For All The Melanin Babes Who Feel Excluded ... There Is Green Beauty For Us
We chatted with Keisha Cook, the founder of G.B.F.U. (Green Beauty For Us) - a quarterly box that delivers non-toxic, green beauty products curated for Women of Color.
Check out this interview:
When and why did you start GBFU?
I started GBFU on August 15 2017. I started on Instagram to showcase diversity in Green Beauty. I was tired of seeing the same faces over and over again! I was sharing photos that showed the diversity that exists within the wellness community. At the time I was subscribed to several green beauty boxes. I was so over receiving products that I couldn’t use. Sometimes the ingredients weren’t as clean as I’d expect. But mainly the products did not suit my skin tone. It was clear that these beauty boxes did not have women of color in mind when they selected the products. The GBFU brand was born from me realizing the the need for truly clean green products that suited more than one demographic of people.
What are the benefits of a subscriptions box?
Great question! I believe a subscription box gives the buyer greater options and room to explore more brands. The Green Beauty For Us Box encompasses that by creating themed boxes, each box has a purpose we don’t just add random products. Another benefit is price. You’re getting anywhere from 3-7 full size products well below the retail value.
Why is holistic wellness and green beauty so important for WOC?
WOC are using beauty products at a higher rate than non WOC. The majority of these beauty products contain potentially toxic ingredients. We are talking about ingredients that are linked to cancer, damage to the reproductive system, and hormone disruption. But, the fact is that until recently products that we consider green beauty weren’t even available, or were available in limited range for our skin tones. There’s also a lack of knowledge and education on these ingredients. That’s what we’re doing now! Trying to educate, inform, and attempting to control our narrative.
WOC have long been excluded from the wellness conversation. We’ve been subliminally taught that wellness was for white women not us. This continued for generations to the point that we begin to teaching it each other. I can’t tell you the number of things I’ve watched my own Ma, aunts, or cousins go through that they honestly needed, or still need therapy to get past. We’ve been taught to take whatever life throws at us but we aren’t taught what to do with all of that stress, hurt, those negative emotions, that negative energy, rejection, etc.
We need safe spaces that we can be vulnerable where we can surrender all that we’ve carried. That is why I’m an advocate for WOC in Wellness.
What are some of your favorite brands?
Where do you see this brand in 5 years.
I see GBFU continuing to provide service to POC that we believe is needed and doing so at an affordable price. Expansion is certainly on the horizon but we will have to keep it as a personal vision for now :)
What is your biggest tip for people trying to transition into a healthier lifestyle?
I will always be an advocate for clean ingredients . But, I do understand that everyone has their own starting point. I would say start where you are by replacing one product at a time with a clean/green alternative. Research ingredients learn the potential dangers. Read your labels!