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Shea trees grow throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and produce the small, shiny nuts that eventually transform into the gorgeous shea butter we use in our products.
We recently visited our suppliers, The Ojoba Women's Cooperative, in Ghana to learn how they create shea butter, from the first crack of their shells to the smooth final product!
1. A nut picking group gathers the unshelled nuts from surrounding shea trees. They crack each nut to remove the shell, and then wash them thoroughly.
2. The clean, de-shelled nuts are then spread out on a great slab of concrete to dry. Several of the ladies are known as resident 'nutologists' and specialize in picking out any nuts that might compromise the quality of their final butter.
3. The dry nuts are brought indoors to a grinder. The grinder creates a fine powder that looks (and smells) like cocoa powder.
This past February, we traveled 7000 miles across the globe to meet our shea butter supplier, the Ojoba Women's Shea Butter Cooperative in Bolgatanga, Ghana.
In five whirlwind days of ceremonies and celebrations, we created a lifetime of amazing memories. Our favorite moment? Oh, we couldn't possible choose one. How about five of them?
5. The Dancing. All the Dancing
Dancing is an important part of Frafra culture. It accompanies almost every reason for gathering; greeting guests, saying goodbye, thank you, we're happy to see you... the list goes on. You name it- they bust a move. At formal ceremonies, the women usually form a large circle and take turns jumping in the centre to perform. Their voices are the melody and their hands the beat, encouraging each woman as she has her moment of expression. It was remarkable, the energy that radiated off of them as they danced with their whole body. If you haven't watched this video about our trip to Ghana yet, do it right now!
4. Getting Our Hands in the Shea Butter
Did we hope that we'd get to make shea butter? Of course. Did we think we'd actually get to work alongside the women on a fresh batch? No way! Luckily for us, the women of O...
We've been talking a lot lately about how we don't test our ingredients or products on animals, and our continued fight against animal testing.
And we also shared the process we undertake to ensure our products are of the highest quality and safe for use, by testing on humans instead.
We've been getting quite a few questions on what that looks like, and as a company who prides itself on being honest and transparent in all that we do, we're taking you behind the scenes to see the process for yourselves.
Fresh, handmade cosmetics - tested on humans, not animals....
Our Carrot bubble bar was inspired by carrot cake, and now The Carrot has inspired carrot cake - just in time for Easter!
And, just like all of our limited edition Easter goodies it's a sweet treat, but without the sugar. However, unlike The Carrot we can't guarantee that it's reusable... it's too tasty for leftovers!
Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free and delicious - Hoppy Easter!
What You'll Need:
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup Quinoa flour (you can use 1 cup of any gluten-free flour, but I like to do a blend for better consistency)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
- 5 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons almond milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup peeled, grated carrots
- 1/2 cup of pecan pieces
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Fine lemon zest, from one fresh lemon
- 1/2 cup of pitted, diced medjool dates
Preheat oven to 350. Line pan with parchment paper. I used a square pan, but a loaf pan or round pan would work well too.
Add the flour, baking soda...
We're proud to be cruelty-free at LUSH.
We test all of our products on very willing human participants, instead of subjecting animals to shampoo in their eyes or soap down their throats. Sounds reasonable, right? Unfortunately, animal testing is a cruel, irrelevant practice that is still commonplace for many companies. Tens of thousands of products lining the shelves of your local drugstore, supermarket or department store are regularly tested on defenseless animals.
How do you know if a company tests on animals? Read the labels! Our packaging says 'Fighting Animal Testing', but other brands will state their message simply, like 'Not tested on animals' or 'We do not test on animals'.
Don't be too quick to judge- if the label doesn't state either way, it doesn't necessarily mean the company tests on animals. The best way to be sure is to contact them directly and ask about their policy. If they do test on animals, ask them why and let them know that you're concerned as a customer. If you're a longstanding customer who won't be buying their product anymore because of animal testing, tell them that too! It's a powerful message, and one that more companies need to hear in order to change their policies.
Here are the top five products you regularly purchase (and might not know are tested on animals):
Okay, this may seem like an obvious one, but many people don't know that the term 'cosmetics' extends beyond mascara and nail polish. It also includes soap, shampoo, facial cleansers, body lotions- anything you put on your skin for cosmetic purposes.