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Ghanaian women in poverty
It is undeniable that, right now, the makeup, skincare and haircare industries are flourishing globally and are predicted to continue their economic rise well into the future. According to Euromonitor International, in 2020, the beauty industry’s net profit reached $500.5 billion — a more than 5% increase from 2019. Broken down by category: general cosmetic care earned $307 billion, skincare acquired $145.2 billion, haircare collected $79.2 billion and premium beauty earned $139 billion. The industry’s forecast predicts an annual net profit of $756.63 billion by 2026

Right now in Ghana, the beauty industry is experiencing a cultural role shift and growth in profit. The increasing population of young people is beginning to explore skin, beauty and hair care — and they’re looking locally. As this industry grows, Ghana-based brands are looking to do more than just provide beauty products. Through outreach programs and innovative business plans and programs, personal care companies are working to provide financial aid, job opportunities, equitable support and empower Ghanaian women. Here are three Ghana-based beauty brands empowering Ghanaian women in poverty.

3 Beauty Brands Empowering Ghanaian Women in Poverty

  1. FC Beauty Group Limited: Established more than 30 years ago in Ghana, FC Beauty Group Limited (FCBGL), not only provides and distributes high-quality hair and beauty products at a wholesale price to local salons but also hosts extensive outreach programs for impoverished women. FCBGL launched the Grace Amey-Obeng Foundation International in the summer of 2007. This foundation has made it a priority to aid Ghanaian women in poverty, with the purpose of providing young women an education, training and a sense of self. Through this program, FCBGL has focused its outreach to young homeless women, some of whom must engage in prostitution to financially support themselves. For women who engage in transactional sex consensually, the foundation provides them with skills to prevent difficulties in their profession. These skills include preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and exploitation. For women who do not wish to continue this work, the brand offers job prospects and training that allow them to change their economic direction. The brand continues its outreach work by partnering with the Osu Girls’ correctional facility to provide inmates with hirable skills for future economic success. FC Beauty Group Limited hosts another program titled the “Tutsi Project.” The Tutsi Project’s agenda is to act as insurance for the women who have completed FCBGL’s training programs and are now pursuing a career. Since its conception, the FC Beauty College has trained more than 6,000 economically successful students. Seed money is provided to women looking to start their own businesses. Many trainees are full-time mothers as well as entrepreneurs and FCBGL’s investment at the beginning of their career allows them to feel financially supported.
  2. Nokware Skincare: With old-school natural products and innovative ideas, the brand Nokware, meaning “truth,” creates all products from recipes and raw materials passed down through Ghanaian women’s lineage. Remaining local is an important piece of Nokware’s business plan and the brand solely uses materials that can be found and farmed by local African women. By practicing fair trade and pricing deals, Nokware can work towards its overall mission: economic inclusion. Recognizing the financial disparity many Ghanaian women face, this brand works to exclusively buy locally to put money back into the community and create a space for those who have been neglected in the workforce. By situating “community commerce” at the forefront of its company, Nokware works to stimulate the Ghanaian economy from the inside out. Empowerment of Ghanaian women in poverty is very important to Nokware Skincare. The brand works to accomplish that goal by primarily hiring women who face a substantial wage gap. Recognizing them as powerful resources, Nokware also staffs its executive boards and factory floors with Ghanaian women in an effort to minimize the prevalent wage gap in the country. The company’s “Nokware for Women” fund is an educational scholarship program available to the daughters of Nokware employees to diminish gender inequalities in education.
  3. True Moringa: Named after the extensive benefits of the plant found in northern Ghana, True Moringa is a brand that creates a diverse selection of products that all contain the oil of the True Moringa tree. On a trip with MIT’s D-Lab to Ghana, Kwai Williams and Emily Cunningham learned about the aforementioned tree, known as the “miracle tree,” from local farmers. The plant contains high levels of Vitamin A, calcium and protein. It also has the ability to grow and strengthen other crops in any climate. After learning this, Williams and Cunningham realized that the plant could minimize poverty and malnutrition in the country, and bring economic opportunities to farmers while providing consumers with high-quality skin and hair care products. The founders were aware of the lack of training, reliable commerce and income insecurity Ghanaian farmers face. As a result, they created a business plan that could compete with more established beauty brands and source locally to raise the monetary value of the brand’s contributing farmers. The company’s website states that the creation and application of the True Moringa brand has served more than 5,000 farming families, planted more than 2 million trees and increased local Ghanian farming revenue tenfold. In addition to the economic growth created through local sourcing, True Moringa allows customers to make an impact. With every purchase made, True Moringa will plant a tree which, in turn, combats deforestation and malnutrition in the small farming communities the brand works with. The True Moringa skin and hair care brand not only works to contribute to the beauty industry and empower Ghanaians by providing high-quality products, but also looks outside to create sustainable incomes and resources to empower Ghanaian women in poverty and their families.

All of these brands have created a positive impact on Ghanaian women in poverty. They have done so by looking beyond the cosmetic aspects of their products and focus on empowering women through their incomes, access to food and financial well-being. These brands have given hope to women and families for a better future, and have continued to walk alongside them as they move into a more financially secure future.

