When you’ve been a beauty editor for 10+ years you start to accumulate products – lots of ’em. And no matter how many people call you a hoarder, the stash continues to grow because, well, that’s your happy place (#sorrynotsorry).
And while most of my products are sent by beauty companies for story consideration, the occasional brand will cross my path that I have to track down and try. That’s what happened when I heard about PLANT Apothecary on social media, and Tweeted them to learn more. It was the brand’s cheeky names and packaging (think: Get It On and Calm Down) that initially drew me in, but once I learned of their genius community outreach initiative, I had to know more.
Here’s what I found: PLANT Apothecary, a Brooklyn-based skin care company, employs adults with mental and physical disabilities to make their line through a partnership with BKLYN UNLTD. “We started working with BKLYN UNTLD because we realized that there was no reason this underemployed population couldn’t do the kind of assembly and light manufacturing work we needed done, and we wanted to give them the opportunity to do it if they wanted it,” says the brand’s co-founder, Holly McWhorter, whose mom was mentally disabled for the last decades of her life. The BKLYN UNLTD workshop member’s roles have varied from doing all of the manufacturing to helping PLANT Apothecary with packaging, shipping, and sample manufacturing. “This means that depending on the task, it can either be a small team of highly abled workers doing something requiring concentration and precision; or it can be most of the 39 workers in the shop we work with primarily — who have all different kinds of mental, physical, and emotional disabilities — doing something very easy,” McWhorter continues.
As for the actual beauty loot, it’s just as good as the mission. My favorite body wash, Wake Up, is 100% natural and made with rosemary and lemongrass. Its uplifting scent – and minimal sudsing – has earned it a top shelf honor in my shower.