Most of us start the new year with a list of resolutions, including beauty resolutions: We vow to eat healthier, work out more regularly, take better care of our skin, hair, teeth, etc. The new year is also the time for many of us to think about how we can contribute to the world and help others in need. Can we combine the two? Can we do good through beauty?
Numerous large beauty companies have compelling social responsibility agendas, part of which means sponsoring charitable causes or environmental missions. Almost anybody who shops beauty has seen the pink lip sticks, hand creams and various other products that are dedicated to Breast Cancer Research during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. We all know about Avon’s Walk for a Cure campaign for Breast Cancer or MAC’s Viva Glam campaign for AIDS. Dove recently embarked on a multi-million-dollar “Real Beauty” campaign to address women’s self esteem issues. Some beauty companies like The Body Shop and Aveda have made it their company’s specific mission to educate the public about environmental and social issues and contribute profits to such causes.
The new year is also the time for many of us to think about how we can contribute to the world
But it is not just the big companies and big beauty brands that work to contribute towards a better world. Here is my list of emerging brands and beauty entrepreneurs who have impressed with their efforts to make a difference while delighting us with their products:
Ojon’s products are based on one central ingredient, the rare oil of the Ojon tree, which grows in Eastern Honduras (Central America) and has been used by the Miskito Indians for centuries. In harvesting the Ojon oil for its products, Ojon Corporation, founded by Denis Simioni, works with a local non-profit group that is dedicated to promoting sustainable development and environmental preservation in that region. In 2005, the company started the Ojon Scholarship fund to aid disadvantaged school children in the area. The purchase of Ojon products helps to feed and educate the people of Mosquitia, allowing them to preserve their way of life and rainforests. (Ojon is available at www.sephora.com)
Founded in 2001 by Jody R. Weiss, a New York City-based veteran marketer and fund raiser for a variety of cause-related services and events, PeaceKeeper is a line of products for which all profits, after taxes, are donated to support women’s health advocacy and human rights issues, while educating the mass consumer about the difference between dominance vs. win/win. Product offerings include staple beauty goodies like Lip Paint, Nail Paint and Lip Gloss in a variety of universally flattering colors. The idea behind PeaceKeeper is that each purchase of PeaceKepper products will empower the buyer to become a social advocate, a “PeaceKeeper” herself. ( www.imapeacekeeper.com)
Fragrances: Bond No. 9 “The Scent of Peace“
This cult-fragrance line by French perfume expert Laurice Rahme, a 25 year resident of NYC, reflects the creator’s love for his city by defining the scents of New York’s neighborhoods and capturing them in such fragrances as “Central Park”, “Park Avenue”, and “Chelsea Flowers. In 2006, “The Scent of Peace” was born to symbolize, as the company says, the greatest neighborhood of all: Peace. In 2006, $2 for every bottle purchased was donated to UNICEF. For 2007, proceeds will go to “Seeds of Peace”. (Bond No. 9 is available at www.saksfifthavenue.com)
Scented Candles: Juara “Hope Candle“
To give back to the land that provided the inspiration, Juara, a skincare line inspired by Indonesian botanicals and beauty rituals, donates 10% of all proceeds from its fragrant “Hope Candle” to Walubi, a charitable relief organization dedicated to aiding the poor and disaster hit areas of Indonesia through emergency relief work. ( www.juaraskincare.com))
Charity Fundraiser in New York City
Lastly, for all of those who live in New York City and want to make a difference, you can help bring clean water to Africa, by attending the beauty fundraiser “Benefit Charity: Water”. On February 1, Ling Skin Care and along with a host of other beauty lines team up with “Charity: Water” to raise money to fund the construction of at least three new water wells in Africa which will provide clean water to various villages for the next 20 years. Ling Skin Care, a NYC-based line with a cult-following, was founded by skincare guru Ling Chan, who combines the best of Eastern and Western beauty secrets in her products (check out www.lingskincare.com).
Other sponsors of the event include GBH, fashion house Twinkle by Wenlan and Skool Productions, Hiro Ballroom, Black Dog Ale, ToÃ±a, p.i.n.k., Iman Cosmetics, Juara, Lunessa, Peter Thomas Roth, Bourjois and more, who have been vital in selflessly providing gift bag donations to silent auction items.
Charity:Water is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate the public, stimulate greater global awareness about extreme poverty, and provoke compassionate and intelligent giving. Currently, more than one billion people worldwide don’t have access to clean water. Each week, 42,000 deaths occur from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation facilities. The people of Africa deserve a chance to live. Compassion is beautiful. Give Water. (check out www.charityis.com)
Details on the event
Date: Thursday, February1, 2007
Time: 9:00 – “ 11:00 PM
Location: Hiro Ballroom, Maritime Hotel, 9th Avenue at 16th Street
A $20 donation at the door provides: Open bar, gift bags, visual tour of Charity: Water efforts in Africa, Charity: Water souvenirs, surprise guest performance, Ling Skin Care consultations, and silent auction.
Yoshiko hosts the skincare column here every month. Her skin care line www.juaraskincare.com