Wednesday, February 19, 2020

GREEN LIVING :: The Truth About Mica

Mica is that coveted ingredient in cosmetics that gives a sparkle to our eye shadow or a glow to our highlighter.  It helps bring radiance to our complexion and makes us look more awake.  We need it.

Mica happens to be a clean ingredient because it is naturally occurring.  However, it is not always ethically sourced and its mining often involves child labor.  The mica supply chain is very hard to track down though and the certificates that cosmetic companies obtain stating that their mica was ethically sourced aren't always a guarantee.

Beautycounter's preferred mica supplier is in Hartwell, Georgia.  To meet product demand, however, the company needs to source from Japan, Brazil and India.  

In an effort to bring transparency to its supply chain, Beautycounter has taken an unprecedented approach.  Their move is still getting a lot of positive press so I wanted to talk about it in my blog.  Last week, the company released a documentary where they showcase their in-person audit of their mica supply chain.  They have visited mines to learn more about the working conditions and have partnered on site with Sourcemap and Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi (founder of the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation) to develop a program to support ethical mining and stop child labor.  Sourcemap is a supply chain mapping software developed at MIT that will enable Beautycounter to track its entire supply chain and trace products to the source to track their social, financial and environmental path.  This technology is already used in the coffee and chocolate industries and will hopefully be on Beautycounter's website by the end of the year to show the path of mica.  

This documentary was very eye opening to me.  I feel that it is something we need to share so that we are informed as consumers.  We hold a lot of power and we have to keep that in mind.  Here's what you can do if you want to get involved:

1)  Share our responsible sourcing journey.  

2)  Contact companies or call their customer support team and ask them if their ingredients are responsibly sourced.  If people start asking, companies will have to come up with answers.  Have you noticed the wave of "natural" products in stores?  People are increasingly more aware of what's in their products and companies are starting to try to respond. 

3)  Text "MICA" to 52886 to ask elected officials to stop importing mica mined by children.

I couldn't be more proud to have joined forces with Beautycounter, a leader in the clean beauty industry who is working on being more sustainablebringing transparency to its supply chains, making sure that its products are safe all while trying to bring regulation to the beauty industry.  Can every cosmetics company say the same?  

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