The beauty of giving back: Six brands that support meaningful charities

by Nina Marable, contributor

If looking good makes you feel good, why not take the chance to do good as well? Beauty brands have been going beyond helping us to look the best version of ourselves and are using their influential platforms to support charitable causes and social change movements. Want your peso to travel the extra mile? Consider purchasing from these six brands that give back.

Human Nature

Launched in 2008, Human Nature has stuck to their whole-hearted values and beliefs. This local-gone-international brand was born when founders Anna Meloto-Wilk and her husband Dylan noticed a growing trend of natural and eco-friendly beauty products. Popularly used ingredients like virgin coconut oil, elemi and sugarcane actually grow in abundance in the Philippines! Instead of bringing in another brand from abroad, they decided to source the raw materials locally and tap the Gawad Kalinga communities for their workforce.

Because GK is rooted in being pro-environment, pro-poor, and pro-Pinoy, Human Nature buys from local farmers and provides fair living wages to its employees, which is 70% more than the minimum wage required by the law! Workers also get full benefits instead of being treated as contractuals. Last but definitely not the least: they have a no firing policy. I got the chance to meet GK founder Tony Meloto in a field trip last year, and he explained that many of their people never had the benefit of good education so there's a lot of training (and mistake-making) involved. It's a challenge but both Human Nature and GK are committed to empowering their employees to becoming productive members of society. (Source)

Lush

This high-end artisan brand claims that charitable giving is at the heart of their business – and they definitely come through! Their most notable charity project would definitely be the Charity Pot, which funds various causes relating to humanitarian movements, environmental advocacies, and animal rights. They get their funds come from sales of their body lotion with the same name, which are individually marked with the chosen beneficiary. Donations raised have amounted to more than $18,000,000 and benefited as much as 1,400 grassroots charities, including CARA Philippines. Anyone can apply for funding through their Funding and Applications page. (Source)

The Body Shop

Built on an Enrich Not Exploit philosophy, The Body Shop is actually celebrating 30 years of their Community Trade campaign! Since 1987, they have been supporting small-scale farmers, traditional artisans, and rural cooperatives from marginalized communities by giving them fair wages for their work. They've managed help over 25,000 people and their families from 21 countries and 26 Community Trade suppliers. This not only benefits the employees but the company as well as they are acquire and secure the production of quality ingredients for a lower price. It also supports sustainable farming processes that help to safeguard the environment so it's a win-win for all. (Source

Benefit Cosmetics

This year marks the third anniversary of Benefit’s Bold is Beautiful Project, which aims to help women go beyond skin-deep beauty and develop true confidence in their skills and purpose. They're doing it one brow at a time, by donating all the proceeds from their brow waxing services! 

The project is held every May, and this year's chosen beneficiary was Mano Amiga, a private, non-profit organization that provides affordable, innovative and quality international education to children from low-income families. Benefit provided leadership training sessions, school supplies, and even livelihood and empowerment programs for their students' moms! The project is run through 17 countries and partners with local charities, with each one centered on helping women to allow them to reach their full potential. Now that's real girl power! (Source)

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees launched The Greater Good Foundation in 2007 and has donated over $330,000 to non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting both human and honeybee health. That's right: bees! Due to urbanization, pollution and environmental changes, bee populations have been dropping. It may not sound so bad but we actually need bees to help grow food and maintain an ecological balance.

So last year, Burt's Bees put up the Bring Back the Bees program and planted over 1 billion seeds of wildflowers near farmlands, so that bees will have a good source of nourishment even as they pollinate food crops, create delicious honey, and provide the awesome natural ingredients in Burt's Bees products. (Source)

L’OCCITANE En Provence

While we enjoy the visuals of gorgeous, well-designed packaging almost 285 million people in the world suffer from preventable visual impairment. For years, L’OCCITANE has been using Braille in most of its packaging to make its products more accessible - but their efforts do not stop there.

Apart from raising public awareness about the blind and visually-impaired, they created their very own Union for Vision – 10by20 program, which aims to provide quality eye care for 10 million beneficiaries by 2020! Last year’s execution raised more than €167,000 and funded an ORBIS project in Ethiopia where 500,000 people got their eyes checked and treated for trachoma, a bacterial eye infection that can lead to blindness. (Source)


While it doesn't replace direct donations or volunteer work, every bit of help counts! It's gratifying to see that even our beauty hobby can go a long way in helping others.

Do you already support these brands? What other charitable beauty initiatives do you know of?