Vegan perfume brand The 7 Virtues launched its Peace Perfume line at more than 100 Sephora beauty stores in the United States and Canada. The vegan brand was founded by author Barb Stegemann in 2010 with the mission of aiding countries that have been devastated by war. “I never set out to make perfume. I was a journalist,” Stegemann said. “When my best friend was severely wounded serving in Afghanