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    e.l.f. Cosmetics Manufacturer Earns Fair Trade Certification

    the unwash impact

    e.l.f. Cosmetics has become the first company in the beauty industry to have one of its manufacturing facilities earn a Fair Trade USA™ certification, marking a possible turning point in the industry. The brand has been vegan since the beginning and part of PETA’s cruelty-free program since 2005. Known for their inexpensive and accessible beauty products, many of us remember their $1 sections at big box stores. Being cruelty-free, vegan, and affordable is somewhat revolutionary in the beauty industry, especially ten or more years ago. Their recent Fair Trade achievement only furthers their commitment to using their brand for positive change. Of course, there are always improvements to be made regarding plastic waste from beauty products or excess packaging that cannot be recycled. However, ensuring ethical factory standards is a huge step in the right direction, and should create a movement to ensure other companies follow suit.

    So, what exactly does it mean to be Fair Trade USA ™certified?

    Fair Trade USA ™ is a model of responsible businesses with shared values in eliminating poverty, practicing sustainable sourcing, improving livelihoods, and protecting the environment. Fair Trade is also committed to sustainable development for farmers and their communities and being transparent about the supply chain process. These certifications are only for specific products, not companies as a whole. Earning a Fair Trade certification is a rigorous process and holds companies accountable for ensuring standards are regularly met for certified products.

    “Our partnership with e.l.f. Beauty shows the breadth of what’s possible with Fair Trade Certified across industries. It’s a world-changing way of doing business.” – Paul Rice, CEO of Fair Trade USA

    What does this mean for e.l.f Cosmetics?

    One of the brand’s third-party manufacturing facilities has earned this certification, meaning that the products from this facility are Fair Trade USA ™certified. Keep an eye out for e.l.f products with the Fair Trade stamp of approval, as these products will directly benefit the workers that manufactured that product.

    Brands are responsible for a certain level of social responsibility for their products. When buying a product, a much greater implication occurs, and a brand taking responsibility for this creates a sense of accountability that reassures consumers. Consumers hold much more power than is realized and are often the catalyst when brands decide to implement large-scale changes such as ethical certifications. In the past two years alone, dozens of brands have switched to vegan formulas, obtained Leaping Bunny certifications, and started using FSC packaging, to name a few. A Fair Trade certification is not an easy task, and this marks a large shift in the beauty industry. More and more companies are transparent that their consumer base wants to be involved in the process and feel their own sense of social responsibility with their purchases. e.l.f. Cosmetics is continuing to work on earning further certifications for their other factory locations and is creating stark change in the industry that hopefully inspires other brands to emulate.


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