Ethical Sourcing - Sometimes Organic isn't Enough

Organic is not enough

The palm industry is destroying the most precious rain forests in the world. In the last two decades, the 130-million-year-old jungles of Borneo and Sumatra have been reduced by an incredible 80%. Numerous species have been pushed to the brink of extinction, including the majestic orangutans. The beauty industry is one of the largest users of palm oil and even many organic beauty products contain these diabolical ingredients.

Beauty is more than skin deep. The environment is essential to promote our health and well-being. For beauty products, it’s not enough to replace a chemical with a natural ingredient. Any beauty product must be healthy for us and it should leave no negative impact on the environment. Esas Beauty offers the consumer an alternative; an organic beauty product that avoids any ingredients (such as palm oil), packaging or processes that harm the environment.     

A tragedy in the palm of our hands

The palm oil industry is booming and palm oil is now the most consumed vegetable oil in the world. Global demand has more than tripled in the last two decades. By far the largest producers of palm oil are Indonesia and Malaysia. The two countries combined are responsible for 85% of the global palm oil production thanks to their tropical climate and abundance of fertile land. But to clear the land to grow palm trees, farmers burn down large swaths of the rainforest. This reprehensible process has been allowed to continue for more than two decades. As a result, this tropical deforestation accounts for about 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions and Indonesia has become the world’s seventh-largest emitter of this pollution.

The orangutan heartbreak

Today, the total size taken from the jungle by the palm oil plantations has reached 40ml acres, larger than the entire state of Georgia. The palm industry-induced deforestation has wiped out the habitat of countless rain forest animals. Among the prime victims is one of man’s closest relatives; the orangutans. We share 97% of our DNA with these great apes of Borneo and Sumatra. All three orangutan species are now on the list of critically endangered animals¹ What is so painful is that the destruction of these majestic orangutans didn’t occur decades ago, when the world was indifferent to pollution and the preservation of species. Rather, this has happened almost entirely since 2000, when the palm oil industry began exploiting the jungles of Indonesia and Malaysia. In the last 20 years, more than 80% of their habitat has disappeared, which has led to the death of an estimated 100,000 orangutans. We still lose about 6,000 orangutans a year and of one species, the Tapanuli orangutan, there are now just 800 left in the entire world.   

The Beauty industry guilt

The seemingly insatiable demand for palm oil comes from the food, cosmetics, and energy industries. Palm oil is cheap and it is efficient. At room temperatures it remains more stable than most other oils and it is a cheap source of non-trans fatty acids. While the majority of palm oil is used for biodiesel (which, as it turns out, is even dirtier than gasoline), the beauty industry is almost equally culpable. The palm industry produces two types of oil; palm oil and palm kernel oil. The latter is used by the beauty industry to make emulsifiers and surfactants (a group of products typically used to make foam). Check your products ingredient list and you might find palm oil without even knowing it. If you see palmitic acid, palmitoyl, or glyceryl, these are all derivatives of palm kernel oil. But even the most common ingredients in beauty products, such as laureth and lauryl sulfate, are derived from palm. Shockingly, even the organic beauty industry uses palm oil, masked under names like cetearyl olivate or glyceryl oleate.  

Can we avoid palm-derived products?

Esas Beauty strives to increase the awareness of the unfathomable tragedy that is happening to our rain forests. They also offer the consumer an alternative to help reduce palm oil use. Esas Beauty never uses ingredients derived from palm in any of its products or processes, because Esas Beauty believes that it is not enough to simply be organic. At Esas, every step of the process, from packaging to sourcing, and each ingredient, serves their primary goal; it should be healthy for us and it should have no negative impact on the environment.


Please view this BBC documentary about the plight of the Orangutan and the role of the palm oil industry