Spend A Little, Give A Little


This month Gallery uncovers the caring side of our favourite feel-good products. Beauty is more than skin deep and many brands are giving back to communities around the globe with fair trade schemes and charity projects that make a difference every time you spend.


Corporate social responsibility in the beauty trade isn’t new, but it is growing momentum. Most new brands launching make giving back part of their mission and the big names have put their not inconsiderable weight behind causes such as AIDS and breast cancer awareness.


Back in the eighties, the Body Shop blazed a fair trade trail through the industry with their use of ingredients that support community projects. Today, the brand currently has 25 fair trade partners around the world and they do so much more than just help small producers.

Since 1994 they have raised over £4 million to help victims of domestic abuse, staff volunteering is one of their core values and staff members receive five volunteering days a year. The Body Shop Foundation supports animal protection, environmental protection and human rights and they’ve tackled a wide range of issues from sex trafficking to animal testing.

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The new scrumptious smelling limited edition Raspberry Collection launches this month and uses community fair trade honey from the UNESCO Sheka Forest Biosphere Reserve. The ‘bee whisperers’ of Beza Mar in Ethiopia collect the honey and the beekeepers spend what they earn on their children’s education and healthcare. Raspberry Shower Gel. £4.00.


Another brand with an impressive history of community minded business is Aveda. As well as their programme to save packaging from landfill they also help breast cancer charities and support a life-changing project in Nepal. Their annual commitment to Earth Month sees them launch a limited edition Light The Way Candle and give 100% of the retail price to the Global Greengrants Fund. They aim to raise $1.6 million for clean water projects around the world. Light The Way Candle. £16.00.


Green People’s eco credentials are seriously good and they have recently linked up with the Marine Society to help tackle the problem of water contamination from UV filters in sunscreen. Research shows that an estimated 10,000 tons of UV filters are produced annually. On average, 25% of the sunscreen ingredients applied to skin end up in the water over the  course of a 20-minute swim. Some of the ingredients in sun protection have a negative effect on aquatic life and Green People are championing organic sun lotion. In addition, Green People donate 30 pence from every sale of their organic Scent-Free SPF25 Sun Lotion to the Marine Society to help raise awareness of marine life issues. Scent-Free SPF25 Sun Lotion. £17.95.

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Another natural brand, Organic Surge, has turned its attention to working with Africa’s most vulnerable children. The brand has even sent people from their own team to take a hands-on approach in troubled areas. They also sponsor the Baby Care Unit in the Kenya Children’s Home, Nairobi, which cares for 48 sick or abandoned children. Look out for their new Hot Cloth Cleanser, which launches in May. £12.50.


Naked has a ‘giving gifts’ policy of supporting humanitarian and environmental charities including the Rainforest Foundation, Women’s Aid and the Woodland Trust. Like the Body Shop, Naked is a well-priced brand that has put ethical trading and giving back at the heart of its company values. Gallery loves their best selling Naked Little Miracle Leave-in Conditioner, which protects hair from heated styling tools and smells delish! £4.99 

It’s not just the organic and natural brands that have a heart. In 1992 Mrs. Evelyn H. Lauder launched The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign to raise awareness of the disease. Over 70 countries participate and after 21 years it’s stronger than ever. The focus is on education and research and the pink ribbon has become a global symbol in the fight against breast cancer. October will see special products on sale with a portion of proceeds funding their on-going work.

Boots Extracts collection of bath and body goodies was created with fair trade in mind and uses ingredients from around the world. Numerous community projects are supported from Chile to Burkina Faso in Africa. The Honey Body Butter will see off dry winter skin and contains fairtrade honey from South America. £8.00.


Whilst it’s not available on the island, no round up of charitable beauty brands would be complete without mentioning MAC. The brand set up their Aids Fund in 1994 to serve people of all races who are affected by the disease. The whole selling price of their VIVA GLAM lipsticks goes to the Aids Fund and the brand is best-known for it’s celebrity support. The current shades are a must for lovers of red lippie and the campaign features Rihanna. VIVA GLAM Lipstick. £15.00. 


So, there it is. Beauty isn’t just about airbrushed celebrities or catwalk trends. It’s an industry that does have a heart and we as consumers can vote with our wallets and seek out those brands that give a little every time we spend a little.


Beauty isn’t just about airbrushed celebrities or catwalk trends. It’s an industry that does have a heart and we as consumers can vote with our wallets and seek out those brands that give a little every time we spend a little.


Words | Nichole Sweetsur


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