ETHICAL TRADING STATEMENT
At Fire + Alchemy, our vision is to play our part in looking after each other and our planet. As a small, individually owned organisation, that means being aware of the impact of our business on the communities and landscapes we source our products. Along with our customers, we're committed to driving positive change and helping create a more sustainable future.
Contributing to an ethical crystal sourcing and mining supply chain is of the upmost importance to us. This includes only buying from traders and wholesalers who place the same importance on safety and environmental standards, as we do.
Why is it important to work with ethical traders?
The crystal trade is generally artisanal. When we purchase crystals from an ethical trader or wholesaler, we trust that the payment we ultimately provide, benefits local communities and not big businesses. This is important because the people who mine and extract crystals often have no other source of income.
Who are the key people in the F+A chain?
We purchase our crystal products from carefully selected wholesale suppliers. They purchase the products directly from source countries (the locations from where crystals originate), meaning that they are the only intermediary between us and the source-country supplier. For example, we don’t have wholesale suppliers who have received their crystals from another wholesaler, or numerous “middle-man” contacts sitting between us and the communities who mined the crystals.
Are mass-scale crystal extraction methods used?
Our source suppliers do not use practices whereby stones are commercially pulped in hundreds or thousands of tonnes.
Mostly, those who are mining crystals in their tonnes, are doing so for other purposes like elements that go into batteries, mobile phones and technology. The very nature of the delicate crystals our community purchases, means that extracting crystals is done with care to retain an excellent standard of quality, achieved by not using heavy machinery.
Who chooses the crystals sold at Fire + Alchemy?
Our founder, Rachel, personally sees, handles and chooses all crystals sold at F+A, in-person - meaning we do not use online viewings or buy crystals in bulk. We use a very select number of suppliers with whom we have built trusted relationships and who are rigorous in their own standards in dealing with sourcing, extracting, and polishing crystals and minerals. Their own third parties are subject to their ethical standards.
We have discussed crystal sourcing practices with all of our wholesalers and they have shared information around their own policies and their supply chains.
What do the wholesalers do?
We are confident that our wholesalers share our desires around ethical trading and that they work with local trusted suppliers and have usually seen first hand the locations in which products are sourced and that they regularly visit the mines, factories, and production houses to ensure safety and good working practice.
They themselves have established relationships with these local, usually family-run businesses, the majority of whom they have known for many years.
What are obtained at these visits to source-countries?
Specifically, these local visits provide first-hand oversight of: how the mines are run, what equipment is used, the treatment and health of the staff and ensuring they have the appropriate levels of support, as well as ensuring all mining and production licenses, safety certificates and the environmental impact studies have been completed where required.
SMOKE CLEANSING STICKS
Whilst traditionally linked to the South American traditions using white sage or Palo Santo, as part of the Fire + Alchemy ethos, the majority of our smoke-cleansing or saining sticks and bundles (also known as “smudging” sticks) are made from locally sourced / UK-based ingredients.
This minimises the risk of contributing to any over-harvesting practices of these ingredients in the Americas. Our saining sticks are usually made from flowers and herbs ethically sourced in Cornwall or Wales, which also supports UK businesses and communities, and assists in reducing our carbon footprint.
We source the vast majority of our herbs from a UK-based high-quality supplier who grow, harvest and dry their herbs in the East Midlands, and who have a policy of not using harmful chemicals.
Our supplier’s flowers and herbs are dried using centuries old methods of dehydration from the leaves and petals. They do not “preserve" flowers which is done by replacing the fluid in the flowers with glycerine, which in many cases contains palm oil.
A small number of our resin products and herbs that are not native to the UK, are imported.
Passionate about the environment and committed to reducing levels of landfill, we ensure our containers, cups and packaging are responsibly sourced and made from recycled materials, and are either biodegradable or can be further recycled after use. At our premises, we utilise stoneware and ceramics for our food and beverage offerings.
We do our best to ensure we are conducting our business in the most ethical way that aligns to our culture and values. That includes creating a positive impact on people and the planet by reducing our environmental footprint and supporting local communities, whilst also maintaining the highest level of quality for our customers.