Alaffia - Everyday Shea Moisturizing Shea Butter Bubble Bath Lavender - 32 oz. (950 ml)
Alaffia Everyday Shea Lavender Moisturizing Shea Butter Bubble Bath is prepared with Certified Fair Trade unrefined shea butter, soothing African yam, and relaxing lavender essential oil. For Every Day use on all skin types.
- Paraben Free
- No Animal Testing
- No Synthetic Fragrance
Traditional Handcrafted Shea Butter
Traditionally handcrafting Shea butter is a long process involving several critical steps. Alaffia Handcrafted Shea butter is made with care by our cooperative members in Togo, West Africa. Women in their communities have been extracting Shea butter in this manner for generations. The first step in the handcrafting process is collecting ripe Shea fruits. The fruits are sustainably harvested from wild Shea trees by women and their families. This harvest provides a welcome income for these typically disadvantaged members of society. After harvest, the fruit and shell are removed, and the remaining kernels, or "nuts" are sun dried and sorted.
When the dried nuts are received, they are washed to remove dust and debris, dried and sorted for quality. The sorted nuts are then crushed, roasted to decrease moisture content and further ground to a thick paste. This paste is mixed with clean, potable water and whipped by hand until the fats begin to separate. This separation process takes from one to three hours. After the oils rise and are separated, they are skimmed off, melted and strained into basins. The cooling oil is stirred very carefully to initialize the crystallization process and form the oil into shea butter. The stirring process is crucial in making a creamy shea butter, as it helps the crystals align as the butter solidifies. The crystallization process can take up to 24 hours in warmer weather.
Traditional, Unrefined vs Refined Shea Butter
They take extreme care at each step in the traditional extraction process so the end result is the highest quality Shea butter possible. Since such care is taken during the extraction, they do not have to alter or process the Shea butter in any further way, and their customers receive the purest, most effective Shea butter.
Most Shea butter available to the general public outside West Africa is white and odorless since it has been "refined" to remove the natural scent and color. In the "refining" process, the majority of the effective agents are also removed. Refined Shea butter has usually been extracted with hexane or other petroleum solvents, which leave toxic residues in the butter. It is then bleached and deodorized, which involves temperatures over 400°F and treatment with harsh chemicals. Preservatives such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) or BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) may be added as well. The end result is an odorless, white butter that lacks the true moisturizing, healing, and nutritive properties of handcrafted and unrefined Shea butter.
Indigenous Knowledge for Skin Care
Shea Butter has been used for centuries in Africa as a decongestant, an anti-inflammatory for sprains and arthritis, healing salve, lotion for hair and skin care, and cooking oil. However, the protective and emollient properties of Shea Butter are most valued for skin care. In recent clinical trials, Shea Butter was found to help to protect skin against climate and UV aggressions, prevent wrinkle formation, soothe irritated and chapped skin, and moisturize the epidermis. Shea Butter also enhances cell regeneration and capillary circulation, which helps prevent and minimize stretch marks, inflammations, and scarring.
Fair Trade For Life
Fair trade is a movement of individuals and organizations working to ensure producers in economically disadvantaged countries receive a greater percentage of the price paid by consumers. While there are several definitions of fair trade, they all include:
Fair Trade Price: base price for raw ingredients or goods is adjusted higher than open market price.
Price Premium: a percentage above the base fair trade price is paid into a separate account for development projects in producer communities.
Working Conditions: fair trade operators must adhere to basic human & labor rights, including the right to organize, no child labor, access to health care, and so on.
Environmental Stewardship: fair trade organizations must minimize environmental impact.
To Alaffia, fair trade means paying a fair price or wage in the local context, providing equal employment opportunities, engaging in environmental sustainable practices, providing healthy and safe working conditions, being open to public accountability, and reducing the number of middlemen between producers & consumers. They believe fair trade should be environmentally, economically, and culturally sustainable and give local communities the opportunity to self-empower.
Alaffia Fair Trade Shea & Coconut
The cost to handcraft shea butter and coconut oil at the Alaffia Cooperative is over two times the price of these same butters at West African ports. Why is Alaffia's cost higher?
Nut prices: Alaffia pays 15-25% above market price for shea nuts.
Fair wages: Their cooperative members receive a salary more than 4 times the average family income in Togo.
Benefits: Cooperative members also receive full medical care, employment security, and one month of paid vacation each year.
What Does Fair Trade Mean?
