The Community
The quality and excellence arisen by these amazing women’s handcraft is second to none. We couldn’t possibly dream of any better joint venture, and we’re more than happy to come to this community’s aid. Their devotion and loyalty to their tradition deserves the world.

“Imagine Beauty Ghana” products are a paragon of heavenly smell and luxurious materials!

Amid the shea butter body balms, beautiful blocks of soap, creamy massage oils and lip balms jostle for space – seeking to moisturise our skin and relax our muscles. But these buttery offerings do more than nourish our gnarled knuckles and knees; they’re also helping to give women in Bolgatanga town of Ghana a future
Shea butter plays as huge a part in Ghanaian culture as good old cocoa butter. The locals use it in its raw form as body cream, hair oil, moisturiser.
It is a beautiful ingredient: moisturising, softening and easily absorbed by the skin. Shea trees grow naturally in the dry savannah belt of West Africa and in our experience, the shea butter produced in Ghana is among the best in the world.
And Imagine Beauty understands its power.

Shea Butter: An Old and Precious Tradition That Lives On Even Nowadays

It has been used for centuries in Ghana, so much so that it’s seen as a national treasure. It’s very much a woman’s trade, and it’s used by almost everybody. Not only does it keep skin soft, but it is also suitable for cooking, can be used as a base for medicine, and helps to promote faster healing (it can be massaged into babies to nourish their fragile skin). It truly is a multi-purpose ingredient, so it’s little wonder that brands across the globe want to utilise its magical properties.
The tree per se is not cultivated and it usually takes from 40 to 50 years to mature. Destruction of the shea tree is forbidden in many places of West Africa not only beceuse of its economic oportunities, but also because of its health benefits and its importance to the locals. Many Africans consider Shea Butter an irreplecable and priceless agent for body purification, both internally and externally. It is also used as a hair balm for every hair kind, and as after-shave.

A Laborious and Tiring Road Which Leads To a Worthwhile and Extraordinary Outcome

Before we saw it with our own eyes, we really had no idea how much work went into making shea. The days the women spend making it are long and it can be a laborious task, but they muck in together as a team, usually working two days a week while the rest of their time is spent looking after their homes and families. They’re based in a shaded, secluded spot set back from the main community and the time spent together is used to gossip about their husbands and share family problems.

The production of shea is no mean feat, and we are amazed at a) how long it takes to make the butter, and b) how difficult it is. It’s an 11-step process and making 25kg can take one person up to three days to complete.
The power comes in many forms within a working group, but especially in the empowerment of women. Working together can be powerful vehicles of social inclusion and the economic empowerment of their members. The women, all help one another and grow together. There is a real sense of community and camaraderie. The economic benefits impact not only the women but also their families and the wider community.

How Imagine Beauty Ghana is empowering women in Ghana to help themselves through Shea Butter!

By investing in the community, we aim to contributing to the empowerment of local women not only through trade and a strong partnership, but also by investing in projects that will benefit the community at large in the future.
There are multiple visible benefits of our project not only to the cooperatives (the local women working together, sharing the profits and benefits), but also to the communities and the women’s households. Cash income will increase with women becoming more active. Dormant members will now play an active role in the cooperative activities. The provision of the equipment will reduce the drudgery in the butter production process. It will also reduce production cost and time and ultimately maximise profits and free women’s time for other domestic responsibilities.
Under this partnership, Imagine Beauty Ghana will continue to deepen the cooperatives’ management capacity, introduce innovative time-saving processing techniques, increase health and safety measures, ensure shea resource sustainability, and improve community access to potable water as well as other alternative income livelihood activities.
Perhaps most importantly, the project will empower hundreds of women, giving them a profession and a voice in what is traditionally a man’s world.
Feminism comes in many guises, but in Bolgatanga, it’s about women being respected within their communities, having the confidence to speak their minds, and enjoying financial independence from their husbands. And that is priceless.

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