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Climate Crisis

Climate Crisis

What is Ethical Sourcing for the Cosmetic Industry?

Climate crisis: we are the problem, and we are the solution. How can we, the cosmetic industry, more actively help mitigate climate threats?

I believe that “ethics” desperately needs to be added to our commitment to ingredient supply. More so, include thoughtfulness about the long-term impacts of everything we do in our business as well as our personal lives. In our businesses we need to look, not just at “carbon footprint” and whether or not you offer medical coverage to some percent of your workers or how many women you employ (hello, we are 80% women – doesn’t mean a thing if the planet burns up). We all need to answer the questions: what is the environmental impact on the people and planet of the materials you use?

To answer this question each of us can form a plan to think about the next three to five years and what can we each do specifically to increase ethical responsibility for the ingredients.

This is our Current Plan:

We are personally (and scientifically) alarmed by the rate our planet is changing so we have decided to support the Union for Ethical Bio-Trade (UEBT). We will be working through a three-year certification for “Ethical Sourcing” to look at the ingredients and people we support via our work as distributors.

The UEBT Standards are based on the BioTrade Principles and Criteria as developed by the UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative.

This is the best certification standard I’ve seen to date. They ensure transparency back to the producer and ethical sourcing of the ingredients you use. Here is how they describe their values as represented by their logo/label:

The label stands for seven principles of ethical sourcing:

  • Conservation of biodiversity
  • Sustainable use of biodiversity
  • Compliance with legislation
  • Fair and equitable sharing of benefits
  • Respect for rights of actors
  • Clarity about land tenure
  • Socio-economic sustainability

This is the only standard I’ve ever seen that truly verifies practices that do not further the destruction of the planet. As only the 2nd company in the US to join this movement, we are proud and excited to offer our commitment to these principles for sourcing with respect. We are adding these principles to our existing commitment to organic ingredients.

Please look at their website and let us know if you have questions. Four of our existing suppliers are already either certified to or working to achieve certification with UEBT. Most of our other suppliers meet their values and criteria and we hope to inspire them to join us with this certification. Here is to moving forward with climate crisis at top of mind.


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