There are companies that give back. And then there are give-back companies, ones that are built — from day one — with a philanthropic mission at the forefront. These four young beauty lines fall firmly in the second camp. And it’s important to support companies who are doing it right: It’s easy to classify any give-back efforts as good, but brands that aren’t transparent about exactly how much they’re donating per product or to which charity the proceeds are going are as common as their actually-charitable counterparts. As for these four? They’re totally changing the game. Meet the ski-care brand that employs (and provides housing, healthcare, therapy, and job training) for survivors of human trafficking and addiction, the lipstick brand writing five-figure checks to Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, the mascara that powers eyesight-restoring surgeries, and the brow pencil that fuels gun safety efforts. Changing the status quo has never been more beautiful.
Thistle Farms (shown above)
Founder: Becca Stevens
Peruse the ingredient list for one of Thistle Farms’ lotions, oils, or soaps and you’ll learn they’re made of simple, soothing ingredients (natural oils, butters, and waxes). Continue to read the packaging and you’ll discover that they were made by women who are survivors of human trafficking, domestic abuse, and addiction. And these women are getting way more than a paycheck: The Nashville-based company’s residential program also provides free housing, medical care, therapy, and job training for up to 32 women at a time. And those who keep working at Thistle Farms after they’re back on their feet continue to receive career training. Thistle Farms’ current manufacturing manager and national sales director were both graduates of the program (as is most of the sales team).
The Lipstick Lobby
Founder: Davida Hall
The Lipstick Lobby may support a lot of things — women’s reproductive rights, adequate gun safety laws, criminal justice reform, affordable health care — but it stands against complicated math. Simply and plainly, the company donates $5 from the sale of every lipstick (a minimum of $10,000) to the American Civil Liberties Union. And 100 percent of the net profits from its orchid-colored Kiss My Pink Lipstick and its orange-red Fired Up Lipstick are donated to Planned Parenthood and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, respectively. Well, maybe there is a little math. But mostly,
there is creamy, strikingly bright, matte lip color.
Founder: Kristen Leonard
The names of Beautiful Rights’ lipsticks, gloss, and brow pencil are catchy: Gloss Ceiling, Change Maker, #Enough, United Shade of America . But the line is anything but a gimmick. Twenty percent of all sales — not net or gross profits — is donated to causes like women’s reproductive health (through Planned Parenthood), gun safety (through March for Our Lives and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America), and human rights and social equality (through the American Civil Liberties Union and others). And that 20 percent isn’t just a generous donation — the number is meant to represent the United States’ overall gender wage gap. Women earned just 82 percent of what men did last year, according to the Pew Research Center.
Indigo & Iris
Founder: Bonnie Howland
Indigo & Iris’s Levitate Mascara is the one most likely to be in the makeup bag of the Coolest Friend You Have. It’s from an under-the-radar New Zealand brand, it’s vegan, and it makes lashes ultralong and fluttery. Also: 50 percent of the gross profits from every tube is donated to the Fred Hollows Foundation, which specializes in curing treatable blindness in the Pacific Islands, where eyesight-restoring surgeries can cost as little as $18. So it’s easy to realize how a $26 mascara can make a difference, and pretty quickly. When then 18-year-old Howland had this aha moment, she dropped out of university and Indigo & Iris was born. Since its Kickstarter debut last year, Indigo & Iris has helped more than 100 people get their sight back.
A version of this article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Allure. For fashion credits, see Shopping Guide. To get your copy, head to newsstands or subscribe now.
For more on supporting causes:
- 9 Wellness Products That Support Good Causes and Help You Relax
- 6 Ways to Support Transgender and Nonbinary People Right Now
- How to Support the Causes of Activists at the 2018 Golden Globes
8 Ways to Have an Environmentally Friendly Beauty Routine