Elizabeth Dlamini, herbalist and skincare adviser to a whole of local women, has skin that glows. She beams as she explains why. “Here in the Royal Kingdom of Swaziland we proud of our plants that we use in our traditional beauty regimes. Our grandmothers taught us how to prepare cosmetics from the oil of the Marula nut”. Now, Ubuntu Natural is bringing Swaziland’s best-kept beauty secret to the international cosmetics market.
The Ubuntu Natural range, launched by Aldivia®, a French company specializing in plant cosmetic ingredients, introduces the exceptional natural properties of Baobab, Marula, Ximenia, Mongongo, Kalahari Melon, and Mafura to the cosmetic industry. More importantly, because respect for local producers and the environment is at the core of the project, Ubuntu Natural is also an important step towards protecting these plants and their ecosystems, as well as improving the livelihoods of local communities.
The natural African oils such as those coming from Elizabeth Dlamini’s community in Swaziland are exclusively sourced through ethical supply chains. In addition, through the Ubuntu Charter, Aldivia® guarantees that Ubuntu Natural lipids have been produced using indigenous plant materials that have been sustainably wild-harvested by the primary producers, thus actively protecting biodiversity.
“Much research and development was necessary to meet Northern market requirements,” explains Pierre Charlier de Chily, CEO of Aldivia®. “The Ubuntu Natural range, thanks to green technology developments, offers virgin oils of excellent quality, perfectly safe on the microbiological and toxicological sides.”
Additional research also focused on developing brand new water dispersible derivatives, 100% of natural origin, that bring forth the useful properties of co-surfactants and preserve the natural actives of the Ubuntu oils. These developments allow the introduction of African oils in a range of products, from shampoos, shower gels, lotions, bath oils to anti-ageing and emollient milks and creams.
New technical developments have allowed Aldivia® to launch a new generation of organic certified chemically processed agro-ingredients. These innovations will be at the core of tomorrow’s cosmetics: ingredients based on organic raw materials, processed applying green chemistry principles to offer healthy and efficient alternatives to synthetic ingredients.
Thanks to the organic certification of the supply chains, Aldivia® can now apply such cutting edge technologies to organic raw materials stemming from biodiversity. In addition, as a member of the Union for Ethical Bio Trade (UEBT), Aldivia® is committed to the Sourcing with Respect of native natural ingredients, advancing the conservation of biodiversity while ensuring that all contributors along the supply chain are paid fair prices and receiving an equitable share of the benefits. Indeed, after several years of work on issues from sourcing to technical developments, Aldivia® now associates these breakthroughs to the needs of tomorrow’s natural cosmetics.
“Our clients in the cosmetics industry can be confident about the quality and efficiency of these products and about the contribution they are making to local livelihoods through purchasing products that contain our oils” states Mr. Charlier de Chily. “By creating new markets for African raw materials, Aldivia® and our customers add value at the local level, preserve traditional culture, and are safe in the knowledge that indigenous trees will be conserved for generations to come.”