June 16, 2024


We Do Shopping Right

Baraka Sheabutter – an Ecommerce Brand That Aligns Social Impact & Profitability Together


That’s really a really good question there. And I think so, we look at the natural and organic skincare market. As you know, there are some major major players in there, it’s a rapidly growing market, it’s many 10s of billions of dollars and growing rapidly and there’s major players and then there you know, smaller businesses, some even micro businesses that are buying ingredients, buying butters and oils making products and selling them either wholesale either through the website, again, in fairs, craft fairs and exhibits; and then there’s the the DIY market, people who are buying essentially to make for themselves and their families and maybe selling a little bit and then underneath and supporting everyone except the DIY market as the consumers the who are buying finished products to use and you often see consumers moving from consumers to DIY and, and back or you see those micro businesses are making some products, they buy some others. So our initial foray into that market was with the small and micro businesses, people were buying 25 kilos of shea butter, or five kilos of shea butter. And, you know, we started out with just shea butter. And then we added on cocoa butter and coconut oils and palm oils and but all of them with a very strong, easily easy to understand origin story, supply chain story.

We can tell you where it comes from, and the impact that it has. So we were, in essence, giving your white label branding and marketing content and tools to our customers to allow them to, to market our product. Some of our customers were using our brand. I mean, it’s ironic in a way that probably our biggest competitor in the US online market right now is a company called Brambleberry. And they’re also one of our biggest, biggest customers. So they’re actually marketing our branded products on their site. And, you know, I think they recognize the, you know, the impact branding, the halo effect that the baraka brand can have on other brands, because it’s not easy for a lot of companies and consumers. I used to teach this when I was a professor of corporate social responsibility. Everyone is expecting more from businesses. Globally there’s an expectation that businesses should it have a positive social impact and it should be an effective steward of the environment at the same time as it’s producing profits and shareholder value and that’s not always an easy thread to follow, it’s a nice needle to thread because, often the social and the environmental are seen as costs rather than contributors to value and Baraka has really focused on aligning those. 


We now have a lot of people that love to see Baraka branded consumer products, and we slowly or very cautiously dipped our toe in that market, we started with the black soaps, which there’s, you know, there are a lot of sort of ad hoc black soap brands and suppliers in North America and we keep expanding our market with these base products, for example, we’ve recently launched recipe kits for our black soaps for the DIY market.


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