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Conscientious consumer: Child Labor in Makup Sourcing

Posted by: Noah Grunzweig @ Jan. 28, 2014, 1:02 p.m.

Eight Year Old Micah is Mining Mica in India for Your Makup

Better World Club Child Labor for Mica sourced for makup

Conscientious consumers who think they need makeup struggle to look poor children in their unpainted eyes. Many turn to Curella De vil for advice. 

Tired of taking your kids to school?  Need a more concrete threat when talking to your children about responsibility?  Try mining for mica.  What is mica?  Mica is the mineral in your makeup and nail polish that provides shine, oil absorption, and consistency of texture, AND much of mica supply chain is mined by child labor!

Try our sample conversational start designed for maximum suppression:

"Stanley, if you don’t clean your room, mommy might send you to India to dig for mommy’s makeup ingredients.  I will, however, let you make that big boy decision for yourself.  Which would you prefer, Stanley: bleeding fingers and chronic bronchitis to earn your keep? or picking up your transformers like Mommy asked an hour ago?  I’m ok with either, because Mommy needs to look sparkly even when she’s not happy.”

Child labour in India's mica mining industry has been a problem for years.  Unfortunately, the industry supply chain is shrouded more heavily than the face of a worried woman under a dozen layers of foundation, primer, and concealer.

Recently, Fairfax Media in Australia investigated the industry and sent repeated inquiries about product sourcing to major companies such as the Estee Lauder Companies, Heritage Brands, and L'Oreal Group.  These three conglomerates own most of the make-up companies you know.

The responses they got were almost all traditionally vague or dismissive.

''We do not believe that any of our products are associated with child labor,” Heritage Brands insists, but the company could not provide specific information regarding the ''source of raw materials used by all our suppliers.”

“As we are a private company, we wouldn't be able to provide our actual supplier's name,''  says Napoleon Perdis.

No Response - L'Oreal Group (Lancome, L'Oreal, Redken, Maybelline, The Body Shop and Yves Saint Laurent).

Estee Lauder Companies reports sourcing less than 10 per cent of the mica from India, and also says they are working with a local community organization, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), “to promote access to education as an approach to work towards the elimination of child labor in mica-sourcing communities,'' a spokeswoman for Estee Lauder said.

If you would like to learn more about child labor in India's mica mining industry, check out our source from the Sydney Morning Herald.

The ingredient mica is also labeled as Glimmer, Kaliglimmer, Muskovit, or CI 77019.  




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