You want to make an impact? Great! To do it, you first of all need to understand what actually is ethically sourced gemstones for the wholesale jewelry business industry. Remember the cliché, 'you can only improve what you can measure.' In the case of ethically sourced gemstones, 'you can only correct what you can identify is wrong!' So let's first understand this.
What is ethics?
Ethics are the values that any person follows in her life that define her character. She will abide by these 'rules' while in any situation in her life. Although subjective, ethics mostly says that no harm should be done to anything created by the universe by her words or actions.
So what, according to you, can be the ethically sourced gemstones for wholesale jewelry manufacturing business!
What Are Ethically Sourced Gemstones?
Ethically sourced gemstones for wholesale jewelry business consists of gems that, when mined or extracted, does not damage the environment or the people involved in the whole process in any manner. Also, it should not damage the flora and fauna of the locality to irreparable levels. The profits made from selling these gems should not fund war, terrorism, political unrest, or any other malign activity. The workers down the line should get a fair living wage. And last but certainly not least, the mining practices should adhere to the local mining laws.
Usually, ethically sourced gemstones are perceived by many as the gemstone that, when mined, doesn't damage the environment while neglecting the other essential aspects. People mostly miss out on the social impact and damage that gemstone sourcing does.
But after knowing all this, can you really guess how many hands the mined raw rock passes through to reach the gemstone jewelry manufacturer. How opaque or transparent the supply chain is! What all happens to the people and resources in the whole process!
Gem extraction supply chain, from mines to manufacturers
Let's discuss the supply chain from mines to a gemstone jewelry manufacturer to get the proper knowledge.
Mines – Brokers – Local markets – Manufacturing Units
To explain it further and see who all is involved, I'll discuss each step individually.
'The minerals that transform into the semi-precious gemstones are sourced not only from Earth, but they also come from the depths of oceans. For some others, certain living creatures sacrifice their lives. However, I'll here talk mostly about the ones that are mined from the Earth.'
It all starts from the mines where there is an abundance of the desired mineral. Here, the miners go deep into the womb of Earth. These people risk their lives while diving deep, where mostly there are adverse working conditions like extreme heat and pressure. There are many incidences where many of them lost their lives because of a lack of proper safety measures. When these mines are dug, they create a risk of dumping the Earth by making it hollow.
These minerals in their most raw form then reach the brokers, who purchase them from the miners. Sometimes the prices that have been decided upon are not fair on the miners' part, and sometimes it's the brokers who have to bargain. This makes it difficult for the one who gets unfair pay to work honestly and with dedication.
After purchasing the rocks, the brokers sell them in the local markets at the prices thus decided. It is the implicit responsibility of the brokers to disclose honestly all aspects related to the rocks. However, sometimes they deceive the local people by providing fake information. These people then have to bear the losses themselves. They further cheat the participants down the line to save them, which brings malice in the process that produces ethically sourced gemstones.
The last step for the rocks and minerals to begin their journey towards becoming a beautiful jewel is reaching the gemstone jewelry manufacturer. From here, the work of bringing their innate characteristics to the surface starts. Here, the rough rocks will be treated and polished and turned into gems. There are a lot of people involved here for cutting, polishing, and other treatments. A silver jewelry manufacturer's responsibility is to provide the minimum living wage to each one of them. Also, she should be careful about producing minimum toxic waste during the complete jewelry making process.
These are the four steps that form the supply chain of raw mineral rocks from mines to manufacturers and the challenges and reality that each level bears. The damage to the wellbeing of the people involved or the environment will be responsible for the process that doesn't produce ethically sourced gemstones for your wholesale jewelry business.
Problems that denies ethically sourced gemstones for wholesale business
You know the people involved so far, now I'll tell you the problems they face at various levels. As the wholesale silver jewelry manufacturer and supplier , we'll also see what you can do to make the situation better. This is not only for the people but for nature and the whole ecosystem that supports our existence.
