Is locally-sourced truly possible? This is the question we wanted to investigate as we developed our line of Vermont skincare products. We didn’t just want to make the formulas in Vermont, we wanted to source them from Vermont. And that means using ingredients that are available here in a cold, northern climate, namely: animal fats.
Items such as avocado and coconut oil are commonly used in natural skincare products, but we can’t grow those here. Fortunately, grass-fed tallow and lard contain several skin-beneficial compounds not found in any plant oil. Sourcing local ingredients also vastly reduces the carbon footprint of our products vs. importing ingredients from overseas. And every dollar spent supports local family farms and small businesses right here in our home state. Please read on for more information about each ingredient.
Each item in our skincare line contains 99% Vermont-sourced ingredients.
Tallow & Lard
Since our ancient ancestors’ time, animal fats have been used for skincare products such as soap, salves, and ointments. Animal fats contain a high percentage of vitamins A, D, and E, as well as other fatty and amino acids and antioxidants, a combination not found in any plant-derived oil. These saturated and vitamin-rich fats are highly compatible with our own skin; they absorb deeply without leaving a greasy or sticky residue.
We source our 100% grass-fed tallow and lard directly from small family farms in Vermont. This means we use excess material that would otherwise become waste, while supporting local agriculture, sound animal-welfare practices, and soil-beneficial farming.
Natural bee’s wax raises the melting point of our solid lotion bars and lip balms, and also acts to seal in moisture and protect against chafing. Vermont apiaries provide 100% of our bee’s wax for our solid lotion bars and lip balms.
While commonly-used oils such as olive and coconut are grown in warmer climates, we are very excited to discover a local source of skin-enriching hempseed oil for our lotions and balms. Hempseed oil is a non-canabanoid culinary oil used in dressings, marinades, and other dishes.
It is also used in skincare and cosmetics for its emollient and moisturizing effects. It has been proven effective to treat acne and psoriasis, as well as reducing skin redness and inflammation. Vermont hempseed oil is cold-pressed, ensuring food-grade quality without the harmful effects of chemical extraction or processing.
Just 1% or less of each product is sourced outside of Vermont.
Plant extracts have long been used for their soothing, anti-inflammatory, and rejuvenating properties, not to mention the pleasant aromas. However, there is a wide range in quality and sustainability in the essential oils market. All of the essential oils we use are from Fair Trade and Organically Certified sources.
For those who are extra sensitive or prefer to avoid fragrances, all of our skincare products are available in an unscented version.
Just as important as the ingredients we use are the items we choose to leave out. We don’t add fillers, petroleum waxes, or colorants to any of our products. Clay, mica, paraffin wax, and other additives have to be mined, refined, and shipped long distances, driving up both the cost and the ecological impact of any product that incorporates them. We keep our products plain and pure, with the smallest carbon footprint possible.
Yarn & Knitting Kits
Like our skincare products, our line of specialty yarns and kits are sourced as locally as possible.
Natural sheep’s wool is sourced from our own flock or from those of regional farms.
It’s important that we keep the manufacturing process close to home as well, to reduce the carbon footprint of our fiber products and support other local businesses. Fortunately, there are a number of woolen mills in New England that can spin small lots of yarn to our specifications.
We dye all the yarn ourselves on the farm, using pigments that we harvest on our property or source from US suppliers. For some yarns, we use a commercial dye that is free of heavy metals and approved for use on Organic fibers.
In keeping with our eco-conscious ingredients and materials, our packaging is compostable or recyclable, with minimal plastic content. Lotions and balms are dispensed from either paper tubes or glass jars with metal lids. Yarns and kits are packaged with compostable boxes and labels.