advocacy

While it’s true that self-care is about you and how you choose to treat yourself right, it doesn’t hurt if the products you’re using are a force for good in this world. Something that not only makes you feel good and healthy, but also makes a serious impact on the lives of those involved — it’s a no-brainer.

Luckily, Thistle Farms makes it easy to just do: their line of products is produced by women who have survived trafficking, prostitution, and addiction, and their ingredients are sourced from female survivors around the world. It’s an effective assortment of self-care products with a gorgeous mission to empower those who too often disappear into the margins of society, who are not given the chance to change their circumstances, and who need an outlet of hope and healing.

Founded in 1997 by Becca Stevens, what began as a group of five women has grown to employ more than 1,800 women worldwide and include 40 sister communities. Today, Thistle Farms welcomes survivors into their Nashville-based residential program, providing free housing, medical care, therapy, education and job training. Graduates are then employed within the organization to work with the company’s global network of women producers, earn wages and make choices in their lives. It is social enterprise of the highest order — a force for advocacy and good and hope and change.

With a mission like this, it would be easy to let the quality of their products take a backseat to everything else. But not Thistle Farms. Let’s take a closer look at some of their standout products, shall we?

Natural Bug Spray

Though it’s likely not a product you use every day, bug spray is one of those things it’s easy to forget about. That is, until you’re being eaten alive by bugs as you sit outside on a warm summer night.

And even if you do remember to spritz before you head out the door, conventional bug spray is no one’s favorite smell. Sure, the scent of citronella might immediately transport you to memories of singing “Kumbaya” around a campfire, but it could also put you right back to that time you got lost in the woods and fell into a stagnant puddle, got your shoe stuck in the mud, suffered a gnarly sunburn, lost your canteen and served as breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least one million winged things.

Why chance it? Go a (literally) safer and more pleasant route. Thistle Hill’s unique combination of rose geranium oil (which has long been regarded as a great natural mosquito repellent), spearmint oil, lemongrass oil and peppermint oil is not only totally safe and DEET-free (DEET is a synthetic chemical that makes it hard for bugs to land on you, but can also be dangerous if the percentage is too high), it’s absolutely effective while also being skin-friendly. What’s more, the rose geranium oil used in the blend is sourced from Ikirezi in Rwanda, a co-operative of women survivors of genocide.

Healing Oils

If love is the ultimate healer, consider Thistle Farms’ oils the next best thing. By tapping into the powerful properties of essential oils, these plant blends deliver profound healing. Morning, noon or night, apply one (or two!) to your pulse points, breathe deeply, and let them get to work.

Calm: Soft and earthy, Calm is meditation in a bottle. When the day gets crazy and you need a peaceful respite or a moment to yourself, let the combination of sweet orange and vanilla get to work with their natural sedative properties, while patchouli and cedarwood atlas release feel-good hormones to make your brain happy.

Immunity: Between mainlining vitamin C and constantly sanitizing your hands, a little Immunity can go a long way. A blend of antimicrobial, antiviral and pain-relieving oils like eucalyptus, spearmint, lemon and clove — not to mention a naturally antibacterial coconut oil base — immunity kicks serious cold and flu butt. The herbal scent is soothing and protective…a warm cup of tea for your senses.

Energy: Need a little midday pick-me-up? Try sniffing your wrists…after applying Energy, an impressive blend of citrus and cinnamon designed to increase circulation, lift your mood, improve energy and give you a mental jolt.

Balance: This oil boasts a unique blend of powerful oils like lavender, vanilla, and lemon  that may boost energy, cleanse toxins, and calm the nervous system.