Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care

Olowo-n'djo Tchala

Producer Profile

Producers: Olowo-n'djo Tchala

Located in: Lacey, Wash.

Supplying PCC since: 2007

Fair trade: Local-based Alaffia produces high-quality, fairly traded shea butter products using ingredients from a women's cooperative in Togo, Africa.

Sustainable mission: To create, inform and empower through its products and community projects aimed at alleviating poverty and preserving indigenous knowledge in West Africa.

Bike drives: Since 2008, PCC and its customers have helped Alaffia collect more than 1,000 bikes as part of Alaffia's Bicycles for Education program, which distributes bicycles to disadvantaged students in Togo.

Olowon-'djo Tchala and Mike Germundson
Olowo-n'djo Tchala (l), founder of Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care, and Mike Germundson (r), at West Seattle PCC, collect bikes during Alaffia's annual bike drive.

Since 2007, PCC has carried high-quality, fair trade shea butter products from Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care, a locally based company in Lacey, Wash. "They use as many fairly traded ingredients as possible," says PCC Health and Body Care Merchandiser Wendy McLain. "I feel good about using them because they support women's empowerment in Togo, Africa and their products also are made with essential oils and very pure ingredients."

But Alaffia's abiding commitment to sustainability, and its mission to create, inform and empower, not only is demonstrated through its products but also through its community projects aimed at alleviating poverty and preserving indigenous knowledge in West Africa. PCC has been happy to participate in a couple of these projects, particularly Alaffia's Bicycles for Education program, which distributes bicycles to disadvantaged students in Togo.

Today, only nine percent of girls in rural Togo make it through secondary school. One of the greatest contributors to this high dropout rate is the distance these girls must walk to school. Since 2004, Alaffia has distributed more than 3,000 bicycles to students in Togo. This has helped them stay in school — a critical step for their communities to get out of poverty. Since 2008, PCC and its customers have helped Alaffia collect more than 1,000 bikes.

"PCC is an important platform for our fair trade objectives in the greater Seattle area," says Alaffia owner and founder Olowon-'djo Tchala. "PCC's involvement in our bike collection efforts have not only allowed us to collect more bicycles, but also increased customer awareness of the direct links between our Seattle area and West African communities."

PCC also has hosted a school supplies drive in partnership with Alaffia, as part of its Schools Project, and currently our Greenlake, Issaquah, Kirkland, Seward Park and West Seattle stores have Alaffia school supply collection boxes located in our health and body care departments. Donations of pens, pencils, chalk, rulers and notebooks will directly benefit kids in Togo, helping them complete secondary school.

Local, sustainable, and community-minded, Alaffia is a company that embodies qualities PCC is happy to support. "Alaffia is such a unique product," says Sara Walsh, PCC Community Relations Manager. "It's amazing — their commitment and desire to not only create a great product but to also bring community together is very inspiring."

Tchala sums it up simply: "PCC's involvement in Alaffia's projects is evidence of how organizations of all kinds can join together for the greater good of all."

To learn more about Alaffia's community projects, visit alaffia.com.

More about: Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care, health and body care products, skin care

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PCC's involvement in Alaffia’s projects is evidence of how organizations of all kinds can join together for the greater good of all. — Olowon-'djo Tchala

Meet our producers