Natural beauty is often locally made in small batches with sustainability and the environment in mind. The money that goes back to these companies in product sales can enhance local communities, support fair trade practices and organic growers in developing countries around the world – call it more conscious consumerism. Wild harvesting also means the living plant is maintained and not destroyed – if the whole plant must be harvested, seeds are to be left in its place and only select harvesting is allowed to ensure enough plants remain to maintain the growth and the habitat.
Meet three women at the helm of natural skincare and haircare companies that have put ingredient sourcing at the heart of their initiatives.
Anna Ayers | Rahua Seed Oil sourcing in the Amazon – co-founder of Rahua
Rahua Haircare was inspired by women from the Quechua-Shuar tribes who use a highly potent, restorative oil called Rahua (pronounced ra-wa) – believed to be the secret to their thick, lustrously shiny hair. Sourced and processed by Amazonian native women and men in accordance with the traditional methods and rituals that have been passed down for generations, Anna Ayers alongside her husband and Rahua co-founder Fabian Lliguin, dedicates herself to the preservation of the Amazon rainforest and the people that live there.
The Rahua seeds, or nuts, grow on trees in Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia and all over the Amazon rainforest. Anecdotally, Anna shared with us that the Rahua trees struggle to grow in populated areas, in a way refusing to be present in a potentially polluting environment. The healthiest and highest yield producing trees reside in the most remote areas. While harvested by hand by men of nearby villages, ancestral Rahua practice requires that only women prepare the oil. The nuts are cooked in large pots, sometimes for as long as one month, gradually producing this precious ingredient found in every Rahua product. Our pick from the range? Try the Defining Hair Spray.
Katharine L’Heureux | Argan Oil Production in Morocco – founder of Kahina Giving Beauty
Kahina Giving Beauty embodies founder and CEO Katharine L’Heureux and her dedication to exceptional skin and body products that elevate the people and cultures behind the ingredients, protect the environment and give back. Introduced to argan oil during a 2007 trip to Morocco, Katharine was impressed by its performance and moved by its unique story.
Katherine works with suppliers and local social activists to identify the most urgent needs of the women within the Moroccan argan cooperatives in order to give back in a way that directly improves their lives and communities. She frequently visits the Moroccan argan cooperatives from which the oil is sourced to ensure the fair and proper treatment of the Berber women who extract it.
Each product is thoughtfully produced, from sustainable sourcing, to green formulations and environmentally-responsible packaging. Katharine also serves on the Advisory Board of the High Atlas Foundation, an organisation that works to catalyse grassroots development in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in Morocco. Our pick from the range? Try the Antioxidant Mask.
Amanda Saurin | Rose Oil Production in Sussex – founder of AS Apothecary Skincare
Home to a small batch distillery, AS Apothecary make natural scents, creams, aromatic waters and balms from flowers, bark, leaves, roots, blossom and moss grown and harvested wild in the fields, mountains and gardens in Sussex, Cyprus and Scotland. Founder Amanda Saurin brings with her a background in homeopathy, and as you might imagine, decades of experience gardening in England.
All roses in AS products, like their #5 Cleansing Oil, are sourced from their very own gardens. Flowers are picked in June and set out on greaseproof paper in their facilities to dry. The roses are turned daily by hand, to give you an idea of the attention and care given to these ingredients. When ready to distill, fresh rose petals are mixed in with their dry counterparts. And that’s it! Nothing else is added but the water to allow the essential oil creation process to occur. You can’t get much much more sustainable than grown, harvest and distilled onsite where the products are made. Our pick from the range? Try the Geranium Cleansing Water.
Header Image: AS Apothecary
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