One of the most wondrous yet overlooked things about shea butter is that with every creamy, deluxe spread of this gorgeous salve, you empower women on the other side of the Atlantic!
In West Africa, especially in the country of Burkina Faso where we harvest and produce our shea butter, shea nuts are the exclusive property of women. They are the only ones who pick and craft the shea butter and they receive all of the profits for the sale of it. That’s why in Africa, shea butter is called “women’s gold”!
In the past, even though West African women still had sole propriety over shea nuts and butter, large cosmetic companies that used the butter in their lipsticks and lotions were not paying fair wages. That’s when the Fair Trade Organization began a certification process for companies to mark themselves from the crowd as corporations who were doing their share.
But let’s be clear. Fair Trade isn’t a community you join. It’s a certification you purchase. To us, that “gold” seems to be going toward a group with a checklist – and not totally to the women who have earned and deserve it. While we wholeheartedly believe that Fair Trade has an important place in promoting equitable wages, we also want our profits to go straight to the women. So we did something different!
As true rogues with giant hearts, we chose to forgo purchasing a Fair Trade logo just to put on our packaging. Instead, we partnered with a real humanitarian organization called Empower Village. Empower Village is completely focused on raising the standard of living for women, and the entire population in Burkina Faso.
The sale of our shea butter goes to a co-operative group of three hundred women in Burkina Faso and directly and indirectly benefits a population of 38,637 people! The income from this project contributes to the development of business in this area and represents 75% of their annual income. It helps the women care for their families, provide schooling and health care for their children and gives them a voice in their communities!
The elegant, noble women of Burkina Faso are our shea experts. That’s why the shea butter we provide is the creamiest, most exquisite and therapeutic on the planet. We honor their expertise and intelligence by sharing profits beyond what Fair Trade sets as a standard. This means real gold! Golden shea butter for you the consumer and gold for the wonder-women who craft it!