The launch of the ELEPHAS soap, 100% of its profit will support women involved in conservation projects
We are developing an ethical cosmetic brand, ELEPHAS. We launch our project with the production of a traditionally made Shea butter soap, and 100% of the sale profits will go to the women producers (through a social and environmental help fund managed by a group of women and the association Natudev).
As for the rest of the ELEPHAS collection, the majority of the raw materials used in our products are bought directly from local producers in financially-challenged regions and 50% of the sale profits will be redistributed to finance environmental projects in the producers’ regions. The ELEPHAS Soap is the very first product of the brand, and it is 100% traditionally made by the Burkinabé women, with the Shea butter coming from the fruit harvested in the elephant corridor area.
ELEPHAS products are not only high quality, ethical, organic and sustainable, they will also support women’s emancipation and the protection of elephants, creating an international commercial outlet for this local production.
ELEPHAS project will allow the women of Burkina Faso to become more autonomous, assist them in giving good education to the children of one of the poorest countries in the world, and secure the long lasting protection of elephants.
The population in Burkina Faso is particularly poor and the women are often alone to take care of their children’s education. The country is one of the least economically advanced in the world, with an average annual salary of $631 per person in 2015. More than 55% of the population lives below the poverty line despite their dynamic civil society.
In the last 10 years, more than 100,000 elephants were killed in Africa for their tusks, but in Burkina Faso (Ponasi zone) the elephant population is still growing. Nature is still thriving in this land.
But the pressure on the environment is threatening its existence and the survival of the elephants. The expansion of intensive cultivation of cotton is destroying the savannah, home of local wildlife.
The destruction of these natural habitats includes the cutting of trees that give the women Shea butter nuts, a crop they can use sustainably, transform into butter and sell. This precious resource is vital for the women in Burkina Faso.
The local population of this country we call “Land of Honest Men” is full of determination and willingness. The mothers, concerned about the education of their children, find a common interest with the protection of the animals and the environment: protecting the forest.
How can we support these women in their fight for environmental conservation?
They need to earn more money per acre with the production of Shea than they would through cotton farming.
Our actions on the field :
- Provide the right of management and exclusive access to the resources to the women of the surrounding villages of the elephant corridor. We need to help the women secure management rights in the forest so they exclusively can harvest the Shea.
- Finance a grain press so the women can transform their Shea nuts to sell their butter at local markets, and make their work less tedious.
- Organise the promotion of soaps under the highest quality standards.
- Help in the distribution of the soaps produced by the women in the PONASI zone to support education and elephant habitat conservation.
Where is the money going?
Basic financial needs:
- A press for the village to produce Shea butter on local market: 6,000€
- Website promoting the products and the conservation program: 1,500€
- Support in the production of 2,000 soaps of high quality standard: 6,000€
- Organize a social business to increase the sales: 5,000€
Total of the basic financial needs: 18,500€
If we go beyond the money requested, we will also launch a program for beekeeping and planting of Nere trees in the region.
- A first village becomes autonomous in the transformation of Shea for the sale of its butter in the local markets
- 100% of the sale profits is given to a local association for the development and conservation of the environment.
- The bylaws governing this association are available on the web showing how they are obligated to use the funds.
Co-founders Olivier Behra and Senda Bonnet believe that we can give a new example of doing business in this world by making it better and stop exploiting its people and the planet.
Olivier Behra is a true world citizen, and has always been fascinated with plants, animals, and people. From a young age, he was aware of the importance of preserving our environment. He became a renowned ethnobotanist and value-chain expert, advising the top cosmetic brands. Olivier is always on the look for new ingredients and opportunities to involve local communities in sustainable conservation.
Senda Bonnet is a director of photography for feature films and documentaries. In her career, nothing was leading her to creating a new conscious cosmetic brand. At that time, she met Olivier for the first time at the end of the world, during a documentary shoot in Madagascar, where she decided to act on his side. She got involved in the NGO programs and quickly it became a necessity to launch a new brand that could create wealth while making good around the world.