Tuesday, May 29, 2007
During the past two years, I've had the great privilege to try out and write about many of the top organic skin care products on the market. One of my favorite product lines is Inara, not only for the luxurious way it feels on my skin, but also because of Inara's dedication to the efforts of women and their families in the remote state of Maranhao, deep in southeastern Brazil. Through the purchase of babassu oil and handcrafted babassu soap, Inara and the various cooperatives of this region have entered into an ancient ritual of reciprocity, based on an exchange that benefits these women, their families, and the environment they inhabit. The manufacturing of these 100% organic products also helps with the preservation of the 10 million hectares of babassu palm trees in secondary forests throughout the state of Maranhao.
I'm very excited because today, Anne Dolbeau, the founder of Wild Earth and creator of Inara, has dropped by for an interview.
mj: Do you think you can be "green" and still have great style?
anne: Absolutely. Ever since the surge in consumer awareness, I believe it has been my responsibility to delete extra components from our packaging. For example, at Inara we do not individually box our products. We sell them in 6-packs to our wholesale customers. Style is what makes the consumer stop and check out your product--it is a lot easier to get their attention without a box around the product.
mj: How did you first get involved with conscious manufacturing?
anne: I launched Inara in the Lohas market in 2001 and so from the start I was sensitive to the issue that extra packaging could be perceived as irresponsible.
mj: Why do you think it's important?
anne: It is important for the retailer I am selling to--they have waste on their end to deal with. I care a great deal about the environment in my daily actions plus I lead by example for my two children.
mj: Do you consider yourself to be a green consumer?
anne: Yes--I am very aware down to the paper magazines are printed on. I pay attention to what the largest companies do and I base my purchasing decisions on that fact. I believe in practicality too but if each person did one thing consistently (always striving to do more) in the name of the environment, we may be able to preserve our world longer for future generations.
mj: What are your favorite products (besides Inara)?
anne: I love Pangea Organics. They have absolutely great style and responsible packaging to boot. I also love Aveda and the makeup line. They use hemp lip cases and most of their boxes and bags are made out of recycled materials. They have set the bar and they should--a large company has the resources and responsibility to lead by example.
mj: What skin care products do you use during a typical day?
anne: For my body I only use Inara, Aveda for my hair and for my face Jurlique, Juice Beauty and Clarins new SPF 15 Extra Firming Day Creme.