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Kindred Spirit2 min

Healing Crystals and Sustainability

Your crystals might be healing you – but what about miners and the planet? For Kindred Spirit issue 176 (July/Aug, 2021), Tara Cobham investigates
by Tara Cobham

‘Crystals for healing and protection’ grew in global popularity by more than 5,000% as a Google search term over the course of the past year. Unsurprisingly, this has coincided with one of the most difficult years in living memory.

Lauren D’Silva, Principal of Touchstones School of Crystal Therapy and author of Crystals: The Definitive Guide, has been reaching for her black tourmaline: ‘The whole world seems to be upside down at the moment, and these grounding crystals help you to feel safe and secure. They also give you the confidence to know that you’re going to get through it and that things will be alright in the end’. Founder of Crystal Healing London Salvo Scalici talks about the ‘comforting, calming, loving energy for yourself and others’ that rose quartz has brought for people this year. The list could be almost endless – there are so many different types and potential applications of healing crystals. ‘Crystals are there when you need help, an extra boost of energy, or when you feel like you don’t know where to go’, says Scalici. While it is heartening that crystals have been providing comfort, inspiration and strength for so many, it is also important to be aware of the effect that this increased demand could be having on those working within the supply chains and on the planet itself.

Is crystal mining unsustainable?

The wellness industry was already booming pre-pandemic – it has grown at twice the rate of the global economy since 2017. As a result, the healing crystal industry has been accused of a variety of unsustainable and unethical practices. Environmental concerns have been raised due to crystals being a non-renewable resource, and then there are questions surrounding the pay, safety and age of the labour force. The accusations imply hypocrisy from an industry that supposedly champions wellbeing. An obvious target is the fact that no official regulatory body exists within the healing crystal industry – imposing ethical and sustainable standards is left down to individuals. However, this should not lead to the conclusion that all individuals are taking advantage of this lack of accountability. Janelle Scialla of the Affiliation of Crystal Healing Organisations believes that most are not: ‘People have felt like they are being tarred with a brush that is not fair to them’. An example Scialla cites is the illegal use of mercury to extract gold in Peru that results in the dumping of toxic waste into the Amazon river: ‘That’s a problem – but that’s got nothing to do with the wellbeing industry. We’re not selling gold’. D’Silva thinks similarly: ‘It is not absolving us from responsibility. But the bigger picture needs to be looked at, and that is that mining is creating a problem – and most mining is done for industrial materials, not for healing crystals’...  

Keep reading in Kindred Spirit issue 176, on sale now


Find out more:

Read the full feature in the July/Aug issue of Kindred Spirit, available from 24 June, 2021. Click here to subscribe and have each new issue of Kindred Spirit delivered directly to your door. Alternatively, you can purchase individual magazines directly from our website.
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