Find the wild in your bathroom
Photo credit: Lisa Moyneur
We might think that wildlife is outside of our homes, but on closer inspection, wildlife is inside too, in the form of creams, oils, herbal medicines, teas, furniture, makeup items, drinks and food products.
Buying packaged and processed goods distances us from the plants, the processes, and the people involved in making the hundreds of products that we use every day. We call it the ‘Hidden Harvest’ because when we use a hand soap with shea butter or a shampoo with argan oil, we are so far removed from the original wild plant, the process of transforming it into a commodity and the people harvesting it, that the wild plant becomes hidden in plain sight.
Demand for plant ingredients is growing and rapidly, with trade in medicinal and aromatic plants having tripled over the past decade. The ‘hidden harvest’ is a critical source of income in rural areas.
However, thousands of harvested species are at risk from a combination of overharvesting and habitat loss, with more than 20% of species estimated to be threatened with extinction. Most wild plants are harvested and traded with little consideration for sustainability or whether local harvesters are fairly paid or treated with dignity and respect for the products they produce.
This all threatens biodiversity and wider ecosystems, and puts at risk the harvesting communities, businesses, and the products we rely on as consumers.
Join TRAFFIC, the FairWild Foundation, and our partners on a journey of finding the wild in your everyday products – to be inspired by how special these plants and the people who harvest them are, learn about their sustainability, and what you can do as a consumer to ensure a sustainable future for wild plants and people!
Where does it come from?
Find out a bit about the Frankincense harvest: who’s collecting the ingredients that end up in your perfume?
What you can do
1. Find your wild at home! Start by picking a few of your favourite lotions, balms, and hair products, and see if you can find any of the 4 ingredients listed above.
2. Share what you find on social media using #IFoundWild. Find inspiration here: FoundWild — FairWild Foundation
3. Ask your favourite companies if they’re aware that they use wild plant ingredients, and how they ensure they’re sourced responsibly – Tweet them or find their ‘contact us’ page
4. Look for the FairWild label for assurance that wild plant ingredients have been sourced responsibly. Here are the brands currently participating: FairWild Participants — FairWild Foundation
5. Get your friends & family involved by sharing your #IFoundWild during FairWild Week 2021 (21-25 June). Get ready by following @fairwild on Twitter.
Wild at Home
Wild at Home is a new TRAFFIC project aiming to ‘bring to light’ to industry and consumers wild plant ingredients, and support the uptake of good sourcing practices in wild plant trade chains. The project will inspire and support corporate and consumer action on behalf of wild plants in trade and those who harvest them, including through developing market linkages to rural communities that produce and rely on wild plants for income and livelihoods. The project is funded by the Swedish Postcode Foundation and FAO.
Keep an eye out in June for the launch of profiles on the Wild Dozen – the 12 most commonly traded wild plant ingredients – to help you further your #IFoundWild journey! See our Wild at Home report at the link below and follow @FairWild on TwitterSee the Wild at Home report and find out more
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