“AAK has been undertaking ethical sourcing long before it became fashionable in the personal care industry,” said Amarjit Sahota, founder and president of Ecovia Intelligence and organizer of the Sustainable Beauty Awards. “AAK Personal Care is a deserved winner of the Sustainability Pioneer Award because of the positive impact of its Kolo Nafaso program, which is providing income to over 230,000 women shea collectors in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Ivory Coast.”
The AAK Kolo Nafaso direct sourcing program has grown exponentially over the 10 years since it was founded. Based on fair trade principles, it provides the women shea collectors engaged in the program with access to pre-financing, training and logistical support. External assessments and qualitative studies confirm success in delivering better working conditions, improving livelihoods and empowering the women to make positive choices that contribute to the socio-economic development of the wider population.
“This award is an acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication of our teams on the ground in West Africa,” commented AAK’s Lisette Townsend. “Also, the growth in our sustainability partnership initiative enables cosmetic manufacturers to actively increase the social value of their brands through investment in targeted training programs that aim to improve health and safety, business development opportunities and financial benefits for the Kolo Nafaso women’s groups.”