A TASTE OF HONEY

KEEP SKIN YOUTH­FUL WITH THE BODY SHOP’S HONEY­MA­NIA RANGE THAT IS EN­RICHED WITH THE SWEET IN­GRE­DI­ENT.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - BEAUTY INSIDER -

QQWHAT MAKES HONEY AN IDEAL BEAUTY IN­GRE­DI­ENT? It is a nat­u­ral humec­tant as it helps keep skin moist, smooth and soft, and is a great in­gre­di­ent for a mois­turiser. When I be­gan sourc­ing for a flo­ral-scented honey for our Honey­ma­nia range, we had to travel to some­where that still uses tra­di­tional honey-har­vest­ing tech­niques. Even­tu­ally, we found our Com­mu­nity Fair Trade sup­plier in Ethiopia, which of­fers the per­fect sin­gle-flower honey that is light, flo­ral and sweet. HOW DO YOU DE­TER­MINE THE QUAL­ITY OF HONEY? It is de­ter­mined by what it is made from; bees take this ma­te­rial and con­cen­trate it to make the honey. Most com­mer­cial honey is pro­duced in mod­ern hives. Bees are packed to­gether and are of­ten fed su­gar wa­ter, chem­i­cals and an­tibi­otics to keep them healthy. They also gather their nec­tar from a mix of flow­ers near the hives, hence cre­at­ing a mix of scents and flavour of honey. The best honeys, like our Ethiopian Com­mu­nity y Fair Trade honey, are made from the nec­tarr of a sin­gle type of blos­som.m. In our case, this is the Ge­tame Tree flower, which gives our honey its unique flo­ral scent, colour and cos­metic prop­er­ties – it con­cen­trates the prop­er­ties of the flower. By con­trast, a stan­dard com­mer­cial honey con­cen­trates the su­gar wa­ter, agro­chem­i­cals, and even an­tibi­otics the bees feed on.

QWHERE IS THE HONEY USED IN HONEY­MA­NIA HAR­VESTED FROM? We used a par­tic­u­lar honey called Sheka honey. It is or­gan­i­cally har­vested by a co­op­er­a­tive of bee­keep­ers named Beza Mar from the Sheka na­tional park in the moun­tains of Ethiopia. The hives are kept at the top of the rain­for­est trees. No bees were harmed in this har­vest­ing process, which has been passed down through gen­er­a­tions. In fact, they are so skilled that they don’t have to wear a bee suit dur­ing har­vest. Mark Davis shares more facts about the in­gre­di­ent.

To gather enough honey to make one of ev­ery prod­uct in The Body Shop’s Honey­ma­nia col­lec­tion, it takes al­most 100 bees trav­el­ling over 2100km so they can har­vest the nec­tar from nearly 50,000 flow­ers!

The bees that pro­duce The Body Shop’s Com­mu­nity Fair Trade honey are wild. They choose to colonise the hive, pro­duce the honey, and then move on to a new home be­fore har­vest­ing. In con­trast, stan­dard com­mer­cial bee­keep­ing is closer to fac­tory farm­ing with bees liv­ing in the same hive year af­ter year and their di­ets sub­sidised with su­gar wa­ter. This method of farm­ing of­ten re­quires the heavy use of ve­teri­nary medicine to treat the ill­nesses that re­sult from dense hives.

The honey used in Honey­ma­nia is of the high­est qual­ity. It’s even good enough to eat and is sold by high-end brands as ta­ble honey.

QWHAT MAKES HONEY­MA­NIA DIF­FER­ENT FROM THE REST? Our sin­gle-flower honey is or­gan­i­cally har­vested by our Com­mu­nity Fair Trade sup­plier in Ethiopia. The Ge­tame Tree flower only blooms in the for­est canopy in March and April. The bees con­cen­trate the nec­tar from 8000 flow­ers in just one Honey­ma­nia body but­ter. As part of The Body Shop’s Com­mu­nity Fair Trade pro­gramme, the trade has helped sup­port the lives of over 280 bee­keep­ers in Ethiopia. Our honey is help­ing to strengthen the bee­keep­ing cul­ture and pre­serve the Sheka rain­for­est. The in­come from this trade al­lows bee­keep­ers to build homes and send their chil­dren to school, and em­pow­ers women. A prime ex­am­ple is how Te­naye, the first fe­male bee­keeper, is now able to clothe, feed, and send her four chil­dren to school. She was re­cently awarded “The Best Woman Beekeper in Ethiopia” ti­tle by the gov­ern­ment.

QHOW DOES THE BODY SHOP LOOK FOR IN­GRE­DI­ENTS? IS THERE A TEAM THAT IS RE­SPON­SI­BLE FOR THIS? The Com­mu­nity Fair Trade pro­gramme al­lows us to buy ex­cep­tional qual­ity gifts and ac­ces­sories di­rectly from ex­pert producers around the world. If the team is look­ing for a par­tic­u­lar in­gre­di­ent spe­cific to our needs and re­quire­ment, we will check with our cur­rent con­tacts and NGOs who might be able to point us in the right di­rec­tion.

MARK DAVIS, COM­MU­NITY FAIR TRADE DI­REC­TOR FROM THE BODY SHOP IN­TER­NA­TIONAL, GIVES US THE LOWDOWN ON BEES AND THE NEW BATH AND BODY RANGE.

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