Fair trade certification is an independent, neutral third party certification verifying an organization upholds fair trade, social, and environmental standards in their operations. Alaffia is certified Fair for Life: Social & Fair Trade by IMO (Institute for Marketecology), one of the first and most renowned international inspection & certification agencies for organic and social (fair trade) accountability. IMO's Fair for Life certification combines strict social and fair trade standards with adaptability to local conditions.
Alaffia Empowerment Project
Alaffia's success is not simply measured by profit. Their success is measured by empowerment. Empowerment Projects are Alaffia's mission in action, funded by the sales of Alaffia products. Alaffia invests in their communities because it is their moral responsibility and to ensure African resources empower African communities. The goal is to alleviate poverty and encourage gender equality. Their Empowerment Projects include several Education-Based Projects, Maternal Health, FGM Eradication, Eyeglasses and Reforestation. All of Alaffia's projects empower Togolese communities to provide their skills and knowledge to the rest of the world and rise out of poverty.
Each year in West Africa, 160,000 women die due to complications with pregnancy and childbirth. Over her lifetime, an African woman has a 1 in 32 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, compared to 1 in 2,400 in Europe (UNICEF, 2012). There are several reasons for the high maternal mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa, including extreme poverty and inadequate infrastructure.
While the problem seems insurmountable, it is possible to save lives with basic health care and gender equality. In 2006, they started their Maternal Health Project following the World Health Organization's recommendations for reducing maternal death rates. Their Maternal Health Project has two parts; The first is a direct approach to the immediate problem. Each year, they fund full pre- and postnatal care, including special and urgent needs, to women in rural Togo. Alaffia product sales have paid for the births of 4,463 babies in rural Togolese communities through the Togo Health Clinic system.
The Alaffia Women's Clinic Project is the second part of their women's health efforts. In 2007, they began to partner with local Togolese health clinics to provide information and training on all women's health issues, including nutrition, preventing female genital mutilation, and much more. They believe saving mothers is a necessary step in reducing poverty. When a mother dies, her surviving children's nutrition & health suffer, and they are more likely to drop out of school, reducing their ability to rise out of poverty.
The future of African communities depends on the education and empowerment of young people. If our youth are helped with the dilemmas they face, such as harsh poverty and lack of infrastructure, they will be empowered to lead their communities in the future. Since Alaffia founded their shea butter cooperative in 2003, they have provided school uniforms, books, and writing supplies to children in their Togolese communities to offset the financial burden these items have on poor families. They also donate desks and install new roofs on schools to make learning a more enjoyable experience. Since 2011, Alaffia product sales have funded the construction of ten schools throughout Togo and provided school supplies to 32,842 recipients.
In rural areas of Togo, students walk up to 10 miles a day to attend school. There are no buses, and families cannot afford private transportation. As a result, school becomes very time consuming, and most students decide to quit school in order to fulfill their family obligations. In rural areas, less than 10% of high school-aged girls and only 16% of boys attend school (UNICEF). In 2004, Alaffia began collecting and sending used bicycles to Togolese students to encourage them to stay in and complete school. Now, with over 7,482 bicycles sent and distributed, they are seeing a real impact on exam scores and retention in rural schools. 95% of Bicycles For Education recipients graduate secondary school.
Alaffia collects used bicycles in and around their communities in Washington and Oregon, with the help of their retailers, volunteers, and Alaffia staff. All costs of this project- from collecting, repairing, and shipping bicycles, to customs duties, distribution costs, ongoing maintenance and follow-up - are paid for through the sales of Alaffia products. This project brings their communities in the US and Togo together. Bicycles that would otherwise be destined for the landfill are encouraging students in Togo to stay in school so they can lead their communities out of poverty.
