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August 30 2014

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Natural Beauty From The Great White North

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The rise of the green beauty movement has paved the way for a number of industry-changing advancements over the past ten years, resulting in a boom in recyclable packaging, responsible ingredient sourcing, and organic grooming products formulated without the use of toxic, potentially harmful additives. Luckily, how we go about obtaining these often niche, hard-to-find lines has also been revolutionized. On the heels of Melissa Christenson’s Zaega.com, the 100 percent wind-powered site that exclusively stocks “healthy” beauty products, comes British Columbia’s Hip Apotheca. “We mostly look for brands that suit our beliefs, so natural ingredients that are beneficial to the environment and very safe for human beings,” Michelle Ng, the Vancouver-based destination’s buyer and marketing director, explains of the multi-brand venue that features a lot of lesser-known lines that Ng feels “deserve a spotlight.” Scotch Naturals nail polish, Figs and Rouge multipurpose balms, One Love Organics, Adara coconut oil and Antipodes, a relatively new range in North America that Ng reports is already receiving some great feedback from customers, are just a few of the brands you can expect to find at the newly launched Web venture. So, where does Ng discover most of her unique inventory? “Etsy—and I watch a whole lot of YouTube,” the California native says of the “haul videos” she’s been frequenting of late. “It lets me know what people are buying. Then I work around that to find brands that are doing the same thing but are natural and organic.” There are currently ten core brands offered on the site that also features the Hip Channel, which streams how-to videos and demos to introduce customers to new products. Ng will stock about 20 brands by year’s end. As an added bonus, the Canadian company has a warehouse right across the border so international shipping rates aren’t an issue. “We’d really hate for people in the U.S. to have to pay customs,” Ng says. This just in: Customer service is not in fact dead.

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