Marko Metzinger/Studio D
A lipstick is always a quick pick-me-up, but Aveda's Uruku Lip Pigment, $14, helps lift the spirits of millions. Fifteen years ago, Aveda's founder encountered the Yawanawá tribe in Brazil. The tribe was dispersed after losing much of its land to rubber plantations, explains Chuck Bennett, vice president of earth and community care at Aveda. "Culturally, they were on the verge of extinction." To support the tribe, Aveda began purchasing urukum seed from the tribe. The antioxidant-rich seed is used for the tribe's body-painting rituals because of its vibrant red pigment, which Aveda now uses in its Uruku makeup line. Aveda has also initiated local social projects and school development and has provided equipment for urukum production. The goal: "We're working to move beyond the charitable relationship so they can become a fully sustainable community," says Bennett. The tribe has recently secured the rights to 125,000 acres of sacred land (for a total of 450,000), reestablishing their sense of community.
A body butter sustains a community of 40 families.
Nu Skin Enterprises is a cosmetic brand known for its quality skin care as well as its outreach to others less fortunate across the globe. In 1996, the company created the Force for Good Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to improving quality of life in indigenous communities. Nu Skin is involved in hundreds of humanitarian projects in more than 50 countries, including one in Malawi, Africa. "Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world," says Sandie Tillotson, senior vice president and cofounder of Nu Skin Enterprises, "but also one of the most peaceful, so we knew they would be receptive to our help." They decided to tackle the biggest problem: poor farming techniques. Enter the Build a Village initiative. Nu Skin built a "model" village that functions as an agricultural school, teaching farmers and their spouses modern farming techniques, even building a reservoir so the farmers could learn irrigation techniques. The village is currently home to 40 families, with the goal of housing 100. The families will stay for two years, learn to farm for themselves, and then relocate so new families can move in. "It's the concept of teaching a person to fish, rather than just giving them the fish," says Tillotson. For every Nu Skin Epoch product purchased, 25 cents is donated to the Force for Good Foundation. With each purchase of Epoch Baobab Body Butter, $30, Nu Skin will use that 25 cents to plant a baobab or fruit tree in Malawi, which will help further preserve the environment.