Nokware's Skincare Tackles Waste and Women Empowerment
It’s always a pleasure to see an African brand incorporating business models that inherently aim to solve a challenge while supporting sustainable development on the whole. That’s what Nokware Skincare is doing. It’s current primary products are shea butter and Black Soap (although it’s looking to add more products soon), two natural ingredients that have been gaining popularity although they have traditionally been in use by rural West African populations.
Less than two years old this 2019, the brand is already getting both regional and global recognition and has been featured in prominent magazines such as Forbes. And this is because Nokware is not just selling soap, but has organized its operations in a way that maximizes its positive social and environmental impacts. This is clearly translating to continuous growth. How does Nokware do this?
An environmentally and socially conscious brand from the start
Environmentally-friendly packaging: In a world of cheap plastic packaging which continues to present problems of non-biodegradable waste and land and ocean pollution, Nokware has consciously chosen an alternative. They use all organic packaging materials, from calabashes, bamboo, raffia and natural jute fibres. All of these are renewable (can be replanted) and are biodegradable. Even when sourcing some of these materials prove challenging, the founders have stuck with it. They’ve also recently made provisions for people to return their Bamboo jars in exchange for a discount on new purchases.
Employees: All of Nokware’s current staff are rural women. It is popular knowledge that empowering women means empowering the whole household, and Nokware is glad to provide such an opportunity for the local women in Ghana where they carry out production. Also, the company is starting a fund to help women in the community put their children through school. This was a benefit they had previously extended to their staff, but are now extending to the larger community.
Skincare campaign: As part of their brand message, Nokware has adopted the issue of skin color perceptions, which are usually partial to lighter skin. They are preaching the message that all skin color is beautiful. This message is sorely overdue and needs as many voices as possible to help change the perception that the lighter the skin, the more beautiful the woman.
Nokware is proof that you do not need to go too far to practice sustainable business concepts; instead, simply being conscious about the needs of the local community (in this case women empowerment), global community (in this case skin color stigmas), and environment (in this case inorganic waste), and building your solution throughout your business, is what transforms your brand into a sustainable business.