While most of us recognize October as breast cancer awareness month, another important campaign begins this fall: fair trade month.
Spearheaded by TransFair USA, the third-party certifying organization behind the trusted fair trade label, fair trade month celebrates companies that choose to undergo fair trade-certification. Fair trade-certification ensures that farmers and farm workers who grow and produce ingredients used in everyday item are paid a fair wage for their work; work under fair labor conditions; and farm in environmentally sustainable ways.
While there’s a certain disconnect between farming and beauty products, it’s wise to remember that when searching for the best natural beauty products, using ingredients that mother nature (not a scientist in a white lab coat) produced is best; this means that the natural beauty products I turn to first should bear the USDA organic symbol as well as the Fair Trade Certified stamp. For me, gliding on Badger Certified Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Butter Lip Balm is an easy choice when digging through my extensive lip balm stash.
Badger Certified Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Butter Lip Balm comes in seven flavors: Cool Mint, Vanilla Bean, Poetic Pomegranate, Creamy Cocoa, Sweet Orange, Lime Rocket and Mocha Cocoa. Photo Courtesy Badger.
Made with a base of USDA organic, fair trade cocoa butter blended with organic extra virgin olive oil, organic beeswax, organic castor oil, organic aloe extract, organic seabuckthorn berry and organic rosehip, Badger Certified Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Butter Lip Balm is as pure as it gets; the ingredients are good enough to eat (or at least lick your lips all day!), and you’ll never find petrolatum listed on any Badger product’s ingredients list. The cocoa butter used in Badger Certified Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Butter Lip Balm is traditionally processed at low temperatures, allowing the butter to retain its rich, dark chocolate fragrance and natural, healthy properties.
Currently, Badger has seven different flavors of fair trade-certified lip balms; I’m loving “Lime Rocket,” because it reminds me of summer (which has somehow escaped us so quickly!). Each of the lip balms features certified-organic ingredients housed in a chubby 0.25-ounce tube. Badger Certified Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Butter Lip Balms are on sale for $4.25 a pop (regular price $5). That’s less than the price of a (probably non-fair trade) latte-and this lip balm is sure to last longer than fair trade month. If that price seems a little steep for a small, organic personal-care product, consider this: conventional lip balms cost, on average, $3 a tube for paraben-, petrolatum- and paraffin-laced lip balms that usually dry out rather than moisturize your lips. Why not throw in a little extra to ensure that you’re getting quality ingredients, and the people who grew those ingredients are paid a fair share?
Scoop up a few of these lip balms to last you through fall and winter’s harsh winds and dropping temperatures. Supporting fair trade-certified companies should be a year-round commitment; use this month to familiarize yourself with the label and begin to make over your beauty arsenal–and your purchasing habits.
What fair-trade certified products do you regularly purchase and why? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Kim Wallace is a freelance writer and editor based in Kansas City. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.