At Because, it's been our mission to champion the brands that may have gone under the radar in the sea of stuff available to us. In light of what's been happening globally over the last few months, we've noticed this is needed now more than ever, and have been wondering how best to continue this. 

Hence the start of our latest feature, Pass the Platform, where we'll be sharing a selection of interviews who would have been picked by the interviewee prior, starting a thread and community of brands that are doing good within the fashion and beauty worlds. We hope this will bring attention to different voices that aren't always heard within these realms, as per our pledge to do better. Next up is Amy Christiansen, founder of luxury ethical perfumery Sana Jardin. After being nominated by A Complexion Company, Amy gives us an insight into her motivations, resilience and goal to empowering women globally through her philanthropic scents...

As your background is in the non-profit sector, we can see why you'd create a product with a philanthropic ethos! But why were you drawn to fragrance in particular?
Growing up, I travelled to many exotic destinations with my grandmother. On these trips I was surrounded by the heady scents of North Africa and the Middle East; neroli, jasmine and amber in particular. There’s no doubt that these special memories sparked my love affair with fragrance.

Around 12 years ago, I was gifted ‘The Scent Trail’ by Celia Lyttleton and it literally transformed my life! I became fascinated by the use of essential oils and how they’ve been used for thousands of years, in so many different cultures. I learnt about the sacred rituals associated with flower harvests and was quite literally mesmerised instantly! Historically in the Middle East, women needed to wear white and be as calm as possible when harvesting orange blossom. They believed that they were extracting the dew of the orange blossom flower when they removed the soul of the flower. I found this whole ritual just magical! The fact that these traditions have taken place for hundreds of years truly inspired me and I decided to explore perfume production further. I also felt passionately about working and helping the female flower harvesters.

What have been the biggest challenges with creating this brand?
Launching a brand has certainly been an eye-opening experience. There have naturally been challenges along the way. Learning new skillsets has proven testing at times especially after working in the non-profit sector for 25 years! Location has been a challenge as well. We are based in London and managing the day to day operations in Morocco can be difficult due to the language barrier and of course time zones!

What would your advice be for people that want to start a brand that is ethically focused?
I have learned so much on this journey and am still learning every hour! Launching your own brand can be an emotional rollercoaster so one needs to be able to detach and have faith that the bumps will even out, even when things seem extremely challenging!

Sustainability and ‘being sustainable’ is constantly changing. To stay as environmentally and ethically focused as possible, you must evolve and refine as a business. You must always remember that nobody or no brand is perfect.

I have also found that when I make decisions from the heart and from a position of love and not insecurity, it has always been in the best interest of the business.

What else would you like to achieve with Sana Jardin? Do you have any particular goals for the company?
We have so many goals for the brand! I don’t know where to start…

First and foremost: I launched Sana Jardin to demonstrate that commerce can be used as a vehicle for social change whilst also economically empowering low-income women. Following recent events, I want to take that mission further and transform from a community based social impact business to one that expands and amplifies a more globally inclusive focus. We believe in the power of business; to help to create economic opportunities, equality and give people of all backgrounds the game-changing importance of influence. We have set out an action plan in response and are working through implementing these changes.

Seeing the harvesters flourish and thrive in the co-operatives in Morocco has undoubtedly been one of my biggest lifetime achievements. We hope to expand our Beyond Sustainability™ business model beyond Morocco into countries around the world, and empower women to build sustainable business for themselves, in areas where fruitful female-focused economic opportunities are hard or impossible to come by.

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do; we are always searching for more environmentally friendly alternatives whether it be ingredients or packaging. Currently we are looking to incorporate
up-cycled and biodegradable materials into our boxes that can be composted when discarded as well as refillable perfumes that come without the box and cap to minimise waste.

Who are you passing the platform onto next, and why?
Liha Beauty. I’m a huge fan! I love how they have blended African beauty with traditional English aromatherapy to create a divine range of vegan and ethically sourced skincare products. The brand supports Shea Alliance, an organisation which partners Ghanaian women with co-operatives to ensure they are paid fairly for their shea to give them a consistent wage. As you know, women empowerment and social impact is extremely important to us at Sana Jardin!

Shop Sana Jardin products below:

More More More!

+ Pass the Platform | A Complexion Company...

+ Discover Sana Jardin: Beyond Sustainability...

+ Surprise Me!