Ethics & Corporate Social Responsibility

The Real Human Hair Company
CSR & Ethics

Here at The Real Human Hair Company we have compiled a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Ethics document so we can inform you, the consumer of our strong stance on the sourcing, import and production of ethical human hair extensions. We do not just stop there. We believe we have a responsibility as a hair extensions supplier in the UK to provide you with the absolute, best hair extensions product possible, that you know have been sourced ethically and hand made by skilled, adult staff.

We believe it is essential for us to lead the way in ethical practice in an unregulated and misunderstood industry. In this article you will find, along with definitions and statutes we adhere to, product journeys of each of our human hair extensions. How they are sourced, where  they are sourced from and ultimately how they get to you. We will also touch on “made in Britain” which is the direction we took between 2015 - 2018 so we could not only take absolute control over the making of the hair extensions, but the environment in which the people we employ, produce them and the salaries they earn. The Real Human Hair Company is a company who are passionate about what we do.

We hope you find this article educational, interesting and informative. We urge other businesses in the hair industry to demonstrate that they believe in ethical sourcing and production of real remy human hair extensions without the use of plastic fillers and synthetic mixes which degrade the hair extensions and more importantly, are harmful to the environment. We also recommend that before buying from any hair extensions company that their ethical stance and product description is clear and you know that what you think you are buying is  “what it actually is and what it says on the packaging”. 

Why Business Ethics?

The term “ethics” stems from “ethos”, the ancient greek word which we understand to be defined as “moral character”. Business ethics is the field of study concerning ethical decision making in commercial contexts. This is done in relation to the codes of conduct as set out by institutions such as the United Nations (See United Nations & Transnational Corporations Data) Business ethics is the behaviour of any business or institution that deals with individuals, communities and society.

Why Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  is concerned with a commercial company's social obligations and the extent to which companies owe something to larger society and moral obligations to both society and to concerned individuals. Success is based upon a company's ability to positively engage in good and transparent business ethics to which benefits larger society. This ethical decision making covers employees, customers, suppliers and competitors.

Human hair extensions is big business in the UK, USA and worldwide. It is claimed that the industry is worth between £45m and £80m (according to London based industry research firm IBISWorld) which is a huge 70% growth increase in the past five years. This is an underestimated industry with large and small market brands, weaves, extensions, wigs, independent beauty supply stores, distributors, e-commerce, styling tools and appliances often not taken into consideration. It is recorded that one of the largest Temples in India made approx. 2000m rupees (more than £22m) from selling hair in 2015.  The donation of human hair in India is a long standing religious tradition and is covered later in this article.

Governing codes of conduct bodies

The International Labour Office

The governing body of the International Labour Office (ILO) has identified eight conventions as fundamental to the rights of working human beings. This does not take into account the level of international, economic and social development within the member state nations. The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work which was adopted in 1998 highlights conditions of labour which have been endorsed by the international community. These are embedded in the ILO constitution and are regarded as fundamental.

  1. Freedom of Association and right to collective bargaining - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No.87) - Workers and employers are able and have the right to freely form and join groups. This works in relation to freedom of expression and is underpinned by democratic representation - voices need to be taken into account. This enables the company to work better and keep improving our product.
  2. Elimination of compulsory or forced labour - Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29). Each The Real Human Hair Company member is paid above the national living wage and offered overtime where applicable.
  3. Abolition of child labour - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) - Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) - Worst Form of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182). No member of staff that works at The Real Human Hair Company. is under the age of 18.
  4. Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation - Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation Convention, 1958 (No.111). At The Real Human Hair Company, we are proud that we employ a range of individuals from different age groups and ethnicities to ensure diversity and the elimination of discrimination.
  5. Any workers and any employees have the right to freely form and join groups for the support and advancement of their occupational interests. This basic human right goes together with freedom of expression and is the basis of democratic representation and governance. People need to be able to exercise their right to influence work-related matters that directly concern them. In other words, their voice needs to be heard and taken into account. Each team member has the right.
    Currently a small team, there is no need for a union as yet, quarterly company meetings are held as are bi-yearly employee reviews.  

How is The Real Human Hair Company in line with these conventions?

Made in Britain

Between 2015-2018 we committed to creating and making 95% of our hair extensions in our London studio. This involved taking complete control over the hair source, colouring and making of the hair extensions.  Through this process, we interviewed our suppliers to understand their sourcing procedures and also to confirm our ethical stance on sourcing and production. Taking control of production was a big risk for us as we had to source and train highly skilled production staff our team consists of L’Oreal Professional colour specialists who are degree trained and understand how hair colour works with real human hair. We are very proud of what we achieved and we hope that is reflected in the videos and images you see of our products.

The nature of being a bespoke custom made service meant we really cared about the end product. We created and hand made all of our hair extension with acute attention to detail using only the best resources. We can say with confidence that our hair is of the most highest quality.

Since the change in the economic landscape in 2016 till present, we have re-evaluated our human hair supply chain and production strategies and now work with whom we feel are the best and most ethical human hair suppliers across the world. You will see that our hair extensions are limited to Russian, European, Indian & Peruvian Hair, this is because we can guarantee the authenticity and ethical practices of the suppliers we work with in these countries and as a result, we do not work with Chinese hair factories or suppliers. 

Human Hair Extensions Journey, where our hair comes from & how.

Indian Human Hair
It's widely known that the majority of Indian Virgin Hair is sourced from Indian temples and the religious practice of offering hair to the God's as a thank you for wishes placed has been a tradition for many years. We strongly believe in the ethical sourcing of our human hair and the traditions associated with human hair exportation in support of the Indian economy.   To India, the market is worth more than $250m (£175m) per year (BBC News 2016). We have therefore undertaken the task of providing you with in depth insight to leave you safe in the knowledge that you are ordering from an ethical hair extensions company.

Our virgin Indian hair is collected from one of the biggest temples in South India. We believe it is right in the globalised and cross communicative world to understand and provide our clients with the knowledge of where their extensions are coming from, the cultural customs and the associated ethics. Religious pilgrims in the southern area of India have donated their hair at holy temples for centuries in a sacrificial endeavour to sacrifice, purify, give thanks and support their local community. Research understands that Vishnu, an avatar of God and the Preserver of the World, borrowed money for his wedding which would take him centuries to pay off. In turn many devout Hindus help Vishnu’s debt by offering their hair.  According to ancient scriptures all Hindus are required to shave their heads at least once in their lifetime. This is usually done shortly after birth and is often continued throughout their life. For many women hair is something they take great pride in, to donate hair multiple times to God is the highest sacrifice. For the remaining 15% of non Hindu Indians, India has a very hot and humid climate. We all know that Indian hair is wonderfully thick so cutting off hair is a normal practice in order to keep cool in the difficult climate.

Auctions are held in the Indian temples and hair is sold to the highest bidder. Once the hair has been auctioned of, it is shipped worldwide to be cleaned, processed and coloured into the human hair extensions many of us see for sale today. Temples in India provide refuge, food, ceremonies and a safe place for millions of pilgrims. Funds raised through the auctioning of hair is used to maintain the temple and provide charitable services. Children are given an education through the building of new schools and local businesses benefit from the frequent pilgrimages. Hospitals are built which provide the poor with expensive treatments they otherwise could never afford. In addition to this approximately 30,000  people are fed every day from  the sale of hair. Temples in India have governing bodies and anti corruption measures in place which ensures the women or funds are not negligently treated.

Be confident in the knowledge that by purchasing Indian hair from our reputable and ethical hair extensions company, your money is helping communities in Southern India and in turn helping to grow the Indian economy.

European, Russian & Eurasian Human Hair
Over the last 8 years of business we have worked with suppliers all over Europe and the surrounding areas to source the very best hair. The global hair business, which includes hair extensions, wigs and toupees, is valued at approx. $100 billion (Politico 2016) and with the UK being the third biggest importer it is more important than ever to provide our clients with true, ethical European and Eurasian hair extensions.

European and Eurasian hair in recent years has become highly sought after in the western market for people of European decent. This is due to the hair texture being of European ancestry, providing women with very natural hair extensions that blend with their own hair, seamlessly. In addition to this, Orthodox Jewish men and women, who are required to cover their own hair by using wigs are prohibited from using hair sourced from Indian temples due to their religious beliefs. European, Russian and Eurasian hair is the only solution.

Our European and Eurasian hair is sourced from the eastern and southern parts of Europe and neighbouring slavic regions from women aged between 16 - 24 (female’s under the ages of 18 have to be accompanied by at least 1 parent in order to sell their hair). Sourcing is predominantly done at hair cutting fairs which are advertised in town centres for women to attend. The prices are set and allot of the time haggled until the women who are selling their hair are happy with the amount. No seller is coerced or harassed into selling their hair. The hair extensions market is a well known industry which when operated correctly can benefit the women selling their hair as well as the end users. 

Eurasian hair is collected from Eurasia and bordering european/asian countries. This hair is often regarded as the best in the world due to it’s silky, soft and fine texture. The price reflects how sought after this hair is, this is one of the highest grades of human hair, due to the healthy and organic way of life lived by most Eurasian women. Many cities in rich Eurasian nations have a western way of life and therefore trends are reflected in their culture. The women are much richer and cut their hair for a sophisticated look and to stay up to date with fashion trends. Knowing how much their hair is worth these women sell their hair for as much as $350 per 100g.

European hair is collected from more rural parts of Eastern Europe. Women no younger than 16 years old again, attend hair cutting fairs to cut and sell their hair (female’s under the ages of 18 have to be accompanied by at least 1 parent in order to sell their hair). This hair has been beautifully maintained as many of them use  protein packed products such as eggs and milk to treat their hair. In turn their untreated hair grows very quickly and women are paid generously for their locks, enough to be able to pay for educational fees and living costs.

Brazilian and Peruvian Human Hair
Brazilian hair is arguably the most popular hair type available on the market due to the hairs natural versatility and thickness. This, however has led to the market being saturated with countless companies offering this hair with no real proof of where the hair has come from. We at The Real Human Hair Company pride ourselves on our honesty and authenticity so we use a supplier, working directly in the latin american region within a small, family owned company.  

Our supplier works remotely in rural parts of latin america, where organic diets and chemical free products leave women with hair that is durable and beautifully thick. At The Real Human Hair Company we are concerned with quality. Working with small family run companies, we are able to provide the best, ethically sourced hair. In order for a woman to sell her hair, our sources require that they are over 18 or come accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Woman also bring identification so they can confirm their age.

...Continued - where our hair does not come from - China

The hair manufacturing industry is dominated by China. No other country has the resources and technology to mass produce hair extensions at their rate and with the same skills at such low prices. However, the costs involved with installation and maintenance of the hair extensions over the 2-3 month period that hair may last, suggests that buyers would be better off buying higher quality, unmixed real remy human hair extensions which they can style, colour and re-use with ease and for longer periods of time (1 - 2 years +)

We are very proud that unlike thousands of companies, The Real Human Hair Company does not import hair from China. Our ethical, real remy human hair comes only from its country of origin and its surrounding areas and because of that, we provide a certificate of authenticity. Expect our hair to look and feel just like your own hair with no silicone coating and no synthetic mixing. Real, Remy and Re-useable Human Hair Extensions which are safe for the environment and a better investment of your money.

Buy Real, Ethical Human Hair Extensions.

Last Updated: July 2020