– Alexa Tironi
Photo: Flickr

beauty_products_that_donate_to_charityNowadays, there are many beauty and makeup companies that are selling beauty products that donate to charity to aid different humanitarian causes.

Fundraising activities, partnering with nonprofit organizations for projects or giving donations through sales of their products are some examples that these companies use to support and advocate for good causes.

Brands like The Body Shop, Kiehl’s, LUSH, Philosophy, Mama Sopa, Balanced Guru, UNE Natural Beauty, Murad, MAC Cosmetics, GIVESCENT and Ten Thousand Villages use some, if not many, of their products to collect donations through their purchases.

Each brand supports different humanitarian causes such as AIDS reduction, poverty, hunger, water conservation and animal and environment protection, among other things.

Here are 10 beauty products that contribute to charity when purchased:

  1. All Philosophy products: According to Philosophy’s website, one percent of the sales of every Philosophy product will go to community-based organizations that support mental health. The brand commits to supporting mental health and well-being through their “Hope & Grace Initiative.”
  2. “Soft Hands Kind Heart Hand Cream” by The Body Shop: This hand cream was available to buy early in 2015, and is accessible in all The Body Shop stores worldwide. The purchase of this product gives a donation of £1.50 to The Body Shop Foundation, a foundation that advocates for human rights and environmental and animal protection.
  3. Ten Thousand Villages soaps and creams: Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer company that works to empower artisans in developing countries. The company sells a variety of products ranging from jewelry to bath accessories. Their skincare products, such as soaps and creams, are made in places like Ghana, India, Israel and Zimbabwe, and their purchase contributes to helping artisans in these countries.
  4. “New Charity Pot” by LUSH: The “Charity Pot” is a body lotion created with natural ingredients by the cosmetic brand LUSH. With every purchase of this body lotion, 100 percent of the sale is donated to different organizations supporting human rights, animal welfare and environmental conservation.
  5. “Shark Fin Soap” by LUSH: This is a limited edition soap by cosmetic brand LUSH. Made with natural ingredients for Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” 100 percent of the proceeds from the purchase of this item will go to organizations dedicated to the conservation and protection of sharks.
  6. “Viva Glam” products by MAC Cosmetics: Created by MAC Cosmetics, “Viva Glam” is a lip makeup collection that donates 100 percent of the price for every purchased product. These donations go to the MAC AIDS Fund, which addresses the relation between poverty and HIV/AIDS and supports various organizations around the globe. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Ricky Martin, Nicki Minaj and Boy George are some of the artists that have participated in the “Viva Glam” campaign.
  7. All GIVESCENT products: This brand has a collection of Italy-inspired scents. The purchase of any bottle of GIVESCENT supports women worldwide as well as different women-centered campaigns. Some of the organizations that the brand supports are Every Mother Counts and Women for Women International.
  8. “Fund-raising Lip Balm” by UNE Natural Beauty: This natural product, created by UNE Natural Beauty, donates £1 to Plan, a children’s charity. The lip balm’s donations are destined to support a project by Plan that provides education to girls in Cameroon.
  9. “Live Beautifully Set” by Murad: This Murad’s limited-edition set includes an eye cream and an inspirational book by Dr. Murad. Ten percent of the sale results in a donation that supports the Murad Esthetics Scholarship Program through the Beauty Changes Live Foundation.
  10. All Mama Sopa products: Created for a social hygiene project for The Dutch Simavi Foundation, Mama Sopa is a collection of shower gels, soap bars and hand soaps with a good purpose.

According to an article published by The Dieline, every Mama Sopa product sold gives hygienic trainings by The Dutch Simavi Foundation to vulnerable mothers in East India.

Diana Fernanda Leon

Sources: Philosophy, The Body Shop Foundation, Ten Thousand Villages, LUSH 1, LUSH 2, Mac Cosmetics, Give Scent, UNE Make up, Murad, The Dieline
Photo: The Dieline

L'Occitane Supports Women's Fair TradeIn honor of International Women’s Day, L’Occitane has created a fair trade soap that supports women in their efforts to achieve economic independence. The soap is produced in Burkina Faso in a completely female-run factory, for which L’Occitane has provided support and training. The company has been working with women in Burkina Faso in efforts to achieve economic emancipation since 2006. By working with Aide et Action, they have helped put in place literacy centers throughout Burkina Faso, resulting in the strengthening of income-generating activity for women.

All proceeds made from the shea butter soap (that retails for just $8) will go towards building literacy programs and centers in Burkina Faso. Every soap bar sold can be considered as donating 3 bricks that will be utilized to build a new literacy center. From soap sales, L’Occitane, with its partners in Aide et Action and women in Burkina Faso, hopes to collect €63,000, which is equivalent to approximately $831,364.5, in the year 2013.

The soap can be seen as something that brings women together and helps empower them separately from their male counterparts. Since 2006, L’Occitane has helped almost 2,000 women become literate and even more (approximately 5,000 more) improve their literacy skills. With the building of even more literacy centers in Burkina Faso, these numbers can only go up.

If interested in buying a bar of soap in support of women achieving economic emancipation, visit L’Occitane’s website.

– Angela Hooks

Sources: L’Occitane Foundation, L’Occitane
Photo: L’Occitane