When we came to the decision of using bees wax over plant wax, it was not a fly by night decision. None of the choices we make regarding our brands ingredients ever is. I started off this Brand with Veganism in mind but as it grew and we came to the point of waxes I came to a cross roads. I had been researching, wrestling and weighing up which of the two we would use as an ingredient, and this is what we have decided and why.
As I dug deeper in my research, I discovered more and more issues than I anticipated. The results were not just a simple matter of animal cruelty as I naively thought. It eventually filtered down to two main topics I personally support: Animal Cruelty and the Eco-system as a whole. It is all good and well to claim veganism is best for the planet. "Use the plants and not the animals and we can sleep well at night." But it actually isn't so simple. Nothing in this world is straight forward when it comes to saving and rebuilding our planet thousands of years after gross human consumption. If we had no humans then things would be simple. Now we need to choose which is best for our planet and Sabine G Holistics -vegan or bees.
Vegan Waxes Are Destructive
I looked into two plant alternatives and discovered that a) over harvesting of carnauba wax is having a negative ecological impact in the Amazonian Rainforest and the carnauba palm tree helps to control soil erosion in the areas where it is located. The fruits of the carnauba palm tree serve as food for animals such as bats, pigs, wild hogs and some Psittacidae (parrots and parakeets), one of the best assisting factors in spreading the seeds of this species. Bees also consume nectar and pollen from its flowers to make honey, helping to pollinate this species. Nevertheless, the relationship between the carnauba palm tree and animals is not limited to feeding, but is also related to aiding migration processes and balancing the ecosystem. Birds, for example, often use this palm tree to nest and rest when flocking.
b) both vegan waxes are imported. Importing will increase our carbon footprint which is what we are diligently trying to reduce.
Food For Thought
Here's a question- If using bees to prevent their diminishing population, so that plants can get pollinated and live, which in turn feed and house the other animals and the human population, is this still animal cruelty?
Would it not be more cruel to all animals including the bees to watch them starve as their food and shelter disappears? Did you know that honey bees — wild and domestic perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide. A single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day. Grains are primarily pollinated by the wind, but fruits, nuts and vegetables are pollinated by bees and they are dying out.
This human race has unfortunately not given us the luxury of making such a simple decision as to leaving the bees alone. Supporting ethical bee keepers who's main objective is to keep this planet alive and remain cruelty free, will effectively be a better choice than stripping plants of their wax coating.
Unfortunately ethical bee keepers cannot survive by charity alone. Therefor in order to have a healthy bee farm they need to sell honey and wax in order to take care of and grow the colonies of our earths precious pollinators. Never exploiting, overworking or abusing the bees. No Animal Cruelty.
So my conclusion which may or may not resonate with you, is that Sabine G Holistics will use bees wax in our Curator Balm and lip balms until we find an even better planet friendly solution. Beeswax is the only ingredient we use that is not vegan. Every product other than our balms are 100% plant products.
I believe that we are keeping our reputation as being cruelty free and planet conscious in tact.
Not just any bees wax
As with all our ingredients, getting right back to source is imperative. We have always only chosen wax from farms with transparency in their ethics and also situated as close to our laboratory as possible. Recently (2023) Sabine G Holistics has become proud stewards of a 12,3 Ha fynbos UNESCOs heritage site where our lab will be built on, we have a bee farmer with 12 hives on our land and in return we receive fynbos honey and the capping wax from these hives! Capping wax is what seals the honey in the hive that needs to get scraped away to access the honey. So a by product of honey harvesting. The bees do not get harmed in any way shape or form.
How you can support your local bees:
grow bee friendly nectar bearing flowers
don't kill a bee
don't use toxic pesticides
leave a shallow tray filled with pebbles out for them and butterflies to drink
buy honey from an ethical bee farm
preserve indigenous wild habitat
purchase organic fruit and vegetables
Take care of our Earth, teaching the future generation to live sustainably and planet conscious lives. Our goals? To leave the planet better than we received it.