When you think “wild harvested,” what comes to mind? Most likely the growing number of on-trend restaurants that serve dishes using hyperlocal, foraged ingredients. But wild harvesting, or wildcrafting, has been a rising trend in the natural personal care sphere throughout 2019.
The premise is simple: These brands do not farm their plant-based ingredients but rather pluck them straight from the earth where they naturally thrive. Research from the University of Alaska has shown that this makes the plants richer in nutrients as well as totally organic by virtue of having grown sans pesticides.
The term “wildcrafted” stands out to consumers because it cuts through the many greenwashing phrases being co-opted by beauty brands left and right. Front labels can tout misleading terms like “natural,” “herbal,” “plant-derived,” “green” and “botanical” while containing any number of irritating or harmful ingredients.
Not that the blame should be placed on brands alone—there are few federal laws or regulations keeping them in check. For instance, the USDA Organic certification can only be obtained if a personal care product contains exclusively food-grade ingredients, but the term ”organic” is fair game for labeling and marketing purposes.
All that being said, wildcrafted beauty brands have a scaling problem on the horizon. What will happen when more and more consumers turn to them for efficacious, safe products? There is no way of manually increasing the amount of plants available to harvest, leading some experts to wonder whether popularizing some potent herbs and botanicals would be the wrong move with respect to the environment. However, most of these brands do emphasize mindful sourcing methods of crops that are abundant, even overgrown, in the wild.
Click through the gallery to learn about five innovative products from brands that continue to drive the wildcrafted movement forward.