So You Want To Buy Raw Coconut Oil? Here’s Why Virginutty Is Different
So You Want To Buy Raw Coconut Oil? Here’s Why Virginutty Is Different
With all the different types of coconut oil out there, we know that trying to buy raw coconut oil can quickly become an overwhelming affair.
In fact, when we did a quick Google search for ‘buy raw coconut oil’, we found more than 106,000,000 results with everyone from Amazon, to supermarkets, to small independents selling coconut oil for skin and hair under the seemingly infinite guises that coconut oil comes in.
So how do you know which one to go for, especially if you’re looking for an ethically sourced, sustainable product?
As a small, independent and sustainable coconut oil brand; we value simplicity, honesty and (let’s face it) having an easy life.
So it goes without saying that we think it should be as easy as possible for you to choose a coconut oil product that works for you - without chemicals, additives and extra you haven’t asked for.
We work super hard to bring you pure, luxuriously natural coconut oil products that we think you’ll love - and we’re proud to say it.
So in this article, we’re not messing around. We’re going to be 100% transparent and break down the 4 key reasons why you should buy raw coconut oil from Virginutty; especially if you’re looking to make a more sustainable choice.
1. When you buy raw coconut oil from Virginutty, you get a totally natural, unrefined product.
As a British-Filipino owned brand with deep connections to the Philippines, our ambition is for each and every Virginutty customer to experience the beautifully soft, nourished skin and hair that we see so commonly in the Philippines.
But not all coconut oil is created equal. As demand for the coconut increases around the world, we’ve noticed a rising trend in stores stocking coconut oil products full of harmful chemicals and solvents, or which have been overly refined and processed - to the point of removing most of the nutrients from the oil.
And we know this isn’t entirely without reason. Stores tend to process coconut oil products for a multitude of purposes: it could be to make them last longer, make them easier to apply, or give them a stronger scent.
But at Virginutty we respect and revere the coconut, and think how nature created it is more than good enough for your skin. So we think it’s super important for all our coconut oil products to retain all the nutrients that act as rich antioxidants for the body.
This is why we reject the use of anything but 100% totally natural, unrefined, virgin coconut oil in our products; always extracted from the fruit of fresh, mature coconuts using cold-press techniques, and always without the use of chemicals or high temperatures.
2. When you buy raw coconut oil from Virginutty, you support the sustainable production of coconut oil.
Since sustainability has hit the mainstream, a culture of ‘greenwashing’ has emerged. This allows big corporations to make unsubstantiated claims that their products or processes are sustainable, without being fully transparent about supply chains or making it clear how their initiatives really improve the lives of the people they work with.
And with increasing numbers of big corporations jumping on the green bandwagon, it’s difficult to know whether all the ‘sustainable’ initiatives out there are as ethical as they’re made out to be.
What’s also worrying is that it’s not uncommon for dubious corporate agendas to end up negatively affecting the families and communities they rely on for the supply of natural products.
At Virginutty, we’re particularly concerned about the imbalance of power that can occur in the pursuit of ‘sustainably’ sourcing materials from coconut-producing countries.
This can easily happen where big corporations have to meet consumer demand for coconuts, so end up place stringent conditions and deadlines on farmers - meaning that livelihoods are affected if they can’t keep up.
So in light of all this, we totally reject any half-baked models of ‘sustainable’ agriculture. When you buy raw coconut oil from Virginutty, you can take pride in the fact that each purchase protects a supply chain that supports fair trade farmers and delivers empowering grassroots social and economic initiatives to protect workers, such as:
Coconut replanting projects
Livelihood projects such as microfinancing
Education projects like scholarship programs for children and grandchildren of farmers
Pest management and calamity funds (the Philippines is highly vulnerable to natural disasters).
These organisations provide farmers with an income well above the poverty line, so they can be free of the pressure to produce more coconuts and instead, focus on producing small batches of quality coconut oil using sustainable methods only.
3. When you buy raw coconut oil from Virginutty, you empower the minority.
It goes without saying that we’re pleased to see the increasing economic independence and agency being gained by communities that produce natural products as a result of conscious initiatives going mainstream.
However, we can’t continue to avoid uncomfortable conversations around how the ethical production of natural products has been labelled by some as a form of ‘neo-colonialism’ - i.e. a capitalism-centric colonialism masked as economic support for poorer countries.
It’s an important conversation which has more nuance than we have the space to address in this article. However, from Virginutty’s very inception we have always believed in putting the Philippine cultural heritage of the coconut at the core of everything we do, and empowering the communities behind the production of our coconuts - without vested interests that harm these communities.
As a start, we're proud to collaborate with Filipino, Southeast Asian and ethnic minority models who have island cultural heritages, to celebrate the native roots of the coconut.
But with the imbalance of power created by big corporations seeking a share of the conscious consumer’s wallet, we also recognise that true empowerment of the minority doesn’t stop at their representation alone.
Instead, we believe real empowerment stems from minorities having ownership over sustainable initiatives linked to their heritage. In our case, this means Filipinos taking the lead on supplying the market with Philippine-sourced coconut products.
This is why we are proud to be British-Filipino owned through our founder Melissa, and use the connection to our rich Filipino cultural heritage to respect, empower and create ownership within coconut-producing communities with protective initiatives that support the slow, sustainable production of coconuts.
4. When you buy raw coconut oil from Virginutty, you can trust that we’ll be honest with you.
When we started Virginutty, we knew we wanted to be different. From the farmers that harvest our coconuts, to the models that represent us, we have vowed to make a difference. Even if it costs more money. Even if it might be offbeat. Even if it takes us longer. Because of what we stand for.
So as a small, independent skincare and cosmetics company, our promise to our customers is to always maintain an ethos of transparency, empowerment and sustainability in everything we do. And these are responsibilities that we don’t take lightly.
Today we’re proud to use 100% unrefined coconut oil of the highest quality in all our products. And while we’ve worked hard to make the coconut oil in all of our products fully sustainable, we won’t say we’re fully there yet.
At the moment, we’re using glass jars which can be recycled or reused. The packaging we send your products is also often reused or recycled cardboard boxes, which in turn are fully recyclable.
However, there are a few areas we’re still working on.
The lids on our jars are still plastic, and we’re looking into a sustainable alternative that we can be absolutely sure will protect the contents of the jar just as well as our current lids do.
We’re also still looking into a more carbon-efficient way to ship our products to our customers; but in the meantime we’re hoping to offset our carbon footprint by sharing our shipping containers with other small businesses to save energy, as well as reduce the cost of shipping to our customers.
And as a small business we’re also not able to afford certain certifications just yet, such as becoming Fairtrade and organic certified in the UK.
While we’re working towards getting our processes fully audited for UK certification, in the meantime our suppliers are fully Fairtrade certified in the US and the Philippines.
So there you have it. 4 reasons why Virginutty is the best place to buy raw coconut oil for skin and hair.
We know there are lots of brands out there selling unrefined, virgin coconut oil - but we pride ourselves on being so much more than ‘just’ a coconut oil brand.
Why? Because every Virginutty product you buy is totally natural and supports sustainable coconut agriculture in the Philippines. It also empowers farmers with decent wages to focus on quality over quantity, and creates ownership for minorities whose heritage is linked with the coconut.
And when you buy raw coconut oil from Virginutty, you’re also supporting a small business with a commitment towards not only being totally transparent, but also with a commitment towards using our voice to demand better working conditions for farmers.
To support us in our journey and discover our 100% pure, luxuriously natural coconut oil for your skin and hair, click through to our shop.