Magic mirror on the wall, who is the Fairest...?
Fairtrade Foundation launches new label for beauty products
Sarah Irving was at the launch of the Fairtrade Foundation's new label for beauty products. She is a freelance writer specialising in social and environmental issues.
On 24th June the Fairtrade Foundation launched its new label for beauty products. The range of inaugural products come from Neal's Yard Remedies, Visionary Soap Co, Lush, Essential Care, Boots Extracts and Bubble & Balm, a new bath and body products company started specifically to offer Fairtrade toiletries.
Although many ethical beauty manufacturers – including Visionary Soap Co – have long used fairly-traded products such as Palestinian olive oil, they haven't been able to used the widely-recognised Fairtrade mark on their packaging.
Fairtrade Foundation rules mean that composite products with Fairtrade ingredients can only use the mark if a specific scheme is in place. So cereal bars or cakes with Fairtrade ingredients have long borne Fairtrade labels, but beauty products haven't been able to.
The new label changes this, with products at the launch containing Fairtrade certified ingredients including rooibos from South Africa, vanilla from Kerala, brazil nut oil from the Amazon, honey from Colombia and cocoa from the Dominican Republic.
And with 70% of the British public recognising the Fairtrade brand, Fairtrade sales continuing to rise despite the recession, and downturn-driven cuts in concessionary spending making it even more important for brands to stand out from their competitors, having such a high-profile label has to be a good marketing move.
Tomy Matthews of the Fair Trade Alliance Kerala, members of which supply fairly traded turmeric and cinnamon for Visionary Soaps' products, Fairtrade beauty certification is a logical step in the ethics of the beauty industry.
“For years we've had the campaign against cruelty to animals,” he said. “Now this is the move on to being against cruelty to people.”
For more information, see the Fairtrade Foundation's dedicated website at: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/beauty