Our Mission

To advance gender equality and alleviate poverty through the fair trade of handcrafted shea butter.


Alaffia empowers West African communities to become sustainable through the fair trade of indigenous resources. We encourage empowerment through our community projects, our women’s cooperatives, and through education and involvement in our local customer communities. We firmly believe that the cooperation of people across the world is an essential part of building sustainability in all communities.

Our Products

At Alaffia, when we speak of beauty, we are referring to holistic beauty, which looks beyond aesthetics. We believe our bodies, emotions, and environment are interconnected, and when they are in balance, holistic beauty is achieved. This leads to the peaceful coexistence of all life.

Our products are born from this ideal and influenced by the science of ethnobotany, which is the study of relationships between people and plants. We evaluate how each ingredient interacts with the product, the person using it, and the environment it comes from. All of our raw ingredients, including shea butter and coconut oil, are handcrafted using traditional techniques in Togo, West Africa. The finished products are formulated in Olympia, Washington.


To Alaffia, fair trade means paying a fair price or wage in the local context, providing equal employment opportunities, engaging in environmental sustainable practices, providing healthy and safe working conditions, being open to public accountability, and reducing the number of middlemen between producers & consumers. We believe fair trade should be environmentally, economically, and culturally sustainable and give local communities the opportunity to self-empower.


The cost to handcraft shea butter and coconut oil at the Alaffia Cooperative is over two times the price of these same butters at West African ports. Why is our cost higher?

    Nut prices: We pay 15-25% above market price for shea nuts.
    Fair wages: Our cooperative members receive a salary more than 4 times the average family  income in Togo.
    Benefits: Cooperative members also receive full medical care, employment security, and one  month of paid vacation each year.


Fair trade certification is an independent, neutral third party certification verifying an organization upholds fair trade, social, and environmental standards in their operations. Alaffia is certified Fair for Life: Social & Fair Trade by IMO (Institute for Marketecology), one of the first and most renowned international inspection & certification agencies for organic and social (fair trade) accountability. IMO’s Fair for Life certification combines strict social and fair trade standards with adaptability to local conditions. You can read more about IMO at and more about the Fair for Life certification at

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