Fable Naturals, with Gwen Richards

Parvati Magazine spoke with Gwen Richards, founder of Vancouver-based skin care company Fable Naturals.

Parvati Magazine: Fable Naturals is a relatively new company that features plant based skincare products. How do you go about creating your products?

Gwen Richards: We set out to create skin care products that are not only good for you, but also good for the environment and the communities where the ingredients come from. My partner Chris and I are passionate about finding the most natural raw ingredients and creating products that are part of a healthy lifestyle. We get love to get creative with ingredients, like using quinoa powder in our facial exfoliant and seaweed and green tea in our facial mask. We also love the idea of merging local and fair trade so that our customers get the best of both worlds. We are continuously experimenting with new ingredients to create fresh formulas that our customers will love.

PMAG: Fable Naturals sells certified Fairtrade products. Can you tell us what inspired you to engage in fair trade practices and connect with these various communities?

As fair trade supporters, Chris and I were always looking for skin care products with ethically sourced ingredients. Since many ingredients found in beauty products actually come from developing countries, coconut oil for instance, we were able to find fair trade suppliers for many of these raw materials. One of our newest products is our argan oil that is sourced from a women’s cooperative in Morocco, one of just a few that have fair trade certification. Argan is an amazing natural moisturizer that has been used for hundreds of years in Morocco. The best part is that the women who work at the cooperative get paid a fair wage so that they can help support their families in an area where unemployment is high.

PMAG: What are some of your favourite products that you recommend for all skin types?

GR: One of our most popular products is our Rosehip and Olive facial oil. It is so versatile and easy to incorporate into a daily routine. It can be used it as a moisturizer everyday, but it also doubles as an oil cleanser and makeup remover when you’re travelling. Even Chris uses a couple of drops to keep his beard moisturized! Another customer favourite is our body balm. It’s great for keeping in your bag and using to moisturize chapped hands, feet, lips…or even to tame flyaway hair.

PMAG: What’s next on the horizon for Fable Naturals that you are excited about?

GR: We started Fable with the idea of creating a business that is both socially conscious and profitable. We source fair trade ingredients and connect with farmers from around the world. Here in Vancouver, our studio is located in the Downtown Eastside, where we see poverty and the struggle of life on the street closer to home. Our goal as a business is to be able to work with more groups within our community and offer job training opportunities. We are both excited to see what the future will bring!

Gwen RichardsGwen Richards is co-founder of Vancouver based skin care company Fable Naturals. After staying on a small cocoa farm with a family in Peru, she became passionate about supporting small scale farmers through everyday purchases This became the motivation for creating a skin care line using fair trade sourced ingredients. She started Fable Naturals with her partner Chris in 2012 to offer consumers fair trade trade and healthy alternatives to traditional beauty products.