Fair Trade Beauty Brands Helping Those In Need

These Fair Trade beauty brands not only work a treat on your hair and skin, but also give back, big time!

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

We’ve all heard of ethical fashion brands that help people, right? Either they’re women supporting women, or businesses that are reviving and maintaining artisanal fashion techniques and styles. But did you know there are also Fair Trade beauty brands helping those in need, too?

The Body Shop was one of the first beauty brands to use Fair Trade. They showed us that using Fair Trade Brazil or Shea nut oil can help save communities. Especially those of people who live in delicate habitats, such as rain forests. And since then, Fair Trade beauty brands have just grown and grown!

What Is Fair Trade?

For those who still didn’t know, Fair Trade is a social movement that helps workers and small businesses in developing countries achieve better trading conditions. Members of the movement advocate the payment of higher prices to workers, as well as improved social and environmental standards. This form of social sustainability offers better trading conditions to marginalised producers around the world. 

And this is no small thing. Did you know that many ingredients in the most common beauty brands are killing the planet, animals and people? The worst offender, of course, is palm oil. AVOID THAT at all costs if you care even one iota about this planet! But other ingredients, such as cacao butter, mica (used in mineral makeup) and vanilla extract (for fragrance) are often harvested by child labourers, in dangerous conditions. Want to know more? Click here.

Luckily, there are plenty of Fair Trade Beauty Brands around today. These are not only protecting the planet, but are also giving something positive back to the communities that help make their products. Here’s our list of some of the best Fair Trade beauty brands helping those in need.

FairTrade Beauty Brands Helping Those In Need

1. Kahina Giving Beauty

This is one of the poshest Fair Trade beauty brands! Rich eye creams, lusciously scented rose soaps and highly effective facial serums are but a few of the luxury beauty products made by this brand. Kahina is fully dedicated to helping the Berber women of North Africa.

These women help source the argan, prickly pear seed and rose oils used in many of their products. Most of these women cannot read nor write, so they proudly use illustrative symbols to mark their identity on the packaging of the products they make.

How they help: Beyond helping women earn a fair wage in Morocco, Kahina also gives back by planting trees. They’ve planted 12,000 so far! They do so in partnership with the High Atlas Foundation to elevate rural Moroccans beyond subsistence level farming.

They’ve also done much more good! Such as:

  • donating 84 pairs of winter boots donated to the children of the village of Ait Goh
  • providing free healthcare for 25 women of a cooperative outside of Agadir in southwest Morocco
  • giving free room and board for 15 girls so they continue their education beyond the third grade
  • and much more!

Based: Worldwide

Best for: Oils and serums

Price: Average is around $60

Kahina Giving Beauty

2. Conscious Coconut

This is one of the simplest Fair Trade beauty brands. Their organic coconut oil is specially formulated to hydrate skin. It may seem like a really basic product, so you may be wondering: why would I buy this, instead of just hitting the grocery store? And the answer is:their ethics. Conscious Coconut’s products are as kind to people and the planet as they are to your skin. Oh, and plus, they make really cool body brushing brushes from coconut fibres, too.

How they help: The company works directly with coconut farmers and packaging suppliers in Bali, supporting Fair Trade practices in the process. Conscious Coconut sources their ingredients from the poorest communities in the world to help elevate them out of poverty, and boasts close and personal relationships with everyone connected to the company.

Once their tubes and packages arrive to the USA, they are packaged by adults with developmental disabilities at the Macdonald Training Center in Tampa. And for EVERY product sold, they donate a meal to a child in need through Feeding America. Wow, right?

Based: Worldwide

Best for: Coconut based oils and skincare

Price: From around $20

Fair Trade beauty brands

3. L’Occitane

Who knew this was one of the top Fair Trade beauty brands helping those in need? Not us! But it’s a nice surprise. The French brand’s creams contain rich, certified Fair Trade shea butter. We love their hand creams, which are subtly scented with natural lavender, almond oil, or jasmine and ylang ylang oils.

How they help: L’Occitane has been working with women’s cooperatives in Burkino Faso for decades. When the fair trading partnership began in 1981, just a dozen or so women were making the shea butter, but now around 17,000 women are earning a good living from these cooperatives.

Based: Worldwide

Best for: Hand creams

Price: From around $20


Fair Trade Beauty Brands

4. Mumanu

The name Mumanu was conceived by combining two words: Mum and ‘Anu,’ the Celtic fertility goddess. Unsurprisingly, this brand is all about honouring mothers mainly through its famous pregnancy pillows, but they also create special balms designed specifically for the stretching bellies of mums-to-be.

