Beauty Brands to Support on World Fair Trade Day, and Every Day
As we celebrate World Fair Trade Day, we want to shine a light on beauty manufacturers at the heart of the fair trade movement and the positive global effects they put in motion through their choices and efforts. Fair trade helps set standards for living wages and facilitates safe working conditions for employees around the world. Providing a framework for global manufacturers makes things better across the board for buyers, farmers, workers, and entire communities.
The movement also helps consumers make ethical choices when it comes to the products they purchase. Fair trade bridges the gap between the folks who grow and produce the products with end-users all over the world.
The decisions we make when shopping can mean the difference between workers going hungry after a day’s work or having enough financial stability to afford life’s essentials like food, education, and healthcare. Here’s a list of some of our favorite fair trade, sustainably produced beauty products.
This exotic floral scented deodorant formulated with Mayan Black salt - which is known for eliminating odor-causing bacteria - draws out impurities and helps restore balance to your skin. Based in Guatemala, Lucy Ashman’s Tierra & Lava grows many of the brand’s ingredients in her own organic garden, while sourcing others from local farmers. This beautiful collection of Aztec-infused products proudly sticks to whole, unadulterated ingredients, following an ethical, transparent business model.
This dense body balm enriched with 95% unrefined shea butter, lavender and honeysuckle essential oils, moisturizes and protects the skin from daily elements leaving your skin healthy, smooth, and beautiful with a hint of natural fragrance. Excellent for dry skin, especially elbows, knees, feet and hands. Through the efforts of Rahama Wright, social entrepreneur and founder of Shea Yeleen, the creation of these products supply a safe working environment for more than 800 women in West Africa. The line is hand-crafted in small batches and the company ensures paying 5x the country’s living wages to their female Ghanaian producers.
A rejuvenating blend of Argan, Camellia, Castor Oil and other highly effective botanical oils, this multi-purpose oil treatment from Silktage nourishes, repairs and soothes the scalp and hair to relieve dryness, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, as well as strengthen roots, follicles and stimulate hair growth. Founder Robin Emtage was inspired by her Caribbean-Asian grandmother who created health and beauty remedies from botanicals that grew around her. She saw an opportunity to draw from ancient wisdom and create natural alternatives that would improve the health of hair and skin without the use of chemicals. Many of the oils used in her formulations are sourced directly from fair trade farms around the globe.
Did you know that in order to produce 1 liter of this all natural age-defying oil, it takes 1.5 tons of fruit to procure 50kg of seeds. It then takes over thirty-eight hours to process, making prickly pear oil one of the rarest and most sought-after oils in the world. Hand-sourced from a small fair trade women's co-operative in southern Morocco, Some Moroccan pays the women who produce the raw ingredients a fair wage, helping them to become self-sustainable. Lastly, they help less-fortunate Moroccan children attend school by donating 5% of every bottle sold to the Morocco Foundation.
With hints of vanilla, bergamot, frankincense, blue tansy, and helichrysum, this Blue Tansy Facial Oil form AYR is rich in vitamins A, K, and E, helping smooth your skin’s texture and support its natural elasticity. A blend of Fair Trade oils Moringa, Baobab, and sustainable prickly pear, this oil infuses the skin with moisture, vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants. Founder Kirsten Thomas owns and operates AYR with her daughter Fiona. Each one of the products was developed with no corners cut to save cost, no inexpensive fillers to water them down, and only the most effective active ingredients to create products that work and support healthy, age-defying skin.
Delight in this natural, oil-based mud mask that deep cleans while extracting heavy metals and toxins from Terres D’Afrique. Moisturizing oil prevents the clay from drying while soothing and hydrating the skin. Made using ethically sourced, certified organic oils in Africa, the company donates 1% of all sales to the Baobab Foundation to build a pre-school in Dambale Village, South Africa. Born and raised in Madagascar, the founder, Dr. Stephan Helary has devoted much of his time to economic development projects across Africa. His current focus encompasses ethnobotany and the biochemistry of indigenous botanicals, as well as their uses in local communities.
This soap from 700 Rivers - a global, ethical and sustainable lifestyle brand - is scented with orange oil (a relaxant that can ease or calm anxiety). Mixed with the lovely aromatic scent of clove oil, this bar has cleansing, antibacterial effects to produce a warm, moisturizing and cleansing experience. 700 Rivers products are handcrafted by Bangladeshi artisans who have escaped human trafficking. Through brand owner Cathy Gomes’ efforts, these women are now guaranteed fair, living wages, a safe work environment and are treated with dignity and respect.
A truly special product from the Amazon based on the traditional knowledge of its people, Copaiba is a powerful anti-inflammatory used to treat a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema, acne and wrinkles. Candela sources wild-harvested Copaiba in the Peruvian Amazon with sustainable methods (i.e. non-destructively tapped, living trees like Maple Syrup). Candela is a provider of natural products and ingredients from South America and is committed to serving the forests of the Amazon and the highlands of the Andes while ensuring the raw material growers and collectors receive fair income and gratitude for their hard work and expertise.
This extra-strength toner from Odylique is undiluted by water so the skin can benefit fully from their special concentrated distillation rose petal hydrolat fortified with precious rose otto essential oil. Packed with antioxidant polyphenols and phytonutrients, this fragrant tonic is highly effective at uplifting your senses, stimulating cell regeneration and calming redness of the most sensitive skin. Odylique, based in England, was one of the first companies to create certified organic cosmetics and formulates the purest cosmetics possible. They believe strongly in what is fashionably called CSR or ‘corporate social responsibility’. Odylique’s ethical commitments include encouraging organic agriculture, creating healthy skincare without toxic chemicals, as well as trading equitably with Fair Trade certified suppliers.
Refresh, renew, and brighten with this luxurious twist on traditional African black soap. Made with raw shea and moringa oil, True Moringa Magic Black Soap Facial Cleanser effortlessly transforms from a nourishing cream to a gentle exfoliating lather and leaves skin moisturized and glowing. Founders Kwami Williams and Emily Cunningham found themselves working in rural Ghana by different paths in 2013. Emily was studying development economics at Harvard, and was frustrated by the disconnect between the information in her textbooks and realities in the developing world. Born and raised in Ghana, Kwami and immigrated to the US at the age of 8. By 2012, he was living the American Dream having graduated from MIT with a degree in aerospace engineering and starting a career at NASA when a mentor challenged him to return to his native Ghana.
These plastic-free headbands are made from zero waste fabrics sourced in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The pattern pieces for these are relatively small, which allows the brand to use small pieces of discarded fabrics. This results in hundreds of different designs over the years, and sometimes one of a kinds. Original Source and Supply was born from a passion for travel and the discovery of new crafts and cultures. The founder, Martina, worked as a designer for London’s High Street for many years before launching her own business. She cares about conscious sourcing, thoughtful product development and slow fashion. Original Source and Supply believes that fair and responsible trade is the worlds’ duty, and endeavors to always use natural, ethically produced materials, being conscious of the original source.
Written by Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro