I frequently hear people gushing about Communion Botanicals, an ethical and sustainable skincare company made right here in Nelson. A descriptor I often hear is ‘clean,’ and when it comes to this company the term is very apt. Founder, Ayla Rose Fahey, was motivated to start Communion Botanicals so that people could find a skincare line that was healthy for themselves and the earth. As she notes, “whether we put products on our bodies or into our waterways, eventually we are left to deal with the consequences.” After years of researching natural beauty care products for organic upscale organic spas, Ayla became troubled by an onslaught of greenwashing. Dissatisfied with product ingredients and lack of transparent labeling practices within the natural skincare industry, Communion Botanicals set out to formulate the products they wished to see. Way to be the change!
Read on to learn more about this great True Local supplier!
Where are you located?
What do you make?
Communion Botanicals creates botanical body care products with the purest ingredients available. All products are formulated with a deep appreciation for the simple daily rituals that help to nourish us.
How would you describe your company?
We are committed to accessing organically grown and/or ethically wild harvested or cultivated herbs. We find the highest quality raw botanical ingredients. And we source them as locally as possible through small suppliers and independent growers.
All Communion Botanicals products are produced in small batches with a strong commitment to environmentally responsible packaging and ethically sourced ingredients (organic/sustainable/fair-trade). We support a new vision for modern beauty that’s based on self-care… instead of encouraging unattainable standards of beauty. Unlike other skincare companies, we have a strong connection to the plants we use in our formulas; we make our own botanical extracts from raw herbs as a way of ensuring product purity and potency.
How long have you been in business?
Communion Botanicals began in the Spring of 2015. After nearly two years perfecting formulas and sourcing the absolute purest ingredients possible, our first collection, RITUAL, was launched in December 2016.
What motivated you to start?
My background is as a holistic skincare consultant and trained Herbalist. With nearly a decade of experience in the organic spa and natural skincare industry, I spent a long time researching the ingredients in ‘natural’ skincare products. While there are truly honest companies who hold themselves to a standard of purity, I noticed an ongoing trend of greenwashing with some companies claiming to value environmentally friendly and healthy body care ingredients. I observed real inconsistencies with what companies were saying and what was actually in their products. Whether we put products on our bodies or into our waterways, eventually we are left to deal with the consequences.
It sounds like health and environmental sustainability are cornerstones of Communion Botanicals. How do you create ethical, sustainable skincare?
The concept of ethical skincare takes into account the land, producers, farmers, and purity of products. We use plants that are organically cultivated or harvested using ethical wildcrafting practices. We stand firmly against the unnecessary use of endangered or at-risk plants whose populations have been decimated by over-harvesting or ingredients who’s production negatively impacts ecosystems and communities. Our products are free of GMOs, gluten, parabens and other unsafe chemical ingredients, and we use only natural preservatives to keep your products lasting. We support local suppliers and access as many herbs as possible from local farmers, and we create our own herbal extracts which helps minimize the transportation footprint of ingredients. We also use glass and recycled packaging materials. In short, we seek to have as little negative impact on our natural world as possible. Products are formulated to invoke a sense of communing with nature.
I created Communion Botanicals because I wanted to see a line that people could trust… skincare products without harmful hidden ingredients… products that were as close to nature as possible… products that don’t use endangered or at-risk plant species (as some other “natural” skincare companies do). The natural skincare market has been quickly expanding and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with making healthy choices for ourselves and the earth. That’s what motivated me to build this company.
What are some of your greatest joys?
I love watching people become empowered about their wellness, learning to make decisions that help them live a more enriching life. For me, a lot of fulfillment comes from a connection to the natural world, which is where the name, Communion Botanicals, came from.
Anointing oneself with plant oils and drinking herbal teas is such a practical, yet powerful way, of communing with nature.
What are some of your greatest challenges?
Keeping my product line a reasonable size!
Functionality is incredibly important. In a world where we have so much ‘stuff’, I’m trying to keep the product line to a reasonable size. But sometimes, my passion for working with plant ingredients takes over!
Our first collection was meant to be just 5 products, and that quickly grew to 15! Now that was mostly because of the demand, but also because I felt inspired to keep creating products with practical uses.
What is your vision for your company?
It’s simple… to provide clean skincare as a way of encouraging daily self care rituals.
Why is local purchasing important to you?
Again, the concept is quite simple… It’s more environmentally responsible and it builds community resiliency.
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
Thank you for supporting local!