie becomes determined by people with a focus on ESG investing principles, how much of that pie might eventually tilt toward carbon-negative diamonds with no social costs and good governance?
We think it might be a substantial shift. And, right now, MASN is the only game in town for that bet.
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