Fairtrade for all

julia zaltzman

Research has demonstrated that green tea is packed with beauty benefits that consumers can attain by drinking it as well as by applying it directly onto their our skin, which is great news for all you natural beauty retailers looking for a nifty way to tap in to next month’s Fairtrade Fortnight.

Running from 29 February to 13 March, the annual fortnight organized by the Fairtrade Foundation aims to raise awareness about fair prices, good working conditions, agricultural education and sustainability for farmers and workers in the developing world. And this year its theme is ‘Sit down for breakfast, stand up for farmers!’

The foundation is calling on a bevy of organizers and retailers to host breakfast mornings and afternoon tea parties across the two hectic weeks to get the message out loud and clear to consumers. And who doesn’t love being handed a freshly brewed cuppa when out on their travels? But to pack a real antioxidant punch with your shoppers, why not highlight all the organic beauty products sat patiently on your shelves, Fairtrade and otherwise, that contain breakfast ingredients?

Point of difference
Tapping into the theme will keep you on point, but flipping it on its beauty head will give you an added point of difference too.

Of course there is a growing range of natural beauty brands that do a sterling job of incorporating Fairtrade ingredients in their ingenious product ranges, such as Lush’s Fairly Traded Honey Shampoo, Boots Extracts’ Cocoa Butter Sugar Scrub, Neal’s Yard Remedies’ Jasmine & Ylang Ylang Body Oil, Honeystreet Handmade’s Rose Garden Bath Oil, not to mention Odylique’s Organic Eye Liner in Black.

Raw ingredients
From sesame oil from Nicaragua, Brazil nuts from Peru, cane sugar from Paraguay, Brazilian soya oil, Ethiopian honey, to Kenyan tea tree oil, Moroccan argan, beeswax from Cameroon, cocoa and shea from Ghana and Namibian marula oil, there seems very little in the way of Fairtrade ingredients that haven’t been worked into the natural beauty mix.

But it can be hard to consistently raise awareness in-store of all the different independent elements trying to grab a slice of the campaign action. Fairtrade Fortnight and Organic Beauty Week are the front-runners with their established calendar dates, but let’s not forget vegan, veggie and PETA, as well as all the other health and nutrition weeks that many of your shoppers are doubtless alerted to.

Even Halal cosmetics were cited in The Times last month as the latest trend coinciding with Ramadan, with natural beauty brands such as Amara Cosmetics and Inika having certified Halal products on retailers’ shelves.

So the best way to handle this bevy of activity is to combine and conquer! Get your kettles on the boil, stock up on an army of cups and saucers, and treat your customers to some homemade (or locally made!) cake, finished up with a splash of Fairtrade hand cream for good measure. We’re all singing from the same song sheet after all!

Julia Zaltzman is a freelance journalist and editor of Natural Beauty News.