In the summer, Modern Mix Vancouver introduced our readers to Fable Naturals, a Vancouver-based, hand-made skincare line, bursting with goodness from nourishing natural and organic ingredients and fair trade practises.
As an avid traveller for both business and pleasure, Fable Naturals co-founder Gwen Richards recently took an eye-opening trip to Morocco, where she had the opportunity to meet with women working in argan oil cooperatives.
Most women have heard of argan oil…I first heard about it as a hair product, however, it turns out there are multiple uses for this one oil in its pure form. On hair, it can be used to smooth flyaway and split ends, on the hands, it works well as a nail bed and cuticle moisturizer, and, as a facial oil, it can be use for all skin types – including oily skin!
In Morocco, argan trees grow in a 26,000 square-kilometer UNESCO biosphere reserve in the Southern part of the country, close to the Atlantic coast. The terrain there is dry and rocky, which provides an ideal soil environment for the spikes argan trees. The trees produce a type of nut approximately the size of an almond, surrounded by a pulpy fruit. Sometimes, it can take the fruit over a year to reach maturity! Inside the fruit, the hard nut contains one to three seeds. If left unopened, the nuts can last for over a year before pressing, but once shelled, the seeds must be pressed quickly to make a quality oil.
In her research of the argan oil industry, Gwen discovered that not all of the argan oil we use here in North America has a rosy history. Often, the Moroccan women who harvested and processed the argan oil aren’t paid enough for them to support their families and rise out of perpetual poverty.
On her trip to Morocco, Gwen visited the first fair trade organ oil cooperative (which was certified through Fairtrade International in 2011), and stocked up on argan oil for Fable’s line. This fair trade argan oil cooperative allows Moroccan women to earn an income and help support their families in a region with high unemployment. During the harvest in the summer months, the women pick the argan fruit and bring them to the cooperative to be weighed. The same women then continue to work in the cooperative after the harvest, cracking open the nuts in the traditional way, by hand.
The women work when their children are in school, but are able to go home and take lunch with them and return to work later. Fair trade, female-only cooperatives mean that these women are paid a fair wage, allowing them to support their families, keep their traditions alive, and grow towards independence in Moroccan society.
Now, on the other side of the world, Vancouverites like us can supplement our beauty routines with this nourishing oil, while feeling good about the fairtrade practises used in extracting this product. Fable Natural’s new fair-trade Argan Oil product retails for $28 (30 mL) and $42 (60ml). For more information about Fable Naturals or to purchase any of their products online, visit: fablenaturals.com.
MMV x Fable Naturals Giveaway
Give your skin some much-needed TLC this winter with a trio of fair trade lip balm and argan oil from Fable Naturals (value: $50).
The Argan Oil is sourced from a fair trade women’s cooperative in Morocco, which creates employment for local women and empowers them to earn an income and support their families. The Lip Balm combo pack (Mint, Lemon and Vanilla Orange) comes in 100% compostable tubes that are made from recycled paper. The lip balm is made from all natural ingredients, including fair trade cocoa butter and olive oil.
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It’s important to me because I don’t want to use things that profit off someone else unfairly.
I buy local because it supports local families and it builds the community.
I love supporting local small artisans and companies. It is so nice to keep the money in our own community and helping artists make a living.
Buying fairtrade is important because we don’t really have a clear way of knowing whether the farmer received fair compensation for their goods without the label.
It is important to shop local in order to reduce our carbon footprint.
I want to buy fairtrade because I want farmers to get an approximate worth/value for their goods and I want to buy local because it can help support our economy.
supporting local small businesses is crucial, they’re the heart of the community
I like to support the local economy and i like natural ingredients.
It is great to keep the money here 🙂
For our family it is very important that we try to buy fair trade as much as we can. Most companies protects the environment & produce high-quality products for our families to enjoy.
I like to buy fair trade because I feel like I am supporting proper treatment of workers, environmental protectiveness and the production of high-quality, naturally-produced products.
we need to do everything we can to protect our world
It supports our economy
Its important to support local and small businesses!
Good for local business and for ensuring that farmers are receiving fair compensation for their goods.
I like to support small businesses, it keeps my neighbourhood a lively and inviting place to shop.
I think things are made from a place of pride and that’s good for humanity too…
It’ll help provide a more sustainable future.
It’s mean to rip off these cooperatives by paying a poor rate for their materials.
food has traveled less mileage to get to its destination