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It is hard not to love Alaffia, based on their fabulous products alone. But with this mission statement, "Advancing gender equality and alleviating poverty through the fair-trade of handcrafted shea butter," you want to reach out and give them a big hug. Alaffia supports a shea butter cooperative in Togo, West Africa, employing over 300 women and paying them fair wages that allow them to comfortably support their families.

Alaffia is a certified fair-trade company; however, they go above and beyond the standards set by that certification. They pay 15-25% above market price for the shea nuts and they pay their cooperative members more than four times the average family income in Togo, along with providing a generous benefit package to employees.

Due to the success of the company, Alaffia is able to support several community projects that have had a major impact on this population, such as the Bicycles for Education project, the Maternal Health Fund, and the School Support Projects. Astonishingly, for this year, the number of women Alaffia will be able to support through healthy child birth has increased from 100 to 400! Alaffia has also provided solar panels to power computers, lights, and well pumps. They practice reforestation and will plant up to 4,000 trees this year.

Jane Iredale is the president and founder of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics. She was the first to supply the aesthetics industry with a full-line of makeup based on minerals and the first to see the potential of offering physicians a makeup that was good for the skin. She has worked with world-renowned plastic surgeons and dermatologists in the development of her line and lectures all over the world on its benefits.

Before she formed her cosmetics company in 1994, Jane Iredale had an impressive and diverse background in film, theatre, and television, working with big names such as Francis Ford Coppola, and even won an Emmy as a writer for a series.

She worked with some of the best makeup artists in the world, and values the importance of enhancing an actress's natural beauty. Her experience in working with women whose careers depended on a clear complexion has allowed her to see how skin disorders and sensitivities not only threaten careers but can also destroy self-confidence. This is what led her to develop a makeup line that could contribute to the lives of women by aiding the health of the skin.

Emerita is a woman-owned company that's been in the business of serving women since the 1970s. They are a socially-responsible company that respects and empowers its employees, while operating in an open and collaborative fashion. Emerita also has a long history as an advocate for women, valuing education about women's health issues. They helped create, a national association for women's health that works with the government, women's health organizations, physicians, and consumers to promote research and education on midlife health options for women.

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