We're Planting Trees From Roses This April
Kahina Giving Beauty is remarkable not only for top-notch products built around argan oil, but also in the way they’ve procured their superstar ingredient since the beginning. Katharine L’Heureux came across the antioxidant-rich byproduct of the argan tree while on vacation in Morocco in 2007 and started her own skincare line the following year centered around the rich oil. But L’Heureux knew from having grown up on a vineyard in California that the way the product was harvested was just as important as what was grown. She ensured that the Berber women who harvest the argan oil using centuries-old techniques are fairly compensated, and that their quality of life is continually enhanced through education and social and financial independence.
This effort is so closely intertwined with Kahina’s other main initiative, the protection and preservation of the argan forest in Morocco.
“The argan forest, which is approximately 500,000 acres in the south of Morocco, has been in decline over the past 20 years due to unsustainable harvesting practices and improper uses of the trees by the local population, including cutting down the trees for firewood and allowing goats to graze in them,” says L’Heureux, an issue we reported back in 2015. “At Kahina, we make every effort to preserve the argan forest through education of the local population and ensuring proper harvesting techniques that don’t damage the trees. The wages that the women earn for their work create a strong incentive to preserve the trees.”