Shea butter is sometimes called “women’s gold” because it provides employment and income to women in 19 African nations. These nations are home to the Karite (or Shea) tree. It’s a tree that produces the nuts that are used to make Shea butter. This tree can take up to fifty years to reach maturity and is considered a precious commodity due to the nuts it provides. We source all of our Shea butter from fair local trading efforts in Ghana, where women harvest Shea nuts by hand.
A block of Shea butter begins its life as a pile of nuts. These nuts are boiled in a large pot, which makes the shell easier to break. When the nuts are cooled, they are extracted from their shells. This extracting process is done by hand, and while it can be time-consuming, it is often done by groups of women who make it a social activity. The discarded shells are used for cooking fuel, while the seeds are cracked and roasted. The roasted seeds are then beaten with water, which releases their rich fats. These extracts are boiled, skimmed, and cooled, which results in the Shea butter we all know and love