Angry botanicals

As I became aware of the beauty industries’ botanical ingredients and society’s exorbitant demands for miracle herbs that would reverse signs of aging and shave off layers of fat, I quickly saw that believing in nature’s curative abilities alone wasn’t going to make this world a better place...not if there wasn’t a plant revolution that would change the way we understood agriculture and international trade. Until then, I was deadly ashamed of, and ever so angry about, being a part of the green beauty movement for it was a movement that only enabled the exploitative practices of stolen harvests that have been destroying our resources and the lives of so many. The botanicals are angry.

Angry Botanicals is more than a green beauty movement. It’s a plant revolution that demands more than organic. Angry Botanicals takes a stance for earth justice and human rights because as it is now, our needs for botanical ingredients in skincare products means that agro-industries appropriate land from host countries throughout South East Asia and Latin America to grow cash crops that are sold to the US and Europe.  This leaves the people of these places unable to grow their preferred foods on their own land, negatively affecting local food supply, access and prices, and significantly distorting traditional food culture. These people are also forced to work as farm laborers, receiving measly wages instead of being able to be their own farmer of their own land. To make matters worse, these agro-industries use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides—even when claiming to be organic as “organic” can imply a minimum use of these toxic inputs. Not only are these toxic to our skin — which the green beauty movement has done a great job bringing to our attention— these toxic chemicals have serious implications on our earth: it stresses our earth, pollutes waters sources and it kills biodiversity, including the micro-organisms that strengthen our soil and nourish the plants.

All this destruction—whether it’s the plundering of resources or the disruption of local economies and cultures—caused by the senseless practices of agro-industries, is magnified as our desires for botanical ingredients increase.

How could I be a part of an industry that was responsible for environmental degradation by exploiting resources to make plant-based beauty products or by creating formulas riddled with toxic ingredients that polluted our waters, our soil, and our organs? Is our beauty worth this?