This week, Beautycounter enlists its sales team to fight for better regulation in the beauty industry, while a Jamaican agency is bringing diversity to the runway.
Shared from the original post by ELIZABETH SEGRAN on April 3, 2108 at:
Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., is a staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
It’s 10 a.m. in Washington, D.C., and 100 saleswomen from skincare and cosmetics brand Beautycounter have gathered on the steps of Capitol Hill.
They’re in their finest pantsuits and shift dresses, makeup flawless, game faces on. They’re girding for a long day of lobbying members of Congress for laws to keep harmful chemicals out of the soaps, shampoos, lotions, and makeup Americans slather on their bodies every single day.
A few hours later, in the offices of Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), 10 of them are sitting around a conference table to speak with the lawmaker’s legislative assistant. Among them is Jude Rollins, a Beautycounter salesperson (or consultant, in the parlance of the brand), who is in her 50s and lives in the Chicago suburbs. Although soft-spoken and out of her element, she nonetheless believes in the mission. It’s personal.
A decade ago, Rollins was diagnosed with breast cancer. It came as a shock because there was no family history of it and she had no known risk factors. “I exercised, I ate healthily, I don’t have any relatives with cancer,” she says. “The day my doctor called me, I remember he said, ‘I can’t believe I am telling you this right now’.”
The days after her diagnosis were a blur as Rollins set about learning about the carcinogens in her environment, trying to understand what might have triggered the tumor. That’s when she discovered how many harmful ingredients could be found in the seemingly innocuous bottles in her shower and makeup drawer. Formaldehyde, for instance, which is commonly used as a preservative in cosmetics, has been linked to cancer. Coal tar, which is used as a colorant and an anti-dandruff agent, is a known carcinogen. The list went on and on.
The European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals and restricted the levels in 250 others in soaps, shampoos, lotions, and makeup. Canada has banned around 600. In the United States, only 30 ingredients have been partially banned to date, and the last federal law to regulate the safety of personal care products was passed in 1938. Rollins is convinced that prolonged exposure to chemicals in her beauty products may have triggered her cancer.
Rolls and her co-consultants are here to persuade Duckworth to support the Personal Care Products Safety Act (PCPSA) that would strengthen the FDA’s authority to regulate ingredients in beauty and hygiene products. The new legislation, cowritten by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) was introduced in 2015, but may finally be brought up for a vote later this year.
“I’ve long been interested in issues of environmental health and chemical safety—banning phthalates in baby products, ensuring labeling of packaging that contains BPA,” Feinstein says. “Addressing personal care products safety is critical to addressing broader concerns about how exposure to chemicals affect public health. We need to continue to build support and maintain a steady drumbeat.”
Rollins wouldn’t have come to Capitol Hill alone. She has no activist experience and wouldn’t have been able to navigate the labyrinthine halls of the Senate by herself. But over the last three years, that changed with the help of her employer, which has an entire advocacy wing led by Lindsay Dahl, the brand’s head of social and environmental responsibility. Dahl, the former deputy director of the U.S.’s largest environmental health coalition, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, played a pivotal role in pushing for the 2009 FDA ban of toxic BPA from plastic pacifiers, baby bottles, and sippy cups.
While other direct sales brands, like Avon and Mary Kay, dangle cars or cruises in front of salespeople to incentivize them to sell as much as possible, Beautycounter gives two top salespeople in each state an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers. Dahl’s team helps organize these meetings, and she’s there to answer any questions consultants might have about the process.
Beautycounter’s founder and CEO, Gregg Refrew, launched the company because of her passion for the issue. The brand effectively self-regulates with a team of scientists to formulate beauty and hygiene items free of 1,500 ingredients that are either harmful or questionable. Renfrew’s goal was to do more than sell products: She wanted to spark a movement to educate consumers and demand better regulation of the industry.
REBRANDING ACTIVISMWhile Beautycounter sometimes sells products through retailers like Target and Goop, the primary way they’re marketed is through independent salespeople like Rollins, who sell makeup and skin care products in their communities. It was a strategic decision for Refrew. “The problem we are tackling with safety in personal care products is complicated,” she tells me. “We really felt that the best way to communicate it to consumers and explain our mission was through personal relationships.”
