Activist Livia Firth Documents ‘The Diamonds of Botswana’

SourcingFeb 24, 2020

Activist Livia Firth Documents ‘The Diamonds of Botswana’

The sustainability champion visited diamond mining communities in the country for her new short-form documentary series, Fashionscapes.

A still from the new short film “The Diamonds of Botswana”

New York—One well-known sustainability champion recently visited the diamond communities in Botswana and documented her journey.

Livia Firth is the co-founder and creative director of sustainability and communications consultancy Eco-Age.

She also is the founder of the Green Carpet Challenge, which puts sustainability front and center at red carpet events worldwide.

It was launched in 2010, when Firth, who was previously married to actor Colin Firth, first wore sustainable gowns, meaning dresses made from materials like post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Previously, Firth worked with film director Andrew Morgan on the documentary “The True Cost” in 2015, which explores fashion’s impact on people and the planet.

The Hollywood Reporter called it one of the top fashion documentaries of the decade.

Now, Firth and Morgan have paired up again to launch “The Diamonds of Botswana” as part of Fashionscapes, a series of short-form documentaries.

“Diamonds” follows Firth in Botswana as she learns about the positive impact the diamond industry has had on the country.

It includes interviews with stakeholders at all levels, like Botswana’s president, Mokgweetsi Masisi; Naseem Lahri, managing director at Lucara Botswana and the first female managing director of the Karowe diamond mine; and Chandapiwa Monamati, who operates a truck at De Beers’ Orapa mine.

The documentary also highlights several projects done in collaboration with diamond mining companies that aim to improve the livelihoods of people in the local communities, including a community garden (as seen in the still below) and a school offering high-quality education.

“Here in Botswana I’ve seen a picture of what can happen when business operates in partnership with government and civil society, making long-term investments in collaboration with local communities and ensure that the benefits are truly shared with those on the ground,” Firth says at the end of the film.

“I came here to look at a single supply chain. But as my visit ends, I wonder if Botswana represents something even bigger—a new vision for doing business—and if so, it is certainly something that should be protected with vigilance and integrity.”

Morgan, the director of the film, had this to say about it: “After traveling the world to document the very darkest corners of global supply chains, it is a true joy now to partner again with my dear friend Livia as we turn our cameras towards a story of hope and possibility.

“We are living in a moment of

profound change and upheaval, as we continue to see the failure of stories based on exploration and greed. More than ever we need examples like Botswana, a story of true care and collaboration to benefit all people and not just a few.”

On Feb. 5, guests and celebrities gathered at a global premier event in Brooklyn, New York to watch the documentary.

Following the film, longtime TV correspondent and host Alina Cho moderated a panel discussion with Firth, Morgan and some of the women featured in the documentary—Pat Dambe, Lahri and Kgalalelo Mokgweetsi.

In addition to currently being posted online, the Fashionscapes documentaries also will be available on Amazon Prime in the spring.

Watch: Fashionscapes Features the Diamonds of Botswana
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Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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