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…
We’re a partner of the Global Shea Alliance
Who are they?
The Global Shea Alliance are an organisation whose mission is to drive a sustainable shea industry that supports and improves the livelihoods of rural African women and their communities. An estimated 600,000 women in Northern Ghana rely on the shea industry as a major source of income – which is where our GSA journey begins.
How are we supporting them?
We officially became a sustainability partner in July 2019 as we began supporting a cooperative of 800 female shea pickers in the North Gonja District, Ghana. So far, we’ve helped provide the women with training in Business and Cooperative Development and Health & Safety to help build leadership skills, work more efficiently and generate more income. We also commissioned and built a warehouse for storing shea kernels, allowing pickers to directly trade with large companies, selling their shea in larger batches at better prices. 2020 will be the first harvest to use the warehouse.
Resurrection Plant (Myrothamnus flabellifolia)
Our supplier has worked with the communities who harvest the Resurrection plant – found in our CICA Restore Skin Paste – in this location in Southern Africa since 2010. Harvesters are specially trained in low impact cutting techniques, taking small sprigs from the base of the shrub and leaving lateral and apical buds untouched. This ensures the bushes can continue to grown unharmed.
Our supplier is a member of the Union for Ethical Biotrade, a group with exceptionally high standards for ensuring that ingredients are sourced with respect, for both people and ecosystems across the world.
*Photo source: Bio-Innovation Zimbabwe (BIZ)
Wild harvesting is especially favourable to women providing a flexible income earning opportunity that can fit around family commitments and does not require any capital investment.
*Photo source: Bio-Innovation Zimbabwe (BIZ)
Baobab Fruit (Adansonia digitata)
Our nutrient-rich baobab fruit – a key ingredient in Brightening Botanical Drops – is sustainably wild-harvested in partnership with organically certified rural producers from the Kaza National Reserve, Southern Africa. Predominantly harvested in the dry lowlands of Zimbabwe, the fruits remain on the tree until fully ripe and are only collected by hand after they have fallen naturally.
This ethical and sustainable way of harvesting helps generate crucial income for rural communities. Harvesters also receive free baobab tree seedlings to plant and nurture to maturity. This investment for future generations helps ensure the protection of this iconic African tree.
Baobab fruit is unique in that it contains a powder which is shipped to the UK where the potent botanical actives are gently extracted and micro-filtrated to produce the precious extract used in our Brightening Botanical Drops.
Borage Seed Oil (Borago officinalis)
We work with experienced farmers in Essex, UK, because we know they produce borage that has a consistent GLA level of 20% (that’s a potent skin-soothing antioxidant). GLA-rich oil is pressed from the shiny, dark brown seeds of the bright blue flower.
Borage is also a favourite with bees. By keeping beehives, farmers have nature’s best pollinators at work, while also supporting the British bee population. Win win!
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.
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.
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