New brands adopt Fairtrade beauty standard

Number of licensees climbs from five to 12

Although it has existed for little over a year, several personal care start-ups have adopted Fairtrade Foundation’s beauty standard to prove their ethical values. The standard, which launched in June 2009 with five companies offering Fairtrade personal care products, now has 12 fully certified licensees in the cosmetics sector.

Taking part in Fairtrade’s annual press day was new launch Absolute Skincare, the first spa brand to achieve certification. Absolute’s Fairtrade Sugar Polish – which comes in Frangipani Absolute; Coconut; Orange, Green Mandarin & Lime; and Sandalwood and Mexican Line versions – is made using sugar grown by a Fairtrade project in Malawi, while the brand’s three Organic Shea Butter products contain Fairtrade shea butter from Ghana. In addition, £5 from every Shea Butter Collection pack sold and 10% of the profits from each polish go to Malaria No More UK to help prevent malaria in countries including Ghana. According to founder Sue Jessop, the brand is now approaching retail partners.

Another first was Organic Monkey, which launched six months ago and which is currently the only personal care brand for babies to bear the Fairtrade logo. Organic Monkey’s product line-up includes Bumfluff Nappy Balm and Hello Mellow Organic Body Massage Oil, both of which are available in unscented versions, as well as Cheeky Monkey Organic Cheek Rub for Teething, Rock the Cradle Organic Cradle Cap Oil and Belly Better Organic Tummy Oil.

Organic Monkey sources its Fairtrade shea butter from Aköma International, a Derby-based company that works with a cooperative in Ghana and which sells its shea butter wholesale as well as in finished products.

A trailblazer for Fairtrade start-ups is Bubble & Balm, a 100% Fairtrade body care company that launched at the same time as the standard and which has just begun retailing in 57 Waitrose supermarket stores across the UK. Founder Sue Acton added that next year could see the brand create a line of hand lotions to accompany its recently launched liquid soaps.

According to the Fairtrade Foundation, this list will grow, as a number of other companies will be certified shortly.

Companies