What does globally sourced versus locally sourced mean when it comes to beauty and wellness?


When it comes to beauty and wellness, these terms can be totally confusing! So today I wanted to discuss ingredient sourcing.

Globally sourced: From a purely business perspective, for most industries, globally sourced means that the manufacturer looked globally to find the most cost effective source for an ingredient. However, in beauty and wellness, globally sourced often implies something COMPLETELY different. In these industries, globally sourced can mean that the manufacturer looked globally to find the highest quality ingredients for their formulas. This is especially true when it comes to supplements. Ritual, a popular multivitamin, goes to great lengths to find the best and most effective forms of their vitamins by sourcing their ingredients globally. For example, their vitamin K comes from the Norway while their folate is sourced from Italy. So, in the wellness industry, globally sourced implies that the manufacturer looked globally to get the best quality ingredients for their formulas.

Well what about locally sourced products? Locally sourced is another popular term we hear in the wellness industry.  However, this usually refers to food products. Supermarkets and restaurants use this term to describe foods that were grown close to the point of consumption (within 100 miles is often considered the standard). Locally sourced foods can be desirable because they reduce the carbon footprint of the foods we eat. The carbon footprint is the amount of energy required to grow, transport, store, cook and dispose of an item. I personally was shocked one day when I went to buy oranges at my local supermarket. The oranges were from South Africa! Having grown up next to orange groves in South Florida less than 30 miles away, I couldn't bring myself to buy oranges from South Africa. Even if you aren't familiar with the term "carbon footprint", plain old common sense dictates that it doesn't makes sense to buy South African oranges in FLORIDA. So, when it comes to food, locally sourced products are more desirable and definitely better for the environment.