Article: Ethically Sourced Crystals
Ethically Sourced Crystals
|All the crystals sold at Castle Rocks Cornwall have been sourced responsibly and ethically. Each one is handpicked by myself or in partnership with my suppliers. I know all of my suppliers personally and trust them wholeheartedly.
60% of the stock I have here is sourced by myself, directly with Brazil and Madagascar miners. I also have direct contact with suppliers in Indonesia and India.
Small family businesses, two of which are social enterprises. The money received is put back into the community. This allows supply to continue, and the money is used for the whole community.
No child exploitation is involved, and everyone is very happy in their work.
40% of my other stock is sourced from only two UK suppliers. I will only buy something from them if I can track the source.
The majority of crystals sold here at Castle Rocks are of premium quality. The people who supply these crystals take care of them, and they pride themselves on having the very best. They take their business very seriously, as do I. Ethically sourced, premium-quality crystals cost more money to buy. I'm happy to pay a higher price because I know they're the best, not just in quality but ethically.
If I can't understand or know where a crystal has come from, I will not buy them. It has taken me many years to get to a place where I am content and satisfied with the souring of my crystals. I won't lie. It wasn't always like this. There was a time when I would buy any crystal I liked the look of. I remember trying to find some Bumble Bee Jasper (back when it wasn't so popular). I went to my trusted source and was surprised to hear they had none. Nor would they ever have any. When I asked why I learnt that the early mining of Bumble Bee Jasper involved young children working in enclosed factories. They were exposed to the toxic dust emitted when undergoing the cutting and polishing process (tumbles, spheres, towers, etc.). Since then, I've learned much about the ethical problems surrounding the crystal and mineral world. I now make it my business to ensure I'm current on this subject.
The ethical question is massive. Extracting minerals from the ground could be considered unethical; whether mined by hand or by a local community doesn't matter. It can be seen as raping the Earth of her life force. This is what some people say to those of us who sell crystals. I've spent a lot of time in Earth healing ceremonies, and my awareness of the pain of our planet is so great at times, it hurts. I can't ignore that pain, and I question how I make a living. I'm at peace with it now because I do my utmost best to ensure I know where and how the crystals are mined, and I give back to the land by regularly donating to TreeSisters. I have also introduced donations via my business here at Castle Rocks. You can read more about that HERE, so far, we have planted:
I won't stockpile crystals and will only buy in relatively small quantities. The communities I work with have a small supply. I'm happy knowing that my business is helping my suppliers provide for their families and run their businesses. There are different levels to the ethical argument. What is unethical for us isn't necessarily unethical for others in other parts. I can only do my part, know the provenance, and trust the source. For example…. Families in Indonesia that don't have access to schools take the whole family on a day's mining. It is their way of life and their way of survival. Children are taught to survive by their parents and family. My daughter was homeschooled for years. I taught her a way of learning through life experience. She and I would often sit down and clean crystals together. It's pretty surprising how much she and I learned by doing this. We would talk about where the crystal comes from, which led us in all different directions. We like to think that if other families do the same, they enjoy themselves and learn much. I understand that some children work in unsafe conditions, not just children but adults. Sadly, I can't control that. All I can do is ensure I'm not contributing in any way. That is why I prefer to buy my crystals from small independents I trust. There is a lot of talk about regulating the crystal and mineral industry. Although this might sound like a good idea, it isn't necessarily so. It could be seriously detrimental to some smaller families and communities, relying on the small amount of business they get. They wouldn't be able to adhere to or afford the strict regulations. The end result would be disastrous for them. No work or business = no money. No money = no food or home… Also, many crystals are bi-products of much richer elements and minerals, such as oil. They aren't wanted or valued and are only mined as a bi-product and left to waste. The same goes for Amethyst, Smoky Qtz etc. The local clay mines in Cornwall turn out Amethyst by the ton daily! And they get ground down to dust! This is an interesting and, no doubt, a fiery discussion that will continue to evolve. I will update this post when something needs to be added. Thank you for caring Tanya x