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