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A new collection of lipgloss isn't available for sale anywhere. Dubbed Luscious Lead, E. Coli Kiss and Mercury Shimmer, the glosses by Cheekbone Beauty contain contaminated water from Indigenous communities in Canada. Bringing awareness to unsafe drinking water, the #glossedover campaign asks: "Would you put it to your lips?"
The need for action is urgent. As of 2022, 30 Indigenous communities across Canada are under a drinking water advisory because their water may be unsafe based on water quality test results.
From 1-30 June 2022, Sephora Canada will donate all proceeds from purchases of Cheekbone Beauty products to Water First, a charity working to bring clean water to Indigenous communities. Cheekbone Beauty, which is Indigenous-owned, partnered with Sid Lee to develop the campaign.
In 2010, the United Nations declared water and sanitation human rights, acknowledging that they're essential to realizing all other rights. Canada is one of the world's wealthiest nations and should be able to offer that right to all of its citizens.
But First Nations on reserves are the only Canadian jurisdictions without regulations supporting the provision of safe drinking water, leading to a wide range of health disparities. The Guardian explains: "As a consequence of colonial-era laws, Indigenous communities have been barred from funding and managing their own water treatment systems."
When governments are slow to act, activist brands like Cheekbone Beauty have the power to raise awareness among their audience and push for change. Which human right can your organization adopt, support and decolonize?
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