Deforestation and climate change have had a devastating impact on West African farming communities. Alaffia product sales have funded the planting of 57,575 trees by Togolese farmers to help mitigate erosion and improve food security for their families. They also conduct trainings to discourage the cutting of shea trees for Firewood and charcoal to preserve this important indigenous resource for future generations. Through their Alternative Fuels Project, they investigate sustainable fuel alternatives, such as bio-gas and bio-oils, to reduce the demand for wood and charcoal.Eyeglasses
In Togo, it is extremely difficult for visually impaired people to obtain eyeglasses. An eye exam costs as much as one month's wage and a pair of eyeglasses can cost up to four months of wages. Alaffia collects used eyeglasses at retailer locations throughout the US and employs an optometrist in Togo to correctly fit and distribute the glasses. A pair of eyeglasses is life-changing for a child struggling in school, the elderly with failing vision, and adults who have never been able to see clearly. To date, Alaffia has collected over 24,927 pairs of glasses.FGM Eradication
As part of Alaffia's Maternal Health Initiatives, Alaffia aims to educate women about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), or excision. FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. The procedure can result in severe bleeding, infections, life-threatening complications in childbirth, and increased risk of newborn deaths. (World Health Organization)
Abidé Awesso, Alaffia's Maternal Health & FGM Eradication Coordinator in the Bassar region of Togo, has been working with Alaffia since 2012. Hodalo Katakouna was one of Abidé's first patients and one of the ?rst women to be supported as part of their Maternal Health and FGM Eradication project. Following, Abidé recounts Hodalo's story:
"I had just started in my position with Alaffia's Maternal Health Project, and was on one of my very First village Field visits. I was headed to the health clinic in Tchatchaminadé, a small village along the rocky road from Bassar to Bafilo through the Chain du Togo mountain range. I was going to Tchatchaminadé for a meeting with village ofcials and maternal health participants on the adverse consequences of female genital mutilation.
While driving my motorcycle along the one lane path to the village, I saw a pregnant woman sitting on a rock writhing in pain. I stopped to see what was wrong. She explained since the beginning of her pregnancy, she had not been feeling well. She had not been to see a doctor because she couldn't afford it, but seeing how her health was declining more and more each day, she decided that morning to go to the clinic in the nearby village. Sadly, she didn't even have someone to come with her, and after walking 5 miles, was too tired and ill to continue her journey. I decided to bring her with me on my motorcycle even though it would make me late to my meeting. We traveled to the Tchatchaminadé clinic together where she received medical attention and was able to rest.
After she rested and was feeling more comfortable, with the permission of the clinic's doctor, I examined her myself (I am a trained midwife). During my examination, I noted that Hodalo had undergone female genital mutilation as a child, and had a serious chronic pelvic infection as a result. Her infection was so advanced that it made me concerned for her pregnancy and even her life. The infection, resulting pain, and physical stress were the source of her sickness. Together, the clinic's nurse practitioner and I decided to refer her to the Regional Hospital of Bassar where she would receive better care.
Hodalo's infection was so serious she required intravenous antibiotics. Because of this, and that we were worried for the health of the baby, she remained hospitalized for two weeks. All medical expenses were covered by Alaffia for the entire stay. During her stay at the hospital, Hodalo received more information about Alaffia's program which she had benefited from. She accepted the offer to join the program, and began taking part in the meetings with Alaffia and other women who were participating. All Alaffia maternal health participants meet regularly to discuss hygiene, nutrition, and how to end FGM practices in their communities. Three months after Hodalo's hospitalization, she gave birth to a little girl. Thankfully, she had a complication-free birth, and I was able to deliver her child easily and safely. Afterwards, she presented the child to me as a sign of gratitude and said, "This child is ours now because without the help of Alaffia, neither myself nor this child would have survived. I will call her Alaffia."
Over the years, there have been moments that shaped the natural products industry. One such moment occurred when Olowo-n'djo Tchala met Prairie Rose Hyde. No one could have imagined a young woman from rural Washington and a young man born and raised in rural Togo, West Africa with a sixth grade education would go on to build one of the most successful fair trade body care organizations in the natural products industry. No one except them, that is.
Olowo-n'djo Tchala was born and raised in the village of Kaboli, Togo where he shared a single 8'x10' room with his mother and seven siblings. After failing to afford school tuition, Olowo-n'djo dropped out of school in the sixth grade. In the years after, he worked alongside his mother on her farm. In 1996, Olowo-n'djo met and fell in love with Peace Corps Volunteer, Prairie Rose Hyde, while she worked in Kaboli. After her service ended, the couple moved to the United States with a shared goal: Finding a way to alleviate poverty in West Africa.
Rose entered a graduate program at the University of California, Davis studying International Agricultural Development and Ethnobotany, the scientific study of the relationships that exist between people and plants. Olowo-n'djo studied English and earned a degree in Organizational Theory. Determined to make a difference in his home country, Olowo-n'djo applied for a $50,000 business loan and, not familiar with the American banking system, did not understand why the bank could not fulfill his request when he had no personal Financial assets. Eventually, Rose's brother offered his house as collateral and the couple obtained the loan, traveled to Togo, and formed what is known today as Alaffia.