Pulse March / April 2016 - Page 52

MICHAEL FENSTERSTOCK • Founder Aromaflage • New York, New York “Aromaflage is hand-mixed by a group of women from Southeast Asia called Thai Yai—a subset of the Shan culture.” be. This makes Kneipp unique but we have been completely devoted to plant ingredients for more than 120 years. Our research facility tests each plant for mutations, other matter that makes its way into the plant via air and water pollution, etc. The plant must meet a standard to be used in formulation,” says Mary Leber, CEO of Kneipp in New York. James, on the other hand, looks for small-scale artisanal growers and distillers, wherever possible. “When we started the company, we noticed a pattern emerged—the best oils almost always seemed to come from small farms. As “Our research facility tests each plant for mutations, other matter that makes its way into the plant via air and water pollution.” 50 PULSE ■ March/April 2016 time went on, we realized that this is no accident. Artisanal distillers are more invested in the well-being of the land they work on and also take a more considered approach to the process of extracting the oils from the plant material.” Aromaflage is also conscious not only in sourcing essential oils regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as natural insect repelling oils, but also how it develops its blend. “Aromaflage is handmixed by a group of women from Southeast Asia called Thai Yai—a subset of the Shan culture. These Thai Yai women are ethnic minorities who have no country and most of them live along the Thai Burma border, in the jungle, and are treated inhumanely,” says Fensterstock. This partnership began when, while on a trip in Southeast Asia, Fensterstock discovered a local aromatherapy blend and was so impressed by it that he decided to find out the people behind the product. This led him to his Southeast Asian partner who is committed to uplifting the lives of ethnic minority women. “Our partner in Southeast Asia has set up a safe village in the hills where these MARY LEBER • CEO Kneipp • Kingston, New York (CONTINUED ON PAGE 52)