There is a process when it comes to choosing our favorite products. The price has to make our pockets happy and the ingredients have to make our curls pop. For some curlies, purchasing from brands that engage in fair trade or ethical buying is equally important. These brands create great products that include high quality ingredients. I must admit, I do feel warm and fuzzy when I purchase products from brands that support fair trade. It really makes me feel like I am making a difference. If you are a curly that loves brands that have a cause and believe in ethical buying, check out these brands! 


SheaMoisture recently released the Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil line as part of their SheaMoisture Community Commerce. Ten percent of the sales from the Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil line are donated to support women led businesses, the Sofi Tucker Foundation, and communities that supply ingredients for their brand. SheaMoisture says, “We help fund training and infrastructure to help them manufacture their own high quality goods in their countries, and get fair prices for their goods and labor. This helps them to earn a better living and support their families, making a better life possible within their communities. It’s not a donation. It’s an investment in a fairer world.”

Dr. Bronner’s

Dr. Bronner’s soaps are definitely not a stranger to the market, especially for the natural hair community. The soaps contain certified trade ingredients, which is great for curlies who are conscious about ingredients. According to the Dr. Bonner’s website, “We have created or partnered with various fair trade organic projects all over the world: in Sri Lanka for coconut oil, in Ghana for palm oil, in Palestine and Israel for olive oil, in India for mint oil, in Kenya for avocado, tea tree and coconut oils, in Ecuador for sugar cane alcohol, and in Zambia for beeswax. In fact, an estimated 10,000 people around the world benefit directly from Dr. Bronner’s various fair trade projects, and we are supporting the development of domestic fair trade programs here in North America as well.”


Butters– n–Bars offer a variety of oils and butters that can be used on our hair and skin.The Women’s Cooperative of the Tamale and Wa tribes in Ghana produces their shea butter. The brands shares that purchasing fair trade helps others have a standard of living, which makes them, feel good. Butters – n – Bars also says, “We're committed to family, just like you real people helping real people.”

Beautiful Curls

Beautiful Curls use fair trade shea butter in their products. Olowo-n’djo Tchala, founder of Alaffia and Beautiful Curls, has a goal of informing consumers are fair trade and how it can effect others in the world. Beautiful Curls shares, “Beautiful Curls shea butter is handcrafted by the Alaffia Shea Butter Cooperative in Sokodé, Togo West Africa. The Alaffia Cooperative is made up of over 300 women from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds. They all have been handcrafting shea butter their entire lives, a skill they learned as young children from their mothers and grandmothers.”

Photo Courtesy of Healthy Home Market

Alaffia Authentic

With empowerment projects being its mission in action, Alaffia was founded in 2004 to advance gender equality and alleviate poverty through fair trade. Their products are influenced by the science of ethnobotany. Alaffia is certified fair for Life: Social & Fair Trade by IMO (Institute for Marketecolgy), which has strict and social fair trade standards. Their line Alaffia Authentic is only one of six brands they have with the foundation of fair trade as a means to empower the community and the world surrounding it.

Photo Courtesy of The Dubai mall


Founded in 1996, LUSH is 100% against animal testing, 100% vegetarian, 83% vegan, and 60% unpreserved. They have several products using some fair trade ingredients like their fair trade honey, which is formulated in 50% of the shampoos. The Hair Custard Hair Dressing has fair trade organic cocoa butter and fair trade vanilla pod.

Photo Courtesy of Hello Annabel

Green People

Originally from the UK and now being sold in the US, Charlotte Vøhtz created this organic skin care brand in 1997 in response to finding products for her daughter, who has allergies. Green people has a huge range of natural and organic personal care products that are vegan, vegetarian, and do not have animal testing. Several of their ingredients are fair trade like the lemongrass oil, clove bud oil, and ginger root oil in the Green People Quinoa & Artichoke Shampoo. Their Quinoa & Artichoke Conditioner has fair trade lemon peel oil, sweet orange peel oil, clove bud oil, and ginger root oil too.

Photo Courtesy of iihealthfoods

Faith In Nature

Faith in Nature progressively seeks to use fair traded ingredient like as shea butter from Ghanaian women to support projects that protect the biodiversity rich areas. There are fairly traded ingredients in their Faith In Nature Shampoo – Coconut and their Faith In Nature Conditioner - Seaweed and Citrus.

When companies make the conscious decision to use fairly traded ingredients, we as a world benefit along with the developing country that grows economically and socially from these purchases.

What are your favorite brands that use fair trade ingredients? Did they make the list? Please share!

This article was originally published February 2015 and has been updated to include additional brands.