Women carrying sacks

Community Stories

Where we can, we work closely with ingredient growers and farmers, not only to ensure the quality of our ingredients but also to care for the environment, fair working conditions and incomes for communities. Take a look at some of the communities we are helping make a difference to below…

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Coconut Oil (Coco nucifera)

Renowned for its moisturising and smoothing properties, we source the coconut oil for our Botanical Shine™ Nourishing Hair Oil from the Kenyan coast, where the unrefined, high-quality oil is cold-pressed from the flesh of a mixture of wild-harvested and plantation-grown coconuts using a sustainable direct micro expelling process, within an hour of the coconut being opened.

Bunch of coconuts

Our supplier’s mission is to empower the local people by capitalising on the natural resources of rural coastal Kenya by enabling their employees to produce a product with both local and international value.

Since 2005, our suppliers have been working with a team of 20 locals and buying from more than 50 farmers along the coast of Kenya. Collectively, this means that around 500 people are positively impacted by this project as on average, seven people are supported by each worker or farmer.

Kalahari Melon Oil (Citrullus lanatus)

A wild-growing native of Southern Africa, the Kalahari melon is prized for its high water content.

It is said that the Bushmen in the Kalahari can live for months with no sources of water other than this wild melon – water can make up as much as 90% of its weight. We use Kalahari melon seed oil as a vital ingredient in our Botanical Shine™ Nourishing Hair Oil and Botanical Shine™ Conditioners. The high levels of Omega-6 the oil contains help moisturise and soften, something the people of Southern Africa have known for years – they have a long history of applying it to both skin and hair.

As they grow happily in vast numbers in the wild, Kalahari melons are well adapted to poor soils and drought, and so are well integrated into ecosystems of Southern Africa, without needing huge amounts of water or fertilizer to grow successfully. They are also easily cultivated by farmers, who grow and harvest the fruit before crushing it when ripe to manually extract the seed. The oil is then mechanically extracted from the seed and purified before use. This is a low-impact process which has a benefit to the local economy.

*Photo source: PhytoTrade Africa

The seed oil used in our hair products is sourced from a cooperative in Namibia which is helping over 5000 women to increase their income, enabling them to improve their standards of living and send their children to school – something that wasn’t financially possible for them before.

*Photo source: CRIAA SA-DC

Cotton (Gossypium herbaceum)

We source our cotton from India, where it's woven and sewn into our cloths at a family mill founded in the 1980s, which is now run by two sisters. The mill provides free accommodation or free transport for all staff, a subsidised canteen, free medical support and a childcare facility.

The mill uses green energy, with two wind turbines generating 50% of its power requirement. Throughout the mill, large boilers are run on waste coconut husks, and the extra steam generated from this is used to run the on-site kitchens.

In addition, it operates a zero liquid discharge in all processing. Effluent is recycled through a 4 stage reverse osmosis process, meaning 95% of the water is re-used while only 5% evaporates.

Kigelia Extract (Kigelia africana)

The Malawian forest is unfortunately rapidly disappearing from the eyes of the tribes and villages that live in and around it, as it is being cut down to make way for agriculture. The area that our kigelia comes from is the home of the Ngoni and Chewa tribes. Each village is made up of between 50 to 150 households, with between five and six people in a household.

Used for its skin-toning properties, we source our Kigelia from an ethical biotrade company called TreeCrops in Malawi. Here, the fruit is macerated and air dried to get the pulp – the product from which our liquid extract is produced.

To establish standards of good practice and quality, TreeCrops train their collectors – showing them the correct way to pick fruit, and educate the local people about their indigenous flora – helping to prevent damage to the kigelia trees and wider biodiversity of the forest.

When a community commits land to TreeCrops, a benefit sharing scheme and a community body are set up to determine how the community’s income is spent. Each collector receives the agreed price for the collected fruit, and TreeCrops pays an additional premium to the collector’s community as an incentive for the wider community to join into the conservation program under TreeCrops. Each individual community derives wealth as a unit, which they use to benefit the whole area, often through the repair of borehole pumps that provide safe water, as well as roofs for schools and bicycle ambulances.