Beautycounter has 30,000 consultants within its network. Given that they are from every corner of the country, these women tend to have diverse political persuasions and personal backgrounds. But 80% of them are drawn to Beautycounter for its social mission, according to an internal survey the company conducted. This activist approach sets it apart from the hundreds of other direct selling brands on the market, like Stella & Dot, Rodan & Fields, and Cabi.
Many Beautycounter consultants have become hardcore grassroots activists. At dinner, I sit next to Elaine Chiu from San Francisco and Christina Glickman from Chicago. Both were corporate executives for many years but, compelled by Beautycounter’s activist approach, left their careers. Between sharing parenting advice and talking about their favorite fashion designers, they display impressive political knowledge.
They are well-versed in the details of the PCPSA and understand the circuitous road to getting legislation passed by Congress. “We really would like for the bill to better define the word ‘safety,'” Glickman says. “As the bill currently stands, any company can create a product and describe it as safe, but for the law to carry any weight, we need a more scientific measure.”
Beautycounter has more than just made advocacy less intimidating: It’s made it downright glamorous. When the consultants arrived in their hotel rooms, Beautycounter had provided them with custom-made bags from the trendy designer bag company Parker Thatch and notebooks from the luxury stationary brand Appointed.
Beautycounter had released a new color, Beautycounter Red, to coincide with this day of lobbying, and the women showed up on Capitol Hill with vibrant coral lips. And after the day of meetings, the women gathered in gorgeous cocktail dresses at the Beautycounter party at the Newseum, where they drank champagne, dined at tables decorated with enormous white flower arrangements, and danced the night away.
None of this bears much resemblance to the kind of activism we’re used to seeing in the media. “Before I started the company, the idea of activism conjured up images of serious people filled with anger,” Refrew says. “But I really believe there are many ways to advocate for our rights. I want this movement to be filled with positivity and female empowerment.”
Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank New America, and author of The Business of American Lobbying, says the advocacy these brands are doing is not unusual. “This is just what companies do,” he says. “It’s what they have been doing since governments began regulating business. Companies are very powerful in politics, and to the extent that companies like these are advocating for progressive laws that will benefit Americans, I think this is a good thing.”
While Beautycounter, Patagonia, and these other brands have been actively engaged in political activism for years, the Trump administration’s rollback of regulations has raised new challenges. In Patagonia’s case, for instance, President Donald Trump has denied climate change, pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. When Trump reduced the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, eliminating nearly 2 million acres of formerly protected territory, Patagonia replaced its website with a black screen and the words, “The President Stole Your Land.”
For Beautycounter, the total Republican control in D.C. means that there is a push toward deregulation, rather than the regulation that the brand wants. And the general turbulence of this administration means that it is harder to get the attention of lawmakers, since they are constantly being pulled into other conversations. Feinstein, for instance, who is sponsoring the PCPSA, is also a leading proponent of gun control and has been focused over the last few weeks on strengthening gun laws.
Activist brands are serving a key role in the current political climate, when so many people feel despair about the state of the country. Brands like Beautycounter and Patagonia give their customers opportunities to act and make their voices heard.
It can also be tricky for companies to advocate for political change. They are profit-making entities that need to sell products and compete in the marketplace to be successful. And this sometimes raises thorny questions about intent. For instance, personal care product brands that already self-regulate their products stand to benefit if new regulations for higher standards are put in place, because they will be a step ahead of their competitors. Government regulations can help incumbent firms by creating barriers to entry for potential competitors, an idea articulated by Nobel Prize-winning economist George Stigler.
Dahl says not so, noting that should new regulation come to pass, companies in the market would have a long lead time to reformulate their products. And in any case, many larger multinational beauty brands already have formulas that they use in Europe, where standards are much higher.
“It’s not like our brand would have an overnight advantage,” Dahl says. “We know our brand–given our price point and product selection–will only appeal to a segment of the market. We’re pushing for legislation that would ensure that any product someone purchased would be safe.”
More broadly, Drutman believes it is a good thing to give people tools to get involved in the political process. Americans are not a very politically engaged bunch. Drutman believes that brands like Beautycounter are playing a valuable role by making politics and citizen advocacy less intimidating. “There are many ways to get engaged in the political process,” Drutman says. “Just because you got involved because of a makeup or clothing company doesn’t make your involvement any less valid.”
