One of my favourite companies at the moment is FAT FOREST. This Dutch company with its roots in Borneo (the Indonesian part) is the forerunner of producing skincare in a radically new way. FAT FOREST makes natural skincare made of pure ingredients from the rainforest without harming it.
I met FAT FOREST at the Show UP event earlier this year and fell in love with their products instantly. Bright colours, bold design ánd a mission that I completely support. What do they stand for and why do I recommend to switching to skincare that saves the rainforest? Let me share this with you!
Why is the rainforest so important?
As FAT FOREST mentions on their website; the rainforest is the number one fighter against climate change. We need the rainforest for the air we breathe, but also to cool down our planet. I believe many of us realize that the rainforest is very important for us and our planet, yet every day we destroy 80.000 football fields of rainforest. We cut trees for wood and making space for cattle, but mainly to replace the forest with monoculture plantations. These are plantations that only grow one crop species at the time. Why is this bad? Growing only one crop species is causing the plantation to lack diversity in plants and animals. This increases the need for pesticides to control the diseases that occur from this lack in biodiversity.
Many of the products that we use contain ingredients grown on monoculture plantations, often created at the expense of the rainforest. One of the most famous ingredients that is grown on monoculture plantations is palm oil. Almost 70% of the care products contain palm oil, all while the rainforest is so rich in ingredients that it can generate more than double the income compared to a monoculture plantation (source: FAT FOREST).
The rainforest on Borneo
I traveled to Borneo (the Malaysian part) all the way back in 2007, when I visited relatives that were living in Brunei. My family took me on a trip into Miri, Malaysia and we explored the rainforest and its beautiful caves. Even though it has been fifteen years, I still remember its beauty. Large trees, humid air and meeting all sorts of animals such as bats, snakes and caterpillars. We sailed on a river by boat and even did this after dark one time, to experience the forest fully; hearing its sounds and enjoying fireflies. Back then we also visited a local village where they made souvenirs from materials provided by the rainforest such a bamboo and hard wood. I was also impressed by the houses the local community lived in; completely made of wood and on pillars so that animals don’t get inside easily. The rainforest in Borneo has a special place in my heart since then.
According to FAT FOREST, half of the rainforests on Borneo have been cut down in the last 50 years. That fact alone breaks my heart. How is this possible? Unfortunately, the cutting down of the rainforest is caused by our thriving economy and growing needs. Large companies need the fertile land for production and buy the land from locals. As the ways of making money on Borneo are limited, locals are often forced to sell their land in order to make enough money to live off. This is paving the way for companies to come in and start deforestation. However, FAT FOREST has found a way to create an income for the local community in balance with their natural habitat, the rainforest. And this way of income means no more land needs to be sold.
One hero ingredient: Illipe butter
FAT FOREST uses ingredients that naturally grow in the rainforest. The ingredients are carefully harvested by the local population, without affecting the rainforest but preserving the existing ecosystem. For example, FAT FOREST uses one main ingredient; Illipe butter. It has a moisturizing feature and makes your skin super soft. Illipe butter is made from the Illipe nut, which is often found on the grounds of the rainforest once fallen of the trees. The local communities pick up the nuts, make the butter and generate an income off it through FAT FOREST. This way the local community benefits from the forest without harming it. And it even gives them more sustainable reasons to preserve it. It’s a beautiful concept and this video explains exactly how it works.
FAT FOREST uses the illipe butter to create skinbars, body creams and lip balm. I personally really love the skinbar, which is a body cream in a solid shape. It looks like a deodorant at first sight, but it’s a lovely cream. The great thing about the products is that they are 100% natural, free from palmoil (yay!), free from microplastics (another yay!) and haven’t been tested on animals. The body cream is also vegan, the other products contain beeswax.
Let’s make the switch
I hope that I have given you more insight into the importance of the rainforest and why supporting sustainable companies such as FAT FOREST can really help make a difference in the world. Are you ready to make the switch to awesome care products that will help save the rainforest? I have compiled a few Earth Friendly Gift Boxes with FAT FOREST products, such as Save the Rainforest and Sustainable Self-Care. A great way to support your sustainable lifestyle!