For centuries, shea butter has been used for a variety of appications, from cooking oil to candle making and even as an anti-inflammatory. Its more popular usage is within skincare, as raw and unrefined shea butter is absolutely packed with beneficial vitamins and fatty acids. While shea butter in its raw, unaltered form is widely regarded for its advantages (especially in comparison to the chemically-altered refined shea butter), it's also completely sustainable.
Here at 24K Shea, we work closely with a women's cooperative in Ghana to not only provide our customers with raw and unrefined fair-trade shea butter, but to also help those in the women's cooperative provide for their families. All the while, we're creating an unrefined product both beneficial for daily use and, of course, the environment. Take a moment to learn more about raw African shea butter and its effect (or lack thereof) on the environment.
Raw African Shea Butter: Sustainably Harvested
In short, raw African shea butter is one of the most sustainable resources in the world, as shea trees can and do grow without the use or need of fertilization and irrigation. Even without these common necessities, the shea tree produces an abundance of fruit, from which the nuts are harvested for shea butter production. These shea trees, confined to central and west Africa, are also the only means to acquire the nuts, as shea plantations simply aren't feasible. With this, the production of raw African shea butter remains sustainable. Better yet, this leaves harvesting shea butter in the hands of African cooperatives.
Considering the sustainability of shea trees, the harvesting of shea butter, and the limitations for resources, shea butter is both economically and environmentally sustainable.
How Raw African Shea Butter is Produced
In addition to being produced from sustainable resources, raw African shea butter presents a variety of benefits in its unrefined state, which is why it's so important to purchase raw shea butter as opposed to refined. Once refined, shea butter loses many of its sought-after qualities, such as its therapeutic benefits. As mentioned, we only carry unrefined African shea butter. Take a look below for a brief explanation on how the beneficial raw shea butter is produced:
- First, the shea fruit must be collected by the women's cooperative, which often involves miles of walking each day and carrying the fruit back for the next step.
- Once gathered, the shea nuts are boiled and dried prior to removing the outer fruit. The kernels inside are then dried again.
- After drying, the kernels are cracked to remove the nut, which is then dried and crushed. The crushed nuts are then warmed to liquefy before being strained to remove any debris.
In contrast, the refinement process includes the use of chemicals to strip away the natural smell and color of raw shea butter. Clearly, leaving the complete production in the hands of the cooperative not only presents the beneficial and unrefined shea butter, but also maintains economic sustainability within the women's cooperative.
Benefit from Raw African Shea Butter Today!
If you want to truly benefit from your shea butter and its therapeutic properties, raw African shea butter is the way to go. Plus, you'll be supporting our women's cooperative and, of course, the environment.