Soap Made the Alaffia Way

Soap Made the Alaffia Way

Alaffia is an award-winning company based in Olympia, WA with deep roots in West Africa. They make skin, hair, and beauty care products using all natural, handcrafted, traditional West African ingredients. They were founded by Prairie Rose Hyde and Olowo n’djo Tchala, who first met in Togo, Africa before moving to Washington state with a shared vision they wanted to bring to life. Alaffia’s mission is to foster beauty, equality, and empowerment. They walk the walk by using Fair Trade Certifed ingredients, supporting farmer co-operatives in West Africa, using an eco-conscious approach to product formulation and by reinvesting profits back into communities in West Africa with a wide variety of life-affirming initiatives.

Alaffia’s values and ethics shine through in their approach to formulating and choosing ingredients. This starts with the farmers and producers in West Africa. Alaffia is the largest employer in Togo, outside of the government, and this includes several farming co-operatives and 10,000+ ingredient collectors. They also partner with artisan co-ops. These craftswomen use their traditional knowledge to turn shea nuts into butter and the butter into soap.

Alaffia goes beyond just using fair trade ingredients that provide fair wages. Their whole organization is certified Fair for Life by Ecocert. Their most recent Ecocert audit resulted in a score of 91%. Alaffia invests in their West African farmers and suppliers and the larger community. You can tell that Alaffia cares deeply about the people and communities that provide their ingredients by the results of the community initiatives they invest in:

  • Maternal Care: 5,597 births funded
  • School Construction: 16 schools built
  • School Supplies: 37,521 recipients
  • Reforestation: 99,964 trees planted
  • Eyeglasses: 30,852 distributed
  • Bicycles for Education: 10,817 distributed

Alaffia’s line of Everyday Shea hand soap includes Lavender Spice, Peppermint Tingle, and Lemon Verbena, plus foaming hand soaps with Lavender and Vanilla Mint or Unscented options. The foaming versions are more aerated and a little gentler, especially good for dry skin types.

Shea leaf and butter, coconut oil, argan oil, neem leaf, moringa leaf, and essential oils and other traditional plant extracts combine to make these revitalizing, refreshing, moisturizing cleansers.

Alaffia uses traditional methods in creating their shea butter and coconut oil. For example, the coconut oil is fermented with the traditional process, which results in a smooth, creamy texture. The coconuts are grown on small-scale cooperative farms in an environmentally sustainable way.

Alaffia is a shining example of how love for beauty, community, and the larger eco-system can co-exist with successful business. In 2018, the founders were presented with the Award for Corporate Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment. They’ve also received multiple awards from magazines and websites for specific products. Their future is bright and their story is an inspiring one for us all.

In Canada, use code ALAFFIA15 for 15% off Alaffia EveryDay hand soap 10/18 - 10/24.