This post is part of a series focusing on sustainable sourcing in the beauty and wellness industry. For more, check out these articles on a sustainable lavender farm in upstate Maryland, an up-and-coming luxury beauty brand based in Alabama, and my most recent interview with an ethnobotanist in the Sonoran desert.
What’s the Deal with Ethical Crystals?
I recently posted a comment on my Instagram about whether I’m a “crystal person.” Being in the natural beauty space seems to draw in quite a few lifestyle assumptions. First, vegan (nope, and you can blame chocolate and Parmesan for that). Second, into meditation (probably should but way too restless). And third, collects crystals (not yet, but I do love some sparkle). Without diving too far down the woo-woo train, I was genuinely curious to learn more about crystals. Turns out, there’s a whole lot to know about sourcing ethical crystals. Read on to learn more about what I discovered.
Where a crystal comes from can be just as important as the crystal itself. You can buy crystals from all over the world – from Morocco to Arizona. Some crystals are sourced from small-scale, low-impact operations. However, more are the byproduct of industrial mining operations where they are the secondary outgrowth of an already occurring industry. Certain stones may even have ties to major environmental damage and corruption. For example, up until recently Myanmar’s jade industry was sanctioned by the US government. Yikes!
How Can We Shop for Crystals Responsibly?
Becky from Take Care Shop and District Mineral in Washington, DC has some great advice for ethical crystal collectors:
“If you have concerns about sourcing, you can put parameters on your collection, like only sourcing pieces mined in the USA. Visit a local gem show and you may get to connect with the miners themselves!“
Overall, it can seem daunting to dive into the murky waters of sourcing before you buy that next piece of tourmaline. However, the best you can do is shop SMALL and shop LOCAL. Ask questions and verify that that person you’re buying from knows the source of their crystals, or sources from a reputable seller. Shopping responsibly is the best way to ensure that you’re getting #goodvibesonly