Fair Trade and Not Aid with Purearth
5th September 2017 | By Fiona Ngo
Have you ever wondered where your skincare came from? Where it’s ingredients are sourced and how they are sourced. With sustainability and ethics such a talking point in the beauty industry, we decided to touch base with Kavita Khosa, founder of Purearth to learn a little bit about what it truly means to be ethical and sustainable.
When Maslow & Co. first discovered Purearth earlier this year, there was no doubt that its founder, Kavita Kohsa was passionate about creating a brand that ultimately gave back in so many different ways. Purearth’s commitment to the ethical sourcing of ingredients to the giving back and empowering marginalised groups of people through fair trade is nothing short of amazing. She says, “While I acknowledge the crucial role charitable organisations play in the upliftment of society, the charity model did not appeal to me when I decided to start Purearth. My vision was to start a social enterprise that could provide a sustainable, dignified and fair means of income to marginalised women and grassroots producer groups, irrespective of gender considerations”.
This social enterprise is what inspired Kavita to create the Purepurpose Program, which tries to give back in every way possible. The Purepurpose program is a corporate social responsibility program which allows businesses to create a positive social change and use this to promote a culture or conscious consumption. Kavita explains “As a social enterprise we partner with several micro-credit and woman self-help groups enabling marginalised producers to engage with urban markets on fair terms and we channel back proceeds through our program”. It is through this program that Purearth works with both the producers, corporates, institutions and key stakeholders to create more socially responsible business strategies in the industry
Kavita works closely all groups to ensure all trade is fair and beneficial to both parties and that business are ultimately giving back to those who need it most and also the environment. The Purearth environmental initiatives support biodynamic and organic farming methods, carbon offsets and reforestation.
Each and every Purearth ingredient is wild-harvested or cultivated ecologically, with the majority of these unique and precious ingredients being sourced from pristine and remote high-altitude Himalayan valleys and villages. All ingredients are hand harvested and treated in some of the most traditional methods for production. These methods are not only are better for the environment but also keep the integrity and the potency of each ingredient. For example, some of the floral botanicals used in Purearth’s formulations are actually steam distilled in a wood fired factory free workshop. Traditional methods of cold pressing oils are adopted in the artisanal process. Using the method of India’s “ghani” cold press technique, all of the Purearth oils are extracted to be of maximum efficacy.
A brand that is so passionate about helping marginalized farmers and women, Purearth is so very much ahead of the game in upholding some of the purest and ethical standards. Kavita proudly tells us that women she works with are beautiful, simple yet strong rural village women who are not only the caregivers of the family but are also the main breadwinner. She goes on to explain “In Uttarakhand, for example there is around 20 per cent migration from the rural areas to the cities. And it's the men who migrate, not the women. The women are the caregivers and very often the men don't send money back, so women often also have to find sources of income”.
Purearth steps in with their Purepurpose program and helps by micro-financing these women and by developing partnerships with non-government organisations to help these women get work. Through this, these amazing women are able to be part of a lifestyle whereby they can earn a dignified and sustainable income to help support themselves and their families. As Kavita often says it's about empowering others with ‘fair trade and not aid’.
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