It’s Official; Oregon Tilth certifies Gaia Essentials Organic
If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. That is the mantra I’ve carried with me through my nearly 11 years in the skincare business.
I’ve always prided myself on producing quality products, sourcing from sustainable forests & farms, purchasing organic ingredients whenever possible, even growing my own herbs in my backyard garden.
It’s not always easy.
Costs are higher and supply is often short. Delayed harvest times and even a bad crop are just some issues I deal with when gathering them up.
And often my full attention is devoted to the process. In some cases, letting a product simmer for days while I make sure to get a good stir in every one to three hours. Waking in the night to tend to the product in the way a new parent must tend to an infant child.
If I were in the business for profit, I would have simply enhanced the mass produced pre-manufactured soap/cosmetic bases a long time ago. Instead I choose to produce superior quality soaps & skincare products from scratch. Creating formulas that would not only be free of harsh or harmful ingredients but would include a bounty of beneficial ingredients to nurture and nourish.
With a clear understanding of conscientious production, I’ve officially put my money where my mouth is and completed my organic certification. Most skincare manufacturers don’t venture into this step, and honestly, I understand why. Organic certification is an expensive, tedious, time-consuming process.
You see, holding yourself up to a certified organic standard is really much more than just including a few organic ingredients in your products. It’s also has very much to do with your process and your environment.
Every ingredient in every formula within each batch must be accounted for. I must obtain and save all the cert sheets, proof of purchase and audit trails from delivery/storage for each of them. In addition, my work environment must be carefully examined to consider potential cross contamination with non-organic materials. Seemingly unrelated factors such as pest control or water condition... even the treatments my next-door neighbor uses on his lawn must all be factored in as well!
Yes, the choice to organically produce soap and skincare is immediately beneficial to my discerning clientele; an organic certification also signifies that I’m doing my part to protect our land and groundwater from contamination while working toward promoting a healthier planet for generations to come. In an earlier blog I mentioned working through the Certified California Organic Farmers (CCOF) to get my organic certification, I ended up opting for Oregon Tilth instead because it ultimately made more sense for my business.
Oregon Tilth is one of the largest certifiers in the country. The organization is accredited by the United State Department of Agriculture and the National Organic Program and, in addition to certifying farms and food products; they also cover water treatment standards and organic guidlines for textiles. I have chosen to receive the certification under USDA and NOP, however, so my products will be held up to the same rigors as if they were food—circling back to my original statement on not putting on our skin what we wouldn’t put in our mouth.
So when you see products stating organic in any form, be sure to ask about their certifier. We go through this procedure annually for your peace of mind & you can be confident when you do business with a certified producer that you are getting what you expect.