Woman and children In India mining Mica
As a creator of each new product, I intend to be very thoughtful, do my research on each ingredient and it's history. Where does it come from? How is it made? How does it get to me? What is the impact that it has on us using it and for the environment. I am a stickler when it comes to the things my family eats and uses on a daily basis to be non- toxic and eco-friendly. I do my best to be an informed buyer and always read the labels.
That's why I want my products to be clean, simple, and transparent.
Recently, I wanted to improve my bath balls with some vibrant colors and sparkle. I saw most people used Mica powder to add natural, toxic free shine and simmer in cosmetics. And with that, they add a synthetic emulsifier Polysorbates - a known carcinogen! It seemed harmless enough, however it is a synthetic, man-made product. How is it made? Well, that's when i stumbled upon the ugly part. I learned that in the hilly forests of rural Jharkand, India, children as young as 10 are hammering flakes of rock off the mountainside. It's mostly young girls job to carry baskets of rocks to the top of the mine to sort through their contents separate glittering fragments from the rock debris. Even after cosmetics suppliers were alerted to its existence, child labour remains prevalent in mica mining in the two states of Jharkand and Bihar, responsible for around 25% of the world’s production. Up to 20,000 children are estimated to work in the mines, around 90% of which are illegal, according to a recent report by NGOs Terre des Hommes and SOMO.
Grinding poverty (according to 2013 data 36.9% of the population in Jharkand and 33.7% in Bihar live below the poverty line) makes children especially vulnerable to child labour, as families rely on them to supplement the household income.
So not only are children working so that we can look pretty in all our glitter, but the earth is being depleted of its natural essences. That makes me sad. I don't know all the implications and studies done on Mica mining, but if i can't find truth and light easily, i don't want any part of it. So, I experimented with using natural plant-based options to obtain my colors. I found a young company called Supernatural which aims at using no junk or artificial colors, are vegan and gluten free. The founder, Carmel Hagen creates vibrant non-toxic colors with vegetable juice and beta carotene! Awesome.
I am always open to new insight and ideas to make my products better for us and the environment.
That's also why when it comes to my packaging, I strive to use minimal plastics and mostly things that can be re-used or recycled.
I hope you enjoy what I'm creating, and feel free to let me know if there is something I can do better!