This article will consist of my thoughts and opinions of natural Mica Powder and how children are forced to mine the minerals and unfortunately die in the process.
This is not an article expressing any other persons opinion only my own.
What is Mica?
Mica is the shimmery substance you find in cosmetics, paint, bath products and certain lotions. Mica is not the same as glitter as mica is of a finer grade and derived from slate rather than foils or plastics.
Mica in its natural state is found in the form of slate, slabs or in rock, it is shimmery by nature and dazzling to the eyes. Regions where Mica is mined from makes the ground look like its covered in diamonds.
Where does Mica come from?
Mica can only be found in a few places in the world, most of the worlds Mica is sourced from India.
Why do we use Mica?
We use Mica for its aesthetic appeal as it can make anything look shiny, expensive or pretty. You will find Mica in almost any make up product.
How is this an issue?
The use and application of Mica is not the issue as it is a versatile and mesmerising element.
The issue lays in how we harvest and manufacture the Mica. The number one miners of this stone is, minors. Children who are forced to endure harsh manual labour from as young as 5 years old. They are instructed to dig down into the earth with no safety harness, dust masks or appropriate clothing. These children are instructed to dig away in these burrows and to mine as much Mica as fast as they can. The more Mica they mine the more they get paid, several children have testified of children dying in the mines due to it collapsing. Many of the kids already suffer with respiratory issues, loss of sight and broken bones due to falling or mines collapsing let alone bruised, callused and bleeding hands and feet.
These are children that are working to provide money for their families to eat, going to school is not a priority for them. Their parents are instructed to crush the stones, weigh them and package them for export. Many families have shared sad stories of losing their children due to mine collapses or respiratory failure.
Child labour is illegal and there has been a huge up rise in stopping the illegal mining of Mica by child labour, unfortunately a lot of the trading of Mica falls through the cracks so you never really know if the Mica in your product is ethically sourced or not.
Change is coming!
Some companies are making a change to combat this issue one of them is Lush. They are creating their own synthetic non toxic Mica powder.
Plane Jane Beauty have made it their mission to track where they get there Mica with traceable supply chain so they know where it was mined, who it was mined by and how it was processed to give them the peace of mind that their Mica is ethically sourced.
At LTS Botanical we do not use Mica powders in any of our products, we do however use naturally coloured clays that work just as well and know exactly where they come from and what companies extract them.
If you have any thoughts on Mica or maybe you know of any other businesses trying to move away from Mica, please comment below and let us know!
Lets start a conversation!