Tastemaker

Fairly Traded Goods

Seasonal advice from organic skincare expert Tina Giammarco

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What inspired you to open an “all natural” store?
As is the case with many people, I began having sensitivity to skincare products. Since I could no longer use the commercial products I had always purchased, I had to put some thought into it and learned to become a lot more aware. I began by reading labels and trying to pinpoint the chemicals that were causing my troubles. My main focus today is to bring natural and organic products to people while raising awareness about environmental and health issues associated with some synthetic brands.

What is your best selling item at Most Naturally?
Customers seem to love our jewelry. We carry a fair trade jewelry line, which is very popular not only for its appearance but for the social cause it supports. The pieces are made by women in developing nations so conscientious shoppers can feel good about their spending. Along the same lines, people love the jewelry we stock by local artists. It feels great to buy local; I love supporting local art. We also offer organic cotton children’s clothing, which is another top seller.

The winter chill makes moisturizing a must for most people. What skincare product do you like most for dry skin?
There is a product we have that is made right here in Rhode Island: Farmeasthetics, a Midnight Honey Bath and Beauty Oil. While we have lots of great products for moisturizing, the oil works best during winter; oils are nice because they provide deeper moisturizing. Many people apply oil while still wet from the shower so it can really absorb into the skin. We also carry Coconut Bath and Body Oil by Nature Island, which has a nice light smell to remind you of summer during the cold months.

Your shop seems to carry a wide variety of goods. How would you describe the types of items you sell?
We try to bring in items that tell a story. Whether the item is recycled, organic, made by a local artist, or a low-income fair trade project made by women to help people around the world, I want every single treasure in the store to have a story behind it.

What are some of the problems you see with commercial products?
We are committed to selling only local and fair trade products. With commercial products, often times merchandise could have come from anywhere; sometimes there are ingredients that are not healthy for the environment or for the consumer. It is important for everyone to know what they are buying and using.

For you, what are the benefits of using organic products?
I don’t have a choice because my skin is sensitive, so that is my immediate need. But, it’s also nice to use a product where the ingredients aren’t harmful to the person or to the environment.

What are some other ways for peo- ple to be more conscientious about the products they use?
It is about doing a little bit at a time and starting to be aware of labels. For most people it’s a process; begin with a few items at a time and be mindful of the products you are using and buying. It is easy to look up ingredients online to find out about what you are using. We have been doing this for almost seven years now and I see that people are definitely becoming more discerning when shopping. It has been interesting to see more customers come in who care about what is in a product and how and where something is made.

Tina owns Most Naturally, 24A Pier Marketplace, Narragansett.