The first responsibility I believe is towards the environment and nature. Whatever are the harmful effects of mining should be taken into consideration. These include the following:
- Destroying crops and vegetation
- Degrading the soil quality and making it unfertile
- Polluting the underground water sources
- Loss of flora and fauna by degrading the whole ecosystem
- Making the land hollow, thus making it unfavorable for any kind of construction
These are the inevitable repercussions of mining, but you can attempt to ask for compensation for the affected people. This can be done by providing another piece of land to grow their crops, give an alternative clean water source for their survival, and acceptable living conditions.
Apart from that, these workers and artisans work in congested facilities with no or significantly less ventilation. The cutting and polishing of these gems produce fine microscopic dust, which, when inhaled, damages the lungs. The result in an untimely death! They need proper safety gear to avoid damage.
Also, the jewelry making process involves the use of some toxic chemicals. When workers use them carelessly, they put themselves at the risk of irreparable physical losses. They must have proper knowledge and education to avoid this.
Honestly, these things cannot be avoided but can be minimized through proper preventive and recovery measures.
Role of wholesale gemstone jewelry supplier and manufacturers in the ethical sourcing of gemstones
A gemstone jewelry manufacturer cannot do much about the mining part because their work starts after the rock is extracted. But the one thing that they can do is ask questions! Never forget to ask your supplier about the mining conditions that prevail at the extraction site. Ask as many questions as are required to satisfy you. Be sure that the people working their sweat and blood are getting what they deserve, and there is no child labor. If possible, arrange education sessions for the jewelry workers to make them aware and save them from losses.
Be sure about all the other things you think are necessary to have ethically sourced gemstones for your wholesale jewelry manufacturing business. Apart from the damage to mankind, you should also be well informed about the damage caused to the environment and the recovery measures thus taken. And if possible, also inquire about how the money earned in the process is being used!
Suppose you think that you cannot fulfill the requirements of ethically sourced gemstones despite being extremely careful. In that case, you can consider recycling the products. This will be beneficial in three ways:
- Reduced waste
- Reduced mining practices
- Reduced social and ethical guilt
The overall impact of mining or rock extraction on the biodiversity, in fact, on the whole ecosystem is not very positive, and honestly, it cannot be. The only thing that we have to look for is which method does the least damage.
Once everyone will be well aware of the damage that the whole process causes and everyone will be willing to contribute, the world will become a better place to live in.
The ideal thoughts that never work!
To be honest, initially, I thought of talking about the best practices used in the extraction of ethically sourced gemstones that don't cause any damage at all. Then reality struck, and I realized who I am fooling! You or myself! Seriously! So I made peace with the fact that if gem-quality rocks need to be extracted, then people, animals, and the whole ecosystem of the area have to sacrifice. So, rather than trying to convince me (and you) on alleviating the destructive consequences of rock extraction altogether, I looked from a different perspective. This poked me to explore the significant impacts made when the existing approach is tweaked.
This is done mostly on the part of people physically involved, the wholesale gemstone jewelry supplier and manufacturers, and people working in the backline.
So, let's do whatever we can on our individual part to save the Earth and leave it as a better place to live. We want it to have better resources and even more beautiful minerals for our predecessors to make better jewelry! And let's save ourselves from the guilt of damaging and taking advantage of the natural resources in the name of fashion and trends!!!
Rananjay Exports' contribution towards saving the Earth
I'd like to inform you about what Rananjay Exports , the wholesale gemstone jewelry supplier and manufacturer, is doing on its part to ensure the possession of ethically sourced gemstones for its wholesale jewelry business.
Yes, we do everything we can to ensure that the gemstones we will use to create our wholesale sterling silver gemstone jewelry are ethically sourced. Trust me, this is tough!
Sometimes when we don't get the desired or satisfactory answers, we even have to let down some suppliers. Finding the most authentic gemstones that are also ethically sourced is a tricky thing. But we are ready to bear all the pain to maintain the trust of our clients.
Because you matter to us, and more than that, the mother earth and the whole ecosystem.