Humbly shared here from the original post by Sarah Beston, May 12, 2017
Sarah is a yoga teacher and the Programming Director on Yoga Anytime.
From the website: www.yogaanytime.com
The true practice of yoga happens off the two-by-four foot yoga mat and in the experiences and relationships of day-to-day life outside the yoga room. According to many moms, this never seems more apparent than in the practice of motherhood. The practice of breathing when your baby pukes on your new favorite shirt or you step on a lego on the yoga mat that hasn't actually been used for months. The practice of being present with your child when you have a million other things begging for your attention. The practice of acceptance when you can't be super mom and 'get it all done.' The practice of supporting and seeing your own mom through an illness and learning what it means to truly let go.Here are some honest, hilarious, touching, and raw accounts of how the yoga practices of these Yoga Anytime moms and daughters have morphed and what it means to truly show up and live your practice.
Water Birth in a Handstand
Just because you're a yogi, doesn't mean you are going to give birth in a golden bathtub in the middle of an enchanted forest while chanting OM.
Being Present with Children
Yoga happens in the challenging moments. Moms share how to stay present (and sane) amidst the chaos.
Yoga at Home With Little Ones
The days of peaceful, quiet, uninterrupted yoga practices are over, moms.
Honoring My Mother
Cheri Clampett shares her journey of being with her mom through her battle with Alzheimer's disease—meeting her where she was, feeling the pain to heal, and remembering the love.
My Littlest Guru
When children become your best yoga teacher.
(Photo credit: Sonnie Trotter, Video Credit: Jeff Mizushima)
At Yoga Blessings we proudly carry KiraGrace. We've shared one of their recent blogs with you below.
POSTED BY SHELBY COMITO, DEC 4th 2017 at:
With the rampant rise of the activewear and athleisure trend, an entirely new vocabulary has been introduced to our everyday lingo:
- “I just feel like wearing yoga pants to work today… I want to be comfortable.”
- “That top will go perfectly with boots and leggings!”
- “Yes I can wear yoga leggings to school, they’re pants, dad.”
Yoga pants and yoga leggings have taken center stage in pop culture’s current fashion obsession. As you can imagine, we hardly talk of anything else here at the KiraGrace office. What isn’t quite so clear are the specific category types and definitions. With so many styles of yoga pants and with many emerging companies in the yoga apparel and clothing industry, the line between yoga pants and leggings is blurry. If you take a moment to observe the product names on a yoga company’s website, you’ll find everything from yoga pants, yoga bottoms, yoga leggings to yoga tights. When we’re working with customers, we often get asked about our yoga leggings and pants offerings and many people get confused about the difference. So, what is the difference between yoga pants and leggings? And is there one?
Yoga Pants vs. Yoga Leggings
Yoga Pants are traditionally a thicker, looser fit than other yoga bottoms and can function as workout pants for a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities. When yoga pants first became popular, companies like Victoria Secret became well known for their flare yoga pants which could be worn for working out, but are often worn for the casual day in, day out of life - around the house, running errands, dressed up or dressed down, etc. Yoga pants serve more like a trendy version of sweat pants or loungewear rather than workout apparel.
Our yoga pants allow you freedom of flexibility, full coverage, body-slimming compression, and performance enhancing features like moisture-wicking properties, anti-chafing fit, and UPF protection.
Yoga Leggings tend to be tighter and thinner than other types of workout pants and bottoms. They are most often worn under longer shirts, tunics, or dresses. The beauty of our yoga leggings is that they are thick enough to wear without a long length yoga top or shirt, but breathable enough to wick away sweat and keep you cool while you practice yoga, pilates, or your sport of choice.
Although yoga leggings and yoga tights are often used as interchangeable labels, which is the practice of most yoga clothing companies, we tend to think of leggings as the main umbrella term and yoga tights as a sub-set of leggings. Both leggings and tights are skin-fit, but sometimes we will use yoga tights to describe a longer, lighter weight legging. However, you will find yoga leggings more and more commonly used, as tights tends to be confused with very thin materials to be worn under skirts and dresses whereas leggings can be worn as is.
