Updated: Feb 7
In the crystal industry as a whole, as with most industries really, there are certain ethical questions that need to be asked. Whether people all along the supply chain are working in safe and humane conditions and are being paid properly should be at the forefront of our minds as consumers.
We see a lot of claims of 'ethically sourced crystals' on the internet and don't necessarily stop to question what that really means. I'd like to be as transparent as possible about the crystals I sell and work with.
I buy my crystals from two UK wholesale suppliers, and one cabochon supplier based in India. I have had confirmation from each of my suppliers that they source ethically and fairly.
There is one UK supplier I use in particular, because they took the time to talk to me for a long time on the phone about their ethics policies and practices, which are very good. From the other I have emails confirming that they are vigilant regarding ethics issues within their supply chain.
In my correspondence with my suppliers, I asked questions such as - do they as wholesalers visit the mines themselves, Do they make sure that there is no child and/or cheap labour, and that the working conditions are good?
I feel confident that I am purchasing from ethical traders and therefore you are, too.
I have been assured by my suppliers that the mines they source from are safe and fair. I trust that they believe in the importance of ethical standards, and are telling the clear truth about what they do and how they source. That is the information I can offer to you as a conscious consumer.
I wanted to share this information with you as it's a topic I've been thinking about a lot recently, and I believe we should all try to be conscious about what and how we consume. There are so many things that it is very hard to confidently consume ethically, such as clothes, food, just about anything at all that we buy really. I believe that it just comes down to making sure that we do our best to ensure that we consume as sustainably and fairly as possible.
When I think about what an infinitely teeny tiny impact my business has on the mining industry of the world, compared to the positive impact it has on you, my customers, who benefit from the healing energies of the pieces you buy from me, I am motivated to continue to grow this business, all the while continuing to ask more questions and gather more information.
I do believe that as long as we ensure we source fairly, then buying crystals is better for the communities that mine them than not buying them at all.
Crystal extraction is often the sole source of income in mining communities, where specimen crystals are carefully mined by hand. I feel glad to know that the crystal industry provides income and stability for people who otherwise would have nothing at all.
I also feel that we need to remain vigilant and push for fair trading and better standards all along the supply chain (which is something my suppliers ensure me that they do).
The crystal industry is often artisanal, so you can be sure that when you buy from an ethical source your money is going into the pockets of the people and wider community, not big businesses.
For example, the cabochon supplier I use in India are a third generation family business who employ a team of people in Jaipur to create cabs, polished stones and beads.
A second example: This is an extract from the Ethical Trading Statement of one of my suppliers, talking about one of their suppliers in Madagascar: "Elka has a well-established crystal cutting and polishing company that employs hundreds of Malagasy people. She has committed her life to a business that gives back to the local economy and community in a country where a fragile infrastructure and corrupt government make running a business extremely difficult. She pays her employees double the going rate and supports her employees through sickness and health".
As a 'middle-man', I can assure you, my customers, that I have asked the right questions and feel confident that I have received truthful answers.
I hope this information has been useful to you as I felt compelled to raise this subject. I want you to be able to buy from me as a conscious and informed consumer.
I believe in the importance of asking questions about where and how we source things, and the importance of working to get it right.