Tag Archives: fair trade

Turns out The Body Shop is pretty awesome.

warming-mineral-mask_lI get asked a lot about what moisturizers and creams I use (since cosmetics are not regulated and there are all sorts of horrible chemicals in most of the things you can buy at CVS).

Turns out The Body Shop is a great option. It’s similar to a Patagonia because it was started to improve society &  the planet. I associated it as a bit old school, but really it’s kind of a secret gem. They’ve been 100% anti animal testing from their first day in business (!), every product is certified Cruelty-Free, and they’re also one of the first big brands to be as Fair Trade as they possibly can be. Fair Trade as a seal is just getting into cosmetics and Body Shop is helping them expand. They currently source FT Shea (which is a hugely controversial ingredient – there is conflict Shea butter, I know, wild), Tea Tree, Honey, Hemp, and Aloe. They do a ton with employee volunteerism, have their own foundation, encourage female self esteem (not with makeup, with health), focus on domestic violence, work with a lot of local community groups, are replacing store lighting with LEDs, installed solar on their HQ and other buildings, and have a huge focus on ethical suppliers (which is totally awesome, a lot of companies stop at their own operations and then say they have no control over what suppliers do).

I use the warming mineral mask (because who can afford regular facials) and I really like it. It definitely pulls out the gunk and I break out for about a day after using it (similar to with a facial) but then my skin feels so clean, smooth, and even tighter. Worth a try if you’re into that.

My other favorite brand is Yes To (Carrots, Blueberries, Cucumbers). It’s strong environmentally and health-wise they don’t put any chemical crap in their products. Good Guide rates them as a 6/10 mostly because their social programs aren’t super transparent. I really like how the Carrots Repairing Night Cream feels on my face, and you can get it at Target which helps. I didn’t love the cucumber moisturizer (smelled really fragrant and went on sticky), and the blueberry I like only in the eye cream.

I also use the derma E day cream (with SPF) and I really like it- not greasy and perfect for every day. They sell it at Whole Foods (it’s expensive I think $25 for a little tub), and Good Guide rates it a 7.4.

To healthy faces, healthy society, and a healthy planet!
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San Francisco is the coolest.

In addition to municipal composting, vegan options on many a menu, and bike lanes gallore, SF is home to incredible for-good start-ups like Bicycle Coffee Co. They not only serve delicious organic, hand picked (more sustainable than machine ruined), fair-trade coffee from farmers they have met and visited, BCC also only delivers this coffee to grocery stores and retailers by bike! And, because of their super low-overhead / efficient business model, the prices of their coffee bags are the same as the non-organics sitting next to them. Woah, serious changemaker on our hands here.

This is pretty much my dream, and I continue to allow SF to inspire me to find my for-good venture.

If you live in the bay area, consider switching out your regular cup of joe and instantly make a difference. What a wonderful world we live in, where drinking a cup of coffee can truly make change; in the lives of the Central American farmers, in the air as no-CO2 is added, and as a vote towards making all coffee organic, fair-trade, and sustainable.

A different sustainability: One Mango Tree products

Sustainability is more than one thing: it’s business, it’s environmental protection, it’s social wellbeing, it’s providing for our generation and the future needs of others (yep Brundtland Commission nod), and it’s about empowerment. I came across One Mango Tree, a shop where you can buy fair trade, organic, female made, and beautiful yoga bags, purses, and women’s clothing. OMT gives women in extremely poor and conflict-ridden communities a way to make money, take care of themselves and their families, feel liberated from their daily horrors, and make products they are proud of that don’t do any environmental harm. To me, that’s sustainability in action.

I just bought a yoga mat carrier (for only $10 with free shipping!), and I love it. It came with a card so I can see the woman who designed and made my bag, and learn more about their 100% organic and fair trade policies. In 2012 I’m going to focus on shifting my clothing purchases to better buys (this is the hardest area for me to go eco in, more on that later). With my OMT bag, I am off to a great start.

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