The concept of Giving Beauty, a cornerstone of the Kahina brand, begins by providing economic opportunity for the Berber women who do the labor intensive work of extracting the oils at the heart of our line. I’ve just returned from another 2-week trip, visiting Marrakech, Taroudant, and several remote villages of the Anti Atlas Mountains where I obtain the argan and prickly pear seed oils for our products. On my trip, which happened to coincide precisely with the nine-year anniversary of my first trip to Morocco and the conception of Kahina, I had a chance to witness how the work of harvesting and cracking the nuts for these oils and the fair trade initiatives put in place to further enhance the women’s quality of life have had a positive impact.
For the first time in this tiny village of 100 women, to which the men visit only one month out of the year when they take time away from their work in the cities, the homes now have electricity and running water. The women are able to purchase food that they can’t grow themselves and wool for their weaving, which is in itself another source of economic opportunity. The primary school is freshly painted and now has separate bathrooms for the girls and boys. The success of my supplier (in some measure due to Kahina) means that opportunity is spreading to surrounding villages as well and plans are underway to bring electricity and running water to an additional 200 homes.
Beyond paying a fair wage and supporting these initiatives, Kahina also donates an additional 1% of our revenue to programs that contribute to the Berber women of Morocco and their families, including Education for All and the High Atlas Foundation.