Fair Trade Beauty From Ghana & South Africa
October is National Fair Trade Month, and it’s the perfect time to raise awareness about this movement in our global economy, spread the word about who and where our beauty products come from, and also encourage consumers to buy from businesses that are committed to fair trade.
From radiance-inducing face oils handcrafted by Peruvian artisans to microbiome-restoring elixirs formulated with the help of female cooperatives in Ghana, Beautyologie puts humanity at the forefront of the beauty industry. Without the hard work of the ingredient producers from developing countries, your body cream or face serum would not be possible.
Ethically sourced and fair trade certified beauty products from around the globe deserve their time in the spotlight, and this week we are featuring Fair Trade Beauty brands from Africa.
Shea Yeleen shea butter products are formulated with raw shea butter produced by a cooperative of 800+ women in Ghana, and the company pays these women five times the countries' living wage, which empowers them to provide for the families in a dignified manner. Says Rahama Wright, founder of Shea Yeleen, “You cannot get shea butter without an African woman being impacted by the supply chain.
The women supplying her brand can make 2,700%-plus more money than typical of the shea butter trade in Africa. Rahana wants to change the way people think about this product and the lack of visibility for women producers, and encourage them to have a much deeper connection to the continent of Africa and the women there.
True Moringa is a beauty and wellness company that creates products formulated with the powerful moringa tree. The company works directly with a network of 5000 smallholder farmers throughout Ghana and to date, has planted over two million moringa trees, providing sustainable livelihoods through access to credit, agricultural training, nutrition programs, and fair wages. Thanks to True Moringa, farmer incomes have increased 4-10x.
Djimatey Koryo, a proud True Moringa farmer and helms from Brepaw Agbom, a small village near Asesewa in the upper Manya Krobo district of the eastern region of Ghana. “Even though many people were skeptical about growing moringa in my community, my husband and I did not hesitate at all. Our only limiting factor was accessibility to land. As a result our initial half an acre farm planted in 2017 was expanded in another community called Apaah Brefo after our first harvest where land was available. I manage the initial half an acre we planted while my husband manages the expanded 1.5 acre in Apaah Brefo.True Moringa has been very consistent in buying our seeds no matter the quantity. It was such a relief when a True Moringa field agent called to remind me to clean my seeds in anticipation of a purchase in 2020. Coronavirus had halted my petty trade business and without these moringa Trees, life would have been tough for us. My entire family is really grateful to True Moringa for coming through when we needed them the most. I have already begun harvesting again for this year, and I am really pleased with the yields. Thank you True Moringa for the opportunity.”
Meet Kate Ampomah. “My name is Kate Ampomah and I'm a 69 year old widow with seven kids. I'm also a moringa farmer who lives in a small community called Abotanso No. 3 in the Afram Plains North District of the Eastern region. Before joining the True Moringa team in February 2019 as a contracted farmer, I was previously involved in petty trading.
I can personally testify that the Moringa plant is much more beneficial to me than any other tree crop I have worked on. I was initially discouraged as a result of some disappointments farmers in this area have experienced by planting some tree crops that they were unable to sell because the buyers were unavailable but I persevered and with assurances from field officer in this area, I was able to harvest and sell seeds last year and I have already started harvesting seeds for this year.
Last year after planting maize which is the most cultivated crop in this area, rainfall wasn't consistent and this affected the maize crops resulting in loss of investment. Luckily for me, I had some moringa seeds which cushioned my loss. I am a member of a VSLA group called Nyamebekyere Moringa Group Association and I hope to make some money to undertake some projects including supporting my son to marry a lady he has been with for the past seven years.
For this upcoming planting season, extension of my farm is a must for me since now I know the benefits of moringa farming and I also have assurance for a ready market. I would like to thank True Moringa for introducing us to this crop and setting up a VSLA group in our community.”
Terres D’Afrique is a certified organic and fair trade brand that belongs to the Southern African Natural Products Trade Association. Ethically sourced rare African botanicals make up much of the brand’s elements. Terres D’Afrique, which translates to “earth of Africa” is pure luxury unisex skincare with a special focus on both science and nature. Among their efficacious African sourced ingredients, special attention is given to Baobab, Marula and Kigelia.
Because clean formulations and sustainable packaging are just not enough for them, fair trade practices are at the core of Terres D’Afrique’s business ethics. Smallholder farmers live at the frontline of the climate crisis. Today over 12 million people have experienced poverty as a result of climate change. 100 millions will be below the poverty line by 2030.
By establishing long-lasting equitable relationships with local producers and purchasing these African botanicals at a fair price, Terres D’ Afrique helps empower women in rural Africa, like Khelina Magagula, a Marula harvester. A divorcee with 7 children who lives in the Hlane area, when Khelina began working as a supplier of marula kernels, she was afforded enough income to buy maize meal, laundry soap, sugar, salt and pay school fees for her grandchildren. “Because o all the things I have learned selling Marula Kernals, I now think of myself as a business woman. Thanks to the work that Annah, a Baobab producer for Terres D’Afrique, has been able to accomplish harvesting Baobab seeds for their products has empowered her with the finances to take care of her family and build a new house for herself, and also her son.