Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fair Trade and Fabulous - Shea Butter - Karité

Karité is one of the few economic commodities under women’s control in African savanna societies.

The co-op that our Shea Butter is produced through is made up of women from various ethnic groups, which each have their own languages and religious preferences. Everyone involved is encouraged to dress as they wish, speak their own languages, and practice their traditional beliefs. The women are not required to speak or write French, which is a prerequisite for employment in almost every organization in Togo.

These policies help to preserve local languages and cultures. This promotes and values the deeply embedded indigenous African knowledge of handcrafting Shea Butter.

Your purchase of our shea butter products, including soap wrapped in handmade papers supports these efforts and Fair Trade.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Adulterated olive oil.

I make 100% Olive Liquid Soap - Made From TESTED TO BE PURE OLIVE OIL, organic is available too

Unfortunately there is A LOT of adulterated olive oil and olive pomace oil out there. Myself and another local soap maker, whom I work closely with, had some locally distributed olive oil tested and found it to be adulterated with soy oil (heck, it was mostly soy with a wee bit of olive added - totally undisclosed on the label).

Luckily we have found a source for true blue unadulterated olive oil and olive pomace oil, but the article and paragraph below highlights how, in addition to being a corrupt business practice, the misbranding of olive oil (and anything) can be sickening to people with food allergies.

It reveals an issue that goes well beyond the practice of undisclosed cutting of pomace and olive oils with cheap oils such as soy.


On August 10, 1991, a rusty tanker called the Mazal II docked at the industrial port of Ordu, in Turkey, and pumped twenty-two hundred tons of hazelnut oil into its hold. The ship then embarked on a meandering voyage through the Mediterranean and the North Sea. By September 21st, when the Mazal II reached Barletta, a port in Puglia, in southern Italy, its cargo had become, on the ship’s official documents, Greek Olive Oil.

Read the full article here:


Hopefully by making folks aware of this, we will be able to help prevent or at least minimize this kind of crapola ...

A Little Ol'Factory - Since 1999
Organic 100% Extra Virgin Olive Liquid Soap

Friday, November 9, 2007

Soft as a baby's bottom

This is the diaper ointment I made for my sons when they were that age. I hope it keeps your baby's bottom as happy as it did my cloth diapered boys'.

~ Make it yourself! ~

Diaper Ointment Recipe

Clean and dry baby's skin before sparingly applying this ointment to the diaper area.
A great way to do that is to use our 100% Organic Olive Baby Soap!

1 Tablespoon Zinc Oxide powder to begin with
1 Tablespoon Fractionated Coconut Oil to begin with
2 teaspoons Jojoba to begin with
Drop of Vitamin E
Drop of diluted to 10% or less Rose Otto (Rosa damascena)
or Roman Chamomile Oil (Anthemis nobilis)

Blend well the zinc and oils together, tinkering with amounts, to the consistency you prefer. After blending store in a glass jar with a lid. Make in small batches to keep fresh.

Note: The Jojoba can be infused with calendula flowers for added benefit. For fungal related rashes, I'd use Jojoba infused with taheebo bark.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tea Tree - The Wonder from Down Under

Have you got your bottle of Tea Tree oil?

While rummaging through the medicine cabinet for my vitamins this morning I noticed the little bottle of Tea Tree oil that I keep in there and was reminded of just how wonderful this oil is and how essential it is in my home’s medicine cabinet!

Tea Tree oil is steam distilled from the leaves of Australia’s Melaleuca alternifolia plant. It has a strong, rather medicinal smell, but it is not malodorous, and once you get past that, its all good from there!

It has properties of being antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. There are quite a few scientific studies that back up the claims of tea tree oil being effective at fighting a variety of infections. Many folks use Tea Tree oil for many reasons, including acne, dandruff, toe nail fungus, athlete’s foot, insect bites, scrapes, etc .. I also use it in house cleaning formulas.

Contrary to what some say, be sure to always dilute Tea Tree oil properly before applying it to the skin! When it comes to using essential oils, especially on the skin, less is more and always diluting your essential oils is a smart practice and safer choice than using them "neat" (which means undiluted)! Commonly available carriers are sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, olive oil & jojoba.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Recycling for a future!
Artesanìas La Hormiga

Today we present to you the story behind the handmade paper gift box that we are using as part of some gift sets this holiday season. Made exclusively for CZ LUXE by Artesanìas La Hormiga, here is the wonderful story of how recycling is helping a group of librarians in Honduras build better lives for their community:

Our paper making business was created to ensure the sustainability of our community’s library. The funds generated by the business helps the librarians provide more enriching activities for the youth through the purchase of didactic materials such as paint, construction paper, crayons, and table games.

Our business has also served as a recycling program for our community. The recycled paper we make comes from used paper from the local high school and kindergarten as well as the library. Instead of burning great amounts of paper on a regular basis, we now turn what was once trash into beautiful works of art.

The name of our business is Artesanìas La Hormiga because of the ant’s reputation as hard-working and persevering. It is our hope that the youth of our community will one day exemplify these qualities.

We thank you for your purchase and the opportunities it provides for our children and the entire community. - Artesanìas La Hormiga

Friday, November 2, 2007

Making it our business to build better communities

One of the things I strongly believe is that my business can impact many lives in wonderful ways and that it is my responsibility as a business owner to make choices that improve our world and our communities!

This holiday season we are offering our customers the opportunity to directly help build better communities around the globe with their holiday gift purchases.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will post here about each of A Little Ol'Factory's
& CZ Luxe's Fair Trade items, ingredients and the community projects that are directly benefit from our purchases of their materials and artistic creations.

**Added note .. since several folks have contacted me and asked .. the youngling in the image is the child of a rose picker I met in Isparta, Turkey. They were waiting at the weigh station to get the day's haul of rose petals logged in. They are paid a good (by local standards), living wage for their labor, as it should be!