All that glitters isn’t gold. Mica – the mineral that adds shimmer to your highlighter, blush, lipstick, nail polish and more – is connected to child labour and suffering. In India alone, over 22,000 children work in illegal mica mines, where kids as young as five climb down unsafe tunnels to chisel out mica rock.
As conscious consumers, how can we get the glow without the guilt? Cruelty-free is a label that many makeup companies use to indicate no animal was harmed or tested on to make their products. Sadly, no label yet exists to guarantee child exploitation isn’t involved in our makeup products.
But that hasn’t stopped these four companies from going the extra mile to demonstrate their commitment to help keep children safe. Read more about their ethical products below.
Enjoy cosmetics the fair way! The innovative body care line Fair CosmEthics supports the principles of fair trade by using Fairtrade-certified Cane sugar and Brazil nut oil. For Fair CosmEthics, it is more than premium quality, it is a commitment to making the world a better place.
Fair trading conditions, environmental responsibility, and a strict “no” to child labour and animal testing. FAIR Squared is certified FairTrade, NATRUE, and guaranteed vegan by Vegan Society. It also implements continuous independent auditing of standards.
Canadian based Pure Anada guarantees that raw materials are mined ethically in India without the use of child labour. Their supplier owns their mines and funds school and daycare centres to ensure a fair quality of life for their employees.
Going for a matte look? Haut has you covered with its entire mica-free collection. As the Canadian company shares on their website, Haut “decided to err on the side of caution and keep this shimmery filler from contributing to child labour, animal cruelty and possibly damaging skin’s surface.”
Omiana prides itself on ethically sourcing its mica where child labour is prohibited, including from mines in the U.S. and France.
To avoid risks of child labour, UK-based company Green People is proud to work with its mica supplier in Malaysia to document and confirm that no child labour is involved in the extraction or processing of the Mica they use. They also source their certified organic shea butter from a women’s co-operative in northern Ghana. While Green People doesn't ship directly to Canada, their products are available through Amazon.ca.
Didn’t see your favourite makeup brand on our list?
Our Mica-Free Makeup Guide focuses on smaller companies who are taking positive steps. If you didn’t see your brand of choice mentioned, let them know that you want to choose products that are not connected to child labour. You can make your voice heard by using this message, and adding the company name:
Tweet a company
@_______ I’m a fan of your makeup. I learned that child labour is connected to makeup products through mica mining. I want to be a more #ConsciousConsumer. To help me, can you share what you are doing to ensure your makeup is child labour-free? #WorldMakeUpDay
(Find your makeup brands Twitter Handle)
Email a company
Dear [company name],
I’m a customer and a fan of your makeup. Recently, I learned that child labour is connected to makeup products through mica supply chains. To learn more about this issue, you can read World Vision Canada’s report on child labour in cosmetics.
I want to support a brand that addresses child labour. What are you doing to ensure your makeup is child labour-free, and is this information publicly available? Specifically, do you:
- Have established codes of conduct for suppliers that prohibit child labour?
- Provide training for staff and suppliers that raise awareness and build their capacity to monitor and implement these standards?
- Make unannounced visits to audit third-party suppliers to measure compliance?
- Set up formal, accessible grievance mechanisms to report violations of standards and a process to respond to these violations?
Thank you in advance for your reply.