October is Fair Trade Month, meaning it's time to celebrate and observe the positive impact of Fair Trade marketplaces and brands. Fair Trade brands go beyond providing exceptional products and advocate for environmental protection, safe working conditions, sustainability, and human rights.
The Fair Trade movement began in the 1980s as a call to action against the continual abuse of farmers in developing countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Oceania, and other places. The farmers would (and often still do) get paid low market prices after providing premium commodities, including coffee, cocoa, tea, nuts, and oils. Countries like the United States and the United Kingdom can help bridge this gap, but only a select few companies do.
Fair Trade certified brands help over 975,000 farmers establish ethical agreements with their trade partners and help amplify consumer awareness and activism. While the beauty industry still has a long way to go in terms of ethicality, several brands and marketplaces have received their Fair Trade Certification. Keep scrolling to discover a few.
This online marketplace offers all of the Fair Trade and ethically sourced products anyone could need. With authentic products from all over the world, Beautyologie teams up with brands to ensure each ingredient goes toward positive change.
Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty is one of the brands featured on Beautyologie. Founded by Rahama Wright (dubbed "The Queen of Fair Trade Skincare"), Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty uplifts women in West Africa and the United States through the ethical sourcing of shea butter products like body balms and soaps.
They focus on crafting organic Fair Trade products and ensure funds go toward the communities that created them. The brand specifically focuses on providing livable wages for women-owned shea butter cooperatives in African countries.
Founded by Olowo-n'djo Tchala, Alaffia crafts hair and skin products with Fair Trade shea butter. The brand is committed to supporting African communities, reducing global poverty rates, and advocating for gender equity within Togo.
Alaffia's desire to create systemic change also includes advocacy work related to causes like education, environmental sustainability, maternal health, and ending female genital mutilation. In addition to being Fair Trade Certified, the brand is also For Life certified, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified, and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified.
The Body Shop
While many are familiar with The Body Shop, few are aware of their dedication to Fair Trade practices. They received their Community Fair Trade Certification in 1987 and have been ethically utilizing handcrafted shea butter in Ghana, paper gift bags from India, and other ingredients from around the world.
The Body Shop advocates for their trade partners' financial independence and access to economic mobility. The brand often engages in community projects focused on education, healthcare, and sanitation. Unlike other Fair Trade certifications, The Body Shop has developed a program that allows them to build schools, connect with educators, and provide accessible healthcare for 49,000 people within 11 villages in Ghana.
Their standout products include the Avocado Body Butter ($22), Olive Body Butter ($22), and Shea Body Butter ($22). Each body butter is made with 97% ingredients from their natural origin, including Fair Trade shea butter from Ghana and organic babassu oil from Brazil.
On top of being Fair Trade certified, Truly Beauty's products are USDA certified, Certified Vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
This TikTok popular brand isn't just trending for its unique and playful products like the Acai Your Boobies Serum ($28) and Buns Of Glowry Smoothing Butt Polish ($28). Truly Beauty works with physicians, microbiologists, and chemists to ensure their products are made with organic ingredients.
Determined to help protect the planet from environmental damage, Jessica Waters and Justin Puda created Fair Trade certified botanical aromatherapy line, Terralite.
They use essential oils, fruit waxes, plant extracts, and grains to ensure each product is environmentally sustainable. The San Diego-based line also prioritizes sustainability through its use of solar panels and carbon-neutral shipping. Terralite even practices Green Web Hosting, using 300% wind-powered credits instead of traditional energy credits. The company is also a member of 1% For The Planet. As a part of this initiative, they donate 10% of profits to environmental organizations across 48 countries.
The brand's coconut wax candles are hand-poured, made with 100% plant-based coconut wax, and packaged in recycled amber glass containers, tin lids, and paper labels. Like their Matcha Clay Mask ($9), each bath and body item is packaged with recycled materials, including PLA-lined paper packets.