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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 the environment, 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 environment and people 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 of any unethical or exploitative practices.
Unfortunately mining, by its very nature, can be dangerous and impact on the surrounding environment and people 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 us. If we believed there to be any unethical practices with the production of a product, we would not purchase that product in the first place, or if we later found out that there were ethical issues with any products in our stock we would remove that product, until we found 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 will achieve in making this an industry that people can trust in.
As a company we are driven by a passion, enthusiasm and mutual respect for everything in the natural world.
Rockshop Wholesale Limited