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Child Labor & Mica

I spent many years living in Africa and one thing that really bothers me and should bother everyone is Child Labor.  There are several good short documentaries and news reports on the Mica industry, I highly recommend googling the NBC report on Madagascar Mica mines and child labor.  I have been on a quest for Fair-Trade Mica in beauty products and let me tell you it is not an easy search.  Unfortunately almost all shimmery eyeshadow has Mica in it.  And tons and tons and tons of this is sourced in places like Madagascar or India where people earn $3 a week and children as young as two are breaking rocks 12+ hours a day.  Mica is used in an infinite amount of products we use every day including cell phones and cars.  I went down the rabbit hole with this and I am determined more than ever if I can at least control one aspect of this in my own life it can be through beauty products.  


So far the only two eye shadow products that actually are Fair-Trade Mica that I have found are Aether Beauty - which advertises it right on the Sephora website, on their own website, and their package.  And from what I can understand ILIA beauty.  I actually emailed them about it and received a response from their team saying they request it be ethically sourced and it comes from France.  I don't think it's up to the same level of Aether Beauty's stamped and certified fair-trade mica but I believe they at least have some grasp on this.  I have not used anything but Aether Beauty's eyeshadow palettes for the past several months now and I would love to see more beauty companies strive to be ethically sourced and fair trade with ALL of their products but most of all Mica.


I encourage you to also reach out to your favorite suppliers, post, blog, etc. and explore the concept of Fair-Trade ingredients in beauty.  Some of the biggest influencers in the world are beauty influencers and I think we actually have the potential to make a real change.  If you watch the short NBC documentary, I think you will all be as moved as I am.  It's strange that we can actually make a difference by the choices we make in makeup.  Forcing the beauty industry to start facing the realities of child labor, sweatshop labor, and laborers living in abject poverty is something that needs to happen.  Beauty products need to be ethically sourced aside from being cruelty free.  I personally consider 5 year olds pounding rocks instead of going to preschool and being paid less than $1 a day as cruelty.


Please post if you have any updates with products that have Fair Trade certified Mica or if you receive responses from other companies on this subject.  



Re: Child Labor & Mica

Thank you for sharing this. May I ask how you feel about the Sephora Clean Beauty section?

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