“You were born in jewelry, and you’re going to be a jeweler.” That’s what Amish Shah’s grandfather told him decades ago. Today, Shah is the founder and CEO of two sustainability-focused jewelry brands, J’evar and ALTR.
Shah launched J’evar, a direct-to-consumer brand, in February. Before that, he learned from years of experience through ALTR, which he founded in 2016 and sells through retailers like Borsheims and Michaels Jewelers. Shah and his team developed an in-house generative AI tool that mocks up designs for new pieces of jewelry. To teach the tool, his team used data from ALTR and 90 years’ worth of jewelry from his grandfather’s business.
The megawatt is the standard term of measurement for bulk electricity, according to EcoWatch, an environmental news outlet.
“A megawatt measures power on a large scale,” according to EcoWatch. “So one megawatt can power a lot more than one household.”
“We grow our own diamonds, we cut and polish them, we design jewelry, we manufacture the jewelry, and we bring it to the consumer. We use recycled gold for making our jewelry — recycled metals, so gold and silver,” Shah said.
With generative AI-driven design, J’evar achieves a level of precision that Shah says dramatically reduces material waste and boosts the retailer’s sustainability goals. Shah said he expects a 10% to 20% reduction in energy consumption and wasted materials in the jewelry industry because of generative AI.
“Sustainability is actually core to us,” Shah said. “We’ve made sustainability as a part of our DNA rather than a marketing buzzword.”
It all starts on a (solar) farm
Shah’s brands run on electricity from a solar farm in Surat, a city in Gujarat, India. It currently generates 10 megawatts of solar energy, and Shah says he plans to scale that up to 17 megawatts. To put that into perspective, the Solar Energy Industries Association calculates that on average, 1 megawatt of solar power generates enough electricity to power 173 U.S. homes.
The energy is then transmitted through the power grid into J’evar diamond-growing facilities with help from the local government.
“In order to grow diamonds, the single largest raw material is energy,” Shah said. “They’re very high energy consumption. You are basically using solar energy to power the systems.”
And in terms of carbon neutrality for the diamond growth, Shah said, the facility is audited for climate neutrality based on the United Nations greenhouse gas protocol. The protocol holds corporations, organizations, cities and countries to different standards.
Shah said J’evar offices and facilities are both audited for all its energy consumption, from shipping packages to employees traveling and various other factors.
‘JevarGPT’ and generative AI for jewelry design
J’evar’s generative AI tool allows its human jewelry designers to input information about a product’s materials and specifications, and the generative AI will produce an image of that product. The generative AI tool saves J’evar weeks of manual design time on products, Shah said.
J’evar began using its jewelry product AI generator last year in 2022. The retailer feed metrics and images into a knowledge bank — or a database of text, images and metrics for materials that include the weight of gold and silver, among other key details — for the generator to refer to before it produces an image. Shah jokingly refers to it as “JevarGPT 1.0” and “AI for Jewelry 1.0.” The former is a reference to OpenAI consortium’s ChatGPT.
For example, Shah said if he wanted to make a bangle, he could input a text prompt to the generative AI, specifying how much the weight of gold should be for that piece, how thin or wide it should be and what design style he would like. He can even ask it to produce 50 iterations from that single prompt. In return, the generative AI will output complete designs, some of which might be ready to turn into tangible products. Other product designs the AI outputs require J’evar designers to modify the design until it can be producible.
Shah said J’evar can’t produce all its AI’s designs yet. A key reason is because of the inability to cut diamonds into the shape the AI generates. But even this ability is coming soon with new machinery, he said.
“You’re looking at optimization, efficiency, speed — which is of course going to lead to cost reduction in the longer term — but importantly, from an output perspective, we’re looking at precision and a higher level of creativity,” Shah said about using generative AI.
J’evar marries generative AI and sustainability
In the case of J’evar, generative AI can determine exact material amounts before creating an item, helping with sustainability by limiting waste.
“If we are able to predict the exact amount of gold we’re going to need, what the design is going to be, how much cubic millimeters of gold, the wastage will go down dramatically because you know exactly what you’re looking to produce. More importantly, the level of precision from a point of engineering will go much higher,” Shah said. “The amount of gold that is used will be very precise. How and what is printed in terms of the level of resolution will go higher, ultimately lowering the amount of wastage.
“Gold wastage will go low, but yes, that means the speed will go up, which means the energy requirements will go down. The material wastage from wax to silicon to machine usage, everything will go down. From a sustainability perspective, AI is going to have a direct impact on sustainability or improving the reduction of wastage.”
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