A recent gold boom in Uganda has some of the country’s most vulnerable men, women, and even children scrambling to benefit—and at great personal risk. But Earthbeat, an unlikely nonprofit, is helping them create alternatives.

Luxury and sustainability can seem mutually exclusive, almost by definition. Beneath every new smartphone are thousands of small parts brought together through shadowy supply routes, originating in places where such items are largely unattainable. More often than not, a so-called ‘ethical’ diamond means a lab-created one, which may be free of conflict and labor abuse but lacks the rarity that makes them the most covetable. And gold is practically a symbol of the kind of luxury that doesn’t concern itself with how its creation might affect those who created it. When it comes to supply chains, it can be hard to see the bottom from the top.

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