Since we first opened our walk-in store in Trinity Market Arcade back in January 2018 we have been asked many, many times if we sell crystals and “healing stones”. We didn’t for the first few years, sending the enquiring customers to a small shop in the neighbouring Hepworth’s Arcade, an arcade that runs parallel with ours and whose entrance is just a stone’s throw from our own. In the summer of 2022, however, the owner of that shop decided to retire and close down her business. We are sad to see another established, specialist independent shop disappear from our area, and although we do not know the lady personally, we wish her and her husband a very happy retirement. We know they will be missed by our mutual customers and our mutual friends.
The Search for a Supplier
Meanwhile, people were still asking us for crystals and so we decided now should be the time for us to begin stocking them (click here to view them). We researched a number of wholesalers to find the one whose ethical policy was as close to our own as possible. Would you believe that in the 21st century some wholesalers still don’t have an ethical policy? Do they not think about the safety and wellbeing of the workers in their supply chain? I find this deeply disturbing, and those wholesalers were quickly struck off our list.
The only wholesaler we were able to find with a well thought-out Ethical Trading Statement and a reliable supply was Rockshop Wholesale, and this is who we have chosen to put our trust in.
Rockshop visit their suppliers regularly where possible and assure us that they “have never witnessed any unethical or exploitative practises”. That said, when they became concerned about the ethics of a supplier in Madagascar, Rockshop searched for an alternative supplier. The new supplier – the one they now use – appears to truly value her employees, paying them double the local minimum wage and ensuring that all employees have health insurance and are enrolled in social security which, by its nature, ensures all employees are over the age of 18 . She also contributes to the local community, helping to build a library for the local primary school and sending them gifts of food and toys every Christmas.
Practising What They Preach
Rockshop insist on transparency and fairness from all of their suppliers, demanding good ethics and fair practises. As a company, they practise what they preach, assuring us that they value their own employees, provide a safe and healthy working environment and treat all employees “with dignity and respect with equal opportunities given to all irrespective of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age”.
Valuing the Environment
Not ones to shy away from questions about the environmental impact of the rock-mining industry, Rockshop reassures us that they make every effort to minimize the impact of their work on the environment. The promise they “have the utmost respect for the environment and the need to protect it, and … take every effort to minimise the impact of [their] operations on it.”
Products You Will Cherish
Here at Near & Fair we prefer, wherever possible, to deal with wholesalers who are members of an independent body such as BAFTS, or the WFTO, but sometimes this is not possible when it comes to fulfilling customer demand. In those situations, you can be confident that we try hard to find the most ethical suppliers we can – suppliers who value people and the planet whilst providing high quality products that you will cherish. We hope you agree that our new gemstone collection meets all of these standards.