Why is Buying Ethical Crystals So Hard?
Because there is no international certification scheme for crystal mining—as there is for diamonds—consumers have to rely exclusively on the word of the shops they purchase from. And shop owners have to rely on the word of their suppliers, who have to rely on the word of the mine owners—some of whom are the ones responsible for unethical labor practices to begin with. It’s a messed-up game of telephone, to say the least.
Sure, the crystals we love may have positive effects on those who own them. But if miners or children or a rainforest were harmed in the process of getting that hunk of rose quartz to your doorstep, then those good vibes really aren’t worth it.
SO...how do we, as a supplier and reseller, navigate these iffy waters?
First and foremost we always try to buy directly from the mines, not through 2nd or 3rd handed re-sellers. We can do the groundwork by looking up any red flags that are easy to be found as well as the mine's country mining standards and processes, if any. This in of itself can be challenging but we like to put on our detective hats and follow the trails directly to the mines.
We have grown our business by building relationships with family-owned mines and suppliers who can share details about their mines. We love to see photos and videos of their equipment and processes. Once we have worked with one supplier and have built trust they then become a wealth of knowledge in providing us with information for other direct-to-the-source contacts.
If we are not buying directly from the mine we always ask several questions:
- Do you ethically source your crystals?
- Do you know which mines they come from or who owns the mines?
- Do you know if the miners and polishers are treated fairly, paid fairly, and provided the proper safety equipment?
Our sources operate with minimalistic practices in production methods to reduce their environmental impact
On top of questioning our potential vendors about their crystals’ origins, Liv Rocks avoids stocking crystals that are known to be commonly mined by forced and child labor. We then only source these minerals from a single vendor who has documented ethical practices.
When shopping Liv Rocks we try to be as transparent as possible in our listings or when asked about our sourcing and ethical practices. Please note we have done a LOT of work and invested an even larger amount of time to find our suppliers and contacts. While we like to share as much details as possible we do view our sources and suppliers as proprietary.
As a shopper how can you tell?
You can do your part by asking the sellers where they source their crystals from.
- Compare prices across shops and avoid the lowest-priced crystals, particularly if they’re 30 percent or more lower-priced than competitors. As in, that selenite palm stone selling for $3, when they usually go for around $10, really could be too good to be true.
- Ask sellers—whether in person or online—about the origins of their products. If they have info listed on their web
- Write letters to government officials advocating for stricter labor and mining laws, particularly outside the U.S.
- Talk to your friends and followers about crystal mining issues.
We work hard to ensure that every aspect of our business is to doing what is right for our community, world AND the people that enjoy it's beauty. We will keep learning + being better all while providing you with crystals + rocks you can be proud to own.
X O, LR