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What does "Ethically Sourced Crystals" actually mean?

Ethically sourced is a real buzzword in the crystal and mineral world.

Ethically sourced is a real buzzword in the crystal and mineral world. Everyone who purchases or uses crystals obviously cares a lot about energy and would be mortified to hear that the crystals that they enjoy so much were only provided by harming others or people who were being taken advantage of. However, it is very difficult to define exactly what ethically sourced is and here is why as a consumer you should be aware of what exactly that means, especially in the crystal world.

Pakistan sourcing

One thing when we learned when we got into this business (especially during COVID) is unless you are travelling to the mine sites and you are meeting the staff and you’re seeing the process from start to finish it is literally impossible to say that it’s 100% ethically sourced. A LOT of what you go off of when you’re beginning contacting these suppliers is what they tell you and sometimes you get burned.

Selenite mining in Morocco 

Especially when we started it was a steep learning curve and we definitely stopped working with certain suppliers because we would find out things that made us question their legitimacy. Sometimes this would be them trying to sell us a crystal as something we knew it wasn’t, sometimes it had to do with how they talked about their employees, other times it was how purposefully vague they were about the process when we would ask them to take us through it with them.

 

Crystals being polished by our Chinese supplier

HOWEVER, having said that, the suppliers that we currently work with do certain things that help ease our minds. Firstly, most are family owned businesses, second, they all frequently send us photos of production and we are able to see what’s happening, thirdly, we get to know the staff and have an ongoing relationship with them at every stage of the process. We chat often with our suppliers about not just work and they share with us their own stories. We treat each other as equals in a business partnership and they feel comfortable sharing each step of the process when we ask.

 

Factory in China

It’s important to note as well (and this was a learning curve for me) That “working standards” are different in each country. So depending on some sites they are technically to code, but maybe they wouldn’t be acceptable here in Aus. So we often will make gentle suggestions but at the end of the day our suppliers are bosses of their own teams too. If you’ve ever walked around Bali, you can see people working in construction, it looks different to a construction site here in Perth, and if you were to judge them by our standards it would be deemed inappropriate. We have also partnered with a lot of Australian mining companies and geologists that provide us with high quality Australian crystals that DO meet Australian codes and regulations around all parts of the country. These have been amazing partnerships that have lead to great networking opportunities and the ability to learn more and more about worldwide standards and practices. 

Selenite mining in Mexico

So we don’t actually advertise that we are 100% ethically sourced because we don’t want to lie to our customers, which is actually more uncommon than you would think in the crystal world; we just can’t guarantee it without going to the sites ourselves. However, we are proud to say that we only work with suppliers who fit these criteria we have set about safety, transparency and community...And now that travel is open we have been invited and plan on visiting the suppliers we’ve come to know around the world.

 

Stone being cut, ready for polishing

This is something I am very passionate about. Remember, it is great and important that you’re asking these questions (as you should) and using your purchasing power to support places that share similar values to you. But I myself am hesitant when somewhere says they are 100% ethically sourced but unwilling to have a conversation about how they classify that.

 

Stone cutting in India

I also believe that as a consumer we should start asking more questions about ethically sourced products that we use everyday, not just crystals. Like, “Is the quartz and cobalt in my iPhone ethically sourced?”, “Is the T-shirt I bought at Kmart ethically sourced?”, “Are the books that I enjoy reading, processed and printed ethically?” Having this business has made me question all the products I use and start to look at how I, as a consumer can support places that match my values. 

1 comment on What does "Ethically Sourced Crystals" actually mean?
  • Roz
    RozApril 15, 2023

    This is an excellent honest article. As someone who works in mining we are working hard to influence standards that sit with our values regardless of location. We also recognise it’s a journey and that we have much to learn from others. Be curious and courageous to make positive change. Best wishes to you all

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