Maya Washington a.k.a Shameless maya visits Africa to see how fair trade Shea butter is made
When we go to the store and grab our favorite products, are we mindful of where they come from? and the process that it took to make them? Shameless maya, a well known Youtuber, a down to earth and authentic person, had the opportunity to find out. Beauty brand Alaffia reached out to Maya,giving her the opportunity to witness first hand how Shea butter, and other Alaffia products are made, starting with the raw materials up to the finished product we purchase in the store. Here’s what went down when she flew into the motherland.
African Beauty | How Fair Trade Shea Butter is Made w/ Shameless Maya
Maya flew into Ghana,Accra with other guests also invited. Once there they took a drive to Togo where they spent the night. Alaffia provided all the accommodations, and allowed them the opportunity to be around the environment and not just a hotel. They got to sleep in huts and eat local food.
The next day, they drove 6 hours to Sokode,Togo. While there, they observed how prints are made on African fabrics.Later they arrived at Alaffia village and were welcomed by ladies in beautiful African wear and children singing.
Alafia owner is Olowo-N’djo. He describes how documenting everything allows them to trace back every bottle of Shea butter sold by Alaffia in the market and keep track of the wages as well.
He described how Shea butter is made:
- Step one, nuts are received from the collectives. The nuts are washed and cleaned and dried. Drying helps reduce the moisture content
- The nuts are them stored in multiple storage rooms.
- The nuts are then crushed. Once crushed they are roasted.
- After roasting they are returned back to grinding, and a paste is formed with about 50% water.
- This paste is then whipped by hand. It is whipped by hand for 40minutes – an hour.
- The fats begin to seperate and that’s when warm water is added. Warm water brings all the fats to the surface, and the fat on the surface is then collected.
- The fat is heated which turns it into oil. The oil is stirred and that turns it into butter.
At Alaffia they also make other products including Black soap, and coconut oil. There are also weavers who make beautiful baskets.
There are no factories, everything from start to finish is done by hand. I want to thank Shamelessmaya for an inside view of how some of the Alaffia products are made.
The projects that Alaffia takes on are described to be empowerment projects because they are mission’s in action funded by the sales of Alaffia products. The money gained from the sales is used to invest in communities because they feel it’s their moral responsibility to ensure that African resources benefit African communities. Their goal is to alleviate people from poverty and encourage gender equality. Alaffia’s empowerment projects include several education-based projects, maternal-health, FGM(Female Genital Mutilation) eradication, eyeglasses and reforestation. All of Alaffia projects are said to empower Tongolese communities, to provide their skills and knowledge to the rest of the world, to rise out of poverty. Alaffia’s belief is that empowering young people by providing tools to alleviate them from the misfortunes they may be born into, allows the young people to better lead their communities in the future, “The future of African communities depends on the education and empowerment of young people. If our youth are helped with the dilemmas they face, such as harsh poverty and lack of infrastructure, they will be empowered to lead their communities in the future.”
For more on Alaffia, click here.
Alaffia online store click here.