When Kira, founder and CEO of KiraGrace, started labeling her line of yoga bottoms, she found that yoga tights and leggings better described the tight-fitting, compressive yoga bottoms she had to offer. The term yoga pants tends to be reserved for our more loose-fitting silhouettes. However, we do recognize that the global meaning is not black and white, and people more and more often use the terms interchangeably, so we do tag all of our yoga tights, capris, and leggings under yoga pants and bottoms.
We do offer a variety of different fabric weights among our yoga leggings so you can choose the coverage that works best for you.
From sophisticated printed leggings to high waisted and more, you can find a variety of options from KiraGrace. Designed to fuse fashion with function and make everyone woman feel her most beautiful and confident self.
by Jessi Richardson | Dec 27, 2015.
Traditionally, with the coming of the New Year, we set out a list of goals, hopes, dreams, and resolutions. It’s here that we have reflected on the past year in candor, and choose to carve a new or more challenging path. While resolutions can vary widely person to person, we’ve put together some of our favorite yogi inspired resolutions – some specific in their task, and others more general or relating to the way we carry ourselves day to day.
We reading this list, reflect on what these resolutions would mean for you personally. How would you go about achieving them? Most of all, we encourage you to make a list of your own resolutions alongside this list. Take some time to devout thought into your goals and be realistic with yourself. Build plans around your goals, and place the list somewhere easy to see every day, helping to remind yourself of your resolutions.
1. MORE WRITING
Writing can be one of the most creative and cathartic outlets for a person. While it doesn’t always include what some may see as “artistic flare” (like, say, a canvas or myriad of paints and textures), writing is as much based in the soul as it is in the mind. Your thoughts become symbols on the paper, and you allow yourself to release your emotions, hopes, and/or insecurities into the world. You don’t need to make your writing public – perhaps it’s in a journal or private blog – but doing so opens up a whole new channel for creativity. Find yourself a pen pal or spend time creating content that can inspire others. By adding a reader to your writing, you’ll find that your mind works in new ways, and produces new artistic flows while writing.
2. INNER AWARENESS
Your breath has been your companion from the day you are born and is the only tool you need to help develop your inner awareness. Try taking ten minutes a day to pause and consciously focus on your breathe. If during this time your mind wanders, gently catch yourself and refocus back to your breath. This giving yourself permission to reset and refocus on what is important. Guide your breath and let your breath guide you to increased inner awareness.
3. PRACTICE MORE MEDITATION
For us, more meditation is on our list of resolutions every year. Meditation is very much a continued effort by all yogis, and consciously acknowledging the difficulty and necessity for commitment to the craft is extremely useful in taking as much away from the practice as possible. Even if you spend ample time meditating throughout your days, remember to practice the stillness of mind during the actions of the day, as you move place to place and talk to person to person. Meditation is a cornerstone of a healthy life and practice, and incorporating it into your days in as many ways possible can help keep stress down and vitality up.
4. CONNECT WITH NATURE
Connecting with nature awakens our original humanity. Simply go outside, look, listen, feel, touch, breathe. Pick berries, play a game, watch a bird, make a fire, have experiences. Unhurried time with nature is well known for giving bursts of intuition and sudden insights to long sought questions. As you ground yourself with mother nature, take notice in how she can create headspace for you to focus on both the short and long-term goals you have set for yourself.
5. FINANCIAL PEACE
In 2014, seventy-five percent of Americans said money was their biggest cause of stress. Regardless of your income level, the clutter that poor financial health brings is exponential. By educating ourselves and humbly seeking help when needed, we can bring more peace of mind to every aspect of life that our money is connected to. This year, let’s focusing more energy on the never-ending process of developing healthy financial habits.
6. TAKE A NEW YOGA CLASS
Perhaps you’re a seasoned yogi, or perhaps you’re still new to the practice. Whatever the case, a new yoga class – say Hot Yoga or Bikram – can be a fun way to add variation to your practice, meet new faces, and test your body in new ways. Ask yourself what part of your practice you want to improve, and try to choose a class that addresses that goal. Next, sign up!