How they help: By being Soil Association and Fairtrade Foundation certified, the brands ensures no nasty pesticides or damaging farming practises are undertaken in the making of their balms.

Using ingredients from Africa and Asia, they also want to know for sure that the people they buy from are paid well and that their communities get direct benefits. They’re also especially concerned about this because they know full well that the cocoa industry is rife with slavery and they don’t want to be part of that.

Based: UK

Best for: Balms

Price: Around $25


Mumanu organic foot balm


5. Odylique by Essential Care

Odylique is the first UK makeup brand to ever be certified Fairtrade. It was founded more than thirty years ago with the aim of creating mainly products that would help sensitive skin. All their ingredients have therapeutic value, therefore they use actives such as herbs and essential oils, that actively nourish the skin and protect it from premature ageing, it’s true. But the brand has also now extended itself to include a wide range of colour cosmetics, in addition to its skincare ranges.

How they help: This is one of the few beauty brands with Ethical Accreditation, which is quoted as being: “A cross-spectrum (people, animals and environment) accreditation, which exists to reward ethical companies’ behaviour.”

Their membership is audited annually, and companies below the EA benchmark are not allowed to maintain their membership. Their accreditation means you can shop this brand secure in the knowledge that their ethics have been scrutinised by an independent body and proven to offer products that are truly ethical and fair in every way imaginable.

Based: Europe/Worldwide

Best for: Colour cosmetics, skincare for sensitive and acne prone skins

Price: From $15

Fair Trade Beauty Brands

6. Silktage

Moisturisers, serums, and makeup removers can all be based on one key ingredient: botanical oils. And that’s exactly what Silktage specialises in! They create all of their products from Fair Trade sourced oils that have been tried and tested to benefit your beauty routine.

Our pick? Their Pure African Fusion Oil. It combines therapeutic exotic oils, including organic Argan, Baobab, Marula, Moringa and Shea into an exclusive all-in-one miracle treatment serum for skins of all types and ages.

How they help: The brand is proud to support Fair Trade women’s co-ops throughout the world. They also support human rights and are against both the use of child labour and animal testing.

Based: Worldwide

Best for: Beauty oils for all your needs: hair and skin

Price: From $18

Indian castor Oil


7. Amala

Amala is famous for its skincare products that brighten, rejuvenate and firm the skin. They use a global network of certified organic farms to source most ingredients. From seed selection to time-honored distillation techniques, the brand ensures each step of producing their extraordinary products is fully ethical and eco-friendly.

How they help: Amala has earned its Fair Trade certification due to its strong relationships with the farmers who provide their ingredients. They’re also deeply concerned about the environment.

Based: USA

Best for: Skincare products

Price: Average around $45

Fair Trade Beauty Brands

8. Dr Bronner’s

This is one of the best known, and much-loved Fair Trade beauty brands! Dr Bronner’s produces mainly ‘all in one’ pure Castile soaps. These can be used as dish soap, household cleaners, body gels or just plain hand soap. But they’re also recently expanded into shampoos, conditioners, skin creams and even hand sanitisers. All products are 100% organic.

How they help: Since its inception, the brand has been dedicated to its ‘cosmic principles.’ These include treating the Earth like home, treating employees like family, and treating suppliers with respect, amongst others.

Based: USA/Worldwide

Best for: Soaps, of course

Price: Around $14

dr bronner's pure castile soap


9. Acure Organics

Looking for an effective deodorant that’s not going to make you sick? Or maybe a shampoo that’s packed with organic botanics? Or maybe you’d like to experiment with a wide range of skincare products? One of our top vegan and Fair Trade beauty brands, Acure Organics, has it all!

How they help: In addition to making pure, vegan, Fair Trade beauty products, Acure Organics works with Unite for Her, a breast cancer charity that bridges the gap between the medical and wellness communities by providing accessible resources through complementary therapies that supplement medical treatments breast cancer patients undergo.

They also support Turning Green, a student led movement devoted to education and advocacy around environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools, and communities.

Based: USA

Best for: Having a huge range of beauty products, from masks and scrubs to shampoos

Price: From $4.99

Fair Trade beauty brands

Do you know of any other Fair Trade beauty brands we missed? Let us know in the comments, below!

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
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