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The ethics of crystals and minerals and in particular the mining of these has never been more relevant considering the global boom the industry is experiencing and it should be, given the possible impact of such mining on landscapes, local populations and labour forces.
Our suppliers are individuals and small manufacturers, or agents of local cottage industries. The vast majority of our products are purchased through uncapitalised individuals, who extract crystals as their sole source of income, in areas where no other sources of income are available. Rough stone for cutting, such as Rose Quartz and Jaspers, may be extracted by excavators, but crystal and mineral specimens are carefully mined by hand, therefore retaining their value.
Regarding the ‘destruction of the land’ debate, most mining and quarrying is for bulk stone and minerals. Crystals are pulped in hundreds of thousands of tonnes for commercial use. This type of crystal/mineral extraction is not representative of our business. The mining that produces our products accounts for a maximum of 0.001% of the industry’s total output.
Our suppliers have been selected for their reliability and trustworthiness and over the last 30 years we have established a network of companies and individuals who we trust implicitly. We will always, where possible, visit the suppliers and mines to gain a greater understanding of the mining practices and impact on the local landscape and workforce involved. From my experiences of travelling to meet our suppliers in Brazil, India, China, Madagascar and the USA and getting to know them, I have never witnessed or heard any stories of unethical or exploitative practices.
Unfortunately mining, by its very nature, can be dangerous and impact the surrounding landscapes and labour forces if it is not regulated properly. As a business we recognise this fact and constantly push the whole of our supply chain to be more transparent by supplying as much information as possible on the products they supply. If we think there could be any unethical practices with the products, we will not purchase the product in the first place, or we will remove the product from our stock until we find an alternative supplier, who we are sure is not using unethical practices.
As the industry grows, we need to go further and collaborate across the board, from the mines through to the retailers. We all need to take responsibility for this, and the more we push for transparency and ethical practices, the more we can achieve in making this an industry that people can have no doubts about.
As a company we are driven by a passion, enthusiasm and mutual respect for everything in the natural world.