About SHEA YEAH
Gratitude from day one
What adventures with a dash of craziness. Look, this is how it all started. Read our story here! Currently, SHEA YEAH has great water-free natural cosmetics with ingredients from clear, ethical sources. Find out more about the products and their quality.
Because it’s your right to know where the products come from, who made them and how they were made – here’s all the info about sustainability at SHEA YEAH.
The SHEA YEAH story
«We rethink time-honoured traditions!»
SHEA YEAH is the result of a series of unrelated events, a lot of patience and hard work (thanks Friends & Family!).
The events looked something like this: I learned a lot about Swiss herbs and self-sufficiency at the farmers’ school I attended in a Benedictine women’s monastery. So we made ointments for the medicine cabinet – with marigolds, mallow & co. Since then I continued this craft and make my natural cosmetics for my own use.
When shea butter was my «saviour in need» after a sunburn in Ghana, I was hooked. I knew that if it helped me, it would help others! So I started to incorporate shea butter into my recipes.
And so it happened: Swiss herbs unite with shea butter from Ghana. Both are ancient knowledge about plant traditions that are lived and passed on by women. In Ghana, just like here.
The call from Ghana
Always open to new experiences, I intuitively followed this call from Ghana. In the north of the country, I discovered the centuries-old craft of traditional shea butter production. This is passed down from generation to generation among the women in the villages.
Education in natural skin care
In order to learn more about the production of natural cosmetics, I attended various further training courses over several years and also trained as a natural cosmetician. So one thing led to another.
Today I work closely with my partners in Ghana. The shea butter is certified organic and we maintain a very conscious use of resources. For example, the traditional «recycling system» is used to convert the waste from manufacturing into fuel for production. Because waste and deforestation are a very big problem worldwide, and so also in West Africa. And so the latest raw material is also a reaction to this: I have another great partner press oil from Swiss grape seeds from a by-product of wine production. This great oil perfectly complements the shea butter with its light character in the recipes. In this way, I am gradually trying to improve the recipes ecologically as well. There is still a lot to do!
Sustainability from day one
The product development
When building the overall company, we pay attention to a coherent overall cycle for the benefit of people and nature. The entire purchasing process, from raw materials and packaging to printed products, is very consciously designed.
- All print products are produced locally in Switzerland
- The packaging is made in Austria
- The raw materials come from ethical production
If we look at the overall life cycle assessment of a product, we see that a significant part of the environmental impact occurs in the production of raw materials and that packaging is relatively minimal in comparison.
We are dealing intensively with this topic. Ain’t easy! Learn more about our packaging concept and the recommendations for improvement, which was developed by Martina Wyrsch (environmental engineer ETH) from Tiefgrün.
We have set ourselves the goal of sourcing the plant-based raw materials as gently as possible. That means either from natural wild growth, like our shea butter in Ghana, or from waste products from agricultural products (or the food industry), like our Blauburgunder grape seed oil. So there is no need to grow, fertilise, irrigate and harvest a plant to be used in the cosmetic product. We pursue this goal step by step.
The sustainability program from Global Shea Allianz (GSA)
Launched in 2014, GSA’s sustainability program identifies industry-wide challenges and implements solutions through a multi-stakeholder approach and collaborative projects that promote women’s empowerment and protection of the shea ecosystem. The program is a unique global initiative to address the sustainability needs of the shea industry through consultation with women’s groups, non-profit organisations, international brands, retailers and suppliers.
The impact of the sustainability program is measured in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This framework highlights eight SDGs that are met through the activities of the Shea sector.
Together with our local partner, we are successfully addressing SDG Goal 13, climate action, by processing shea waste into briquettes, which are used in shea processing instead of firewood.
Environmental Aspect (GSA Sustainability Programme)
Preliminary assessment results showed that shea has enormous potential to mitigate climate change in West Africa. Currently, the shea value chain sequesters 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. In terms of production volumes, each tonne of shea kernels produced has a negative carbon footprint of 1.04 tonnes of CO2. With an expansion strategy supported by donors and private partners to increase shea tree cover in agroforestry areas (agroforestry is a partly multi-storied agricultural production system that combines elements of cropping with those of forestry) by 7 million additional trees per year, the carbon footprint could increase up to 9 million tonnes of CO2 per year, resulting in a total carbon sequestration of 180 million tonnes of CO2 over 20 years. This is equivalent to a carbon footprint of minus 8 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of shea produced. This positive environmental impact of the value chain results from the production system: shea trees grow naturally and are integrated into the smallholders’ cropland, creating an agroforestry landscape that acts as a carbon sink. The expansion of agroforestry areas acts as a multiplier. This strategy will increase the climate resilience of value chain beneficiaries living in a climate change hotspot. According to the scientific evidence of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), temperatures over West Africa are projected to rise by 3 °C to 6 °C by 2100.*
Social aspect (GSA sustainability programme)
The shea value chain is also important in terms of generating income for rural women. In 2018, each working day generates USD 1.9 in value added for women. Overall, the value chain in the region has a gross production value of about USD 284 million and a value added of USD 203 million, most of which is captured at the local production level by women collectors and local processors. The gross income per collector is USD 75 per year.
By expanding shea parklands and improving collector productivity, gross income per collector could increase to USD 167 per year, while value added per working day will reach USD 2.30. The global value chain will reach a gross production value of about 593 million USD. This corresponds to an annual growth of 6 per cent between 2019 and 2032 and a value added of 452 million USD by 2032.*
*Report Shea Value Chain by GSA und FAO 2020
Our products & the quality
We all know them, the good old calendula and comfrey ointment. These traditional formulas as mixed by our mothers and grandmothers were always without water. Today, this principle, so-called “waterless beauty”, is experiencing a new upswing worldwide. No wonder, because waterless cosmetics have many advantages for people and the environment.
Quality of the ingredients
We are dedicated to time-honoured herbal knowledge, using organic, wild and natural ingredients wherever possible. The shea butter is certified organic and unrefined, the plant oils are cold-pressed and the selected herbs have been known for centuries. Only the bare essentials are used in the recipes, but only the best.
- Natural, cold-pressed and unrefined
- With organic certified shea butter from Ghana
- Time-honoured medicinal herbs such as marigold or mallow
- 100% vegan
Production in Switzerland
We work with an experienced partner at our side. The Bellevue Pharmacy in Zurich has been characterised by its anthroposophical and homeopathic mindset since 1931. To this day, it pays great attention to natural medicine. Our product line is consciously handmade in the laboratory of the renowned pharmacy according to GMP (good manufacturing practice).
«SHEA YEAH is not and never in a fixed state, but in a permanent state of change.»
The SHEA YEAH team
SHEA YEAH used to be just me, Sandra Fischer. But now I am no longer alone. In Switzerland I am supported by Maria, Ursula, Silvan and a second Sandra. In Ghana by various Sheaqueens, Fred and Theo.
The adventure continues – good to have you with us!