An entire quarter century has passed since The Body Shop’s Community Trade partnership began with the Tungteiya Women’s Association in Northern Ghana.
To celebrate this epic 25 year milestone, we Shea’d up a storm at The Body Shop’s Melbourne flagship store.
Before I dive into our antics (with my now incredibly soft hands), let me first take you back. WAYYYY back to 1994.
While I was spending my Grade 6 lunch breaks belting out some sweet TLC verses, the founder of The Body Shop Anita Roddick was arguably doing a bit more for the world.
Having visited Ghana a few years prior, she fell in love with and truly wanted to empower the women there, and in turn their families and entire communities.
Anita initiated the Community Trade Shea partnership, placing the first shea order, and The Body Shop have been the main buyer in the 25 years since. A fair price is paid for the ultra-nourishing Shea as well as a voluntary premium in addition.
This premium helps The Northern Ghana Community Action Fund to invest in community projects like healthcare, sanitation, water and education which benefit 49,000 people every year.
In 2011, The Body Shop went a major step further, co-founding the Global Shea Alliance (GSA). The GSA helps the Shea industry strive for a more sustainable world and helps benefit the 8 million women who are a crucial part of this industry.
To celebrate the incredible long-standing partnership, The Body Shop have released four new products into their existing Shea line-up. They are the:
Not only are all four vegan and cruelty-free, the result of this extended range boosts funding for Tungteiya’s community projects by 30%.
Our magical night with The Body Shop included two DIY workshops, where we made our very own Shea Hair Masks and Lip Scrubs. Both are currently on my bathroom counter being well loved and dipped into every single day.
CANNOT GET ENOUGH.
Highly recommend checking out the recipes here, and concocting your own winter protection potions! It is crazy simple and you’ll feel super chuffed that you made pure magic happen.
And if all this wasn’t enough, we were joined on the night by the sublime Montana Lower. An inspiring and multi-talented woman in her own right, I have actually followed and admired Montana on Insta for a while now!
A civil and environmental engineer, artist, part-time model and all-round legend, Montana shared with us details of her recent journey to Ghana with The Body Shop.
It was incredibly touching to hear her first-hand account of just how important the Community Trade partnership has been for the Ghanaian women. How she sat alongside them and helped to make the Shea Butter – an 18-step process passed down through generations.
Montana spoke with mothers now able to provide their children with an education, women who are respected and able to make independent decisions as a result of earning their own income.
Simple freedoms we may take for granted.
Since 1994, The Tungteiya Women’s Association has grown from 50 members then to 640 now from across 11 villages.
I am so thankful to The Body Shop for this opportunity to learn all about the She in every Shea.
The iconic, rich body butter I first slathered on my limbs back in my teens, now has an entirely different feel.
Nourishing not only to me, but to the many powerful women of Northern Ghana.