Beauty With Ethics
Add some inner beauty to your regimen! Meet six brands that mindfully formulate their products.
From the gathering of ingredients to the pretty packaging you see on our site, our brands take the time (and spend the money!) to ensure their products are ethically sourced and mindfully formulated. Here, we take a peek at their process.
Shea Terra For the past decade, brand founder Tammie Umbell has been on a quest to create a market for natural products from third world countries—and in doing so, help alleviate poverty and preserve diminishing habitats. Tammie searches for unknown ingredients in remote parts of Africa while working closely with cooperatives, scientists, conservationists and non-profits. Not only are these time-tested ingredients skin changing, they are also life-changing, as they bring income and awareness to natives and their environments. Tammie takes regular trips to Africa and aligns herself with groups that truly make a difference. Like the Otuwe Shea Butter Cooperative in Northern Uganda, that gives women—who have escaped from their kidnappers in the rebel army—the chance to earn a livelihood.
Snowberry Each Snowberry product must pass the brand’s own “Goodness Test” before it ever hopes to hit the shelves. This process ensures that every ingredient is completely beneficial to the skin, and that (from the very beginning to the end) no harm has been done to anyone or anything in the process. Brand founder Soraya Henderson admits that this may all seem very obvious, but one the reasons she created Snowberry was she could not find a skincare line that passed her test. The Goodness Test guides how the brand selects the over 180 ingredients they source from all over the globe, all tirelessly tested for both their function and safety.
RMS Beauty While playing around in her chemist friend’s lab, Rose-Marie Swift noticed there was a huge difference between the smells and textures of the organic products she was using for her raw food diet, and the ones used in the cosmetic industry. “They smelled so lifeless,” says Swift. She set out on a mission to understand the processing technique that was zapping the life out of these ingredients by the time they reached the lab. And she’s been on a mission ever since. She sources and purchases every ingredient used in her formulas (not a common practice in the beauty industry), resulting in products where you can taste, smell and feel the difference.
Kahina Giving Beauty Brand founder Katharine L’Heureux personally sources the argan oil at the heart of her line, paying frequent visits to the womens’ cooperatives in Morocco to ensure she receives the highest quality oil and that a fair wage is received for the women who extract it. On her most recent trip, she joined forces with a cooperative run by a woman named Nadia. Nadia prides herself on the superior quality argan oil—with all fair trade and organic certification—her cooperative produces (and our glowing after-argan skin is a testament to her stellar work!). Besides the economic benefits Nadia’s group receives from the trade, Kahina contributes a percentage of their profits to help the 50 women receive healthcare.
A Perfume Organic A Perfume Organic works with local American distillers to receive fresh, pure and unique ingredients for their 100 percent organic fragrance brand. “We believe supporting local distillers who use organically grown plants helps support and stimulate the American agricultural movement,” says founder Amanda Walker. The paper box packaging is made from 100 percent post consumer waste, printed with soy ink, and embedded with flower seeds with the idea that the consumer can re-grow the flowers used to create their perfumes. “We love the idea of a cradle-to-cradle product life cycle,” says Walker.
One Love Organics One Love’s products are handmade in small batches each week by cosmetic artisans. “We are trained to detect the freshness of each ingredient so we can be sure every one is perfect and that each batch is as high quality as the last,” says founder Suzanne LeRoux. They buy from farmers directly when possible, and work with a small group of suppliers who maintain the brand’s very high standards.