7. TAKE A FRIEND TO YOGA
Not all resolutions need to be so self-centered, and we encourage you to include others in your plans for a happier, healthier new year. For this next resolution, we encourage you to bring a friend to a yoga or meditation class. Think back to when you first started practicing. You may have been a bit shy, confused, or uncertain as to what yoga could actually do for your life. Consider now what it has done, and how that has benefited your health and wellness. With this in mind, make the conscious effort this next year to include a friend in your practice – they could really benefit.
8. PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Like meditation, we constantly seek to add the practice of gratitude to our resolutions. The truth is, it can be hard to be graciously with every action, every day, and no one expect you to be perfect. Rather, it’s the consistent effort, either internally stated or spoken aloud, that helps direct us to a grateful state of being. For example, during traffic, long lines at the store, or otherwise frustrating instances in life, take a moment to reflect and bring gratitude back into your life. Let the stress of anxiety and anger melt away, and replace it with affection and understanding. This can be one of your most powerful resolutions.
COMMIT TO YOUR RESOLUTIONS
Committing to your resolutions is the real key to success, and that’s why we remind you again to place your list of resolutions somewhere easy to see and reference every day (and we mean every day!). Invest in a small white board, or perhaps print of a single sheet of resolutions to hang by your bedroom door. Whatever the method, internally devote yourself to your goals, and keep in mind that most resolutions may not be achieved in a single day, but in 365.
Posted on 12/18/2013 by Tara Nasira in Yoga Holiday
Twas the week before Christmas and all through the home, Not a yogi was stirring, not even an OM.
The yoga mats were rolled by the chimney with care,
In hopes that there'd be 20 minutes to spare.
The children were nagging, not going to bed,
While visions of Wanderlust danced in my head.
With hubs in his yoga pants and I in mine too,
We were deeply in need of our Inner Guru.
When up on the roof there arose such a blast,
You’d think Shiva Rea was giving a free class!
And what to my wondering third eye should I see,
But Santa himself, breathing in Ujjayi.
His hands placed in mudra, he looked so serene,
Sitting in Lotus, right under the tree.
“Santa!” I exclaimed, “how can this be?”
“I came to align your chakras,” said he.
He rose up to standing (His pants were see-through,
He must have bought them last year at lulu).
We rolled out our Mandukas and lit our inner flame,
And he whistled and shouted each yoga pose name.
“Now up dog, now down dog, now to chaturanga!
On cobra, on cat/cow, on parsva bakasana!”
The prana was flowing, my worries were gone,
My mantra, “I am grateful,” carried me on.
Santa, it seemed, was a wonderful mentor,
The yoga was helping me come back to center.
“Your practice need never be out of your sight,
YogaDownload is with you, all day or all night.”
And I heard him exclaim as he drove off in his sleigh,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all Namaste!”
Reposted here from INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR GOLF ACADEMY
When you think of exercises that may help your golf game, yoga may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it should. Golf academies all over the U.S. are adding in yoga practices to help students improve both their mental and physical golf game. Shawn, the director of physical training here at IJGA, works with students on flexibility, mobility, and core strengthening using yoga.
How Does Yoga Benefit Golfers?
You may think that increasing flexibility is the only benefit that yoga offers for golfers, but in fact there are many additional benefits. Yoga conditioning increases flexibility, range of motion, muscle elasticity, and other functional aspects. Consider when you need to make a long drive on the course. If your shoulders don’t have a good range of motion, you won’t have the follow through to really push that ball where it needs to go. If you don’t have muscular strength, you won’t have the force needed to make that shot. Think about how your body moves when you make a golf swing; this is a complicated and balletic movement that can be improved using yoga.
Top Effective Yoga Positions for Golfers
There are three top yoga positions that help golfers balance their strength on both the right and left sides of their bodies, protect their backs from wrenching with repeated swings, and improve core strength for better balance, more power, and less pain after a day on the links.
Fun Facts: Pro Golfers and Yoga
There are different poses that target different areas of the body and offer different benefits. Choosing a program that is designed for golfers is important to ensure that you’re getting the most out of this wonderful exercise.
Golf training programs that include yoga conditioning, such as those found at the International Junior Golf Academy, are now becoming highly sought after and demanded by beginning and advanced golfers. When looking for a training program to improve your game, be sure to ask whether there is yoga training included. You will be surprised at how much yoga will improve your swing, your focus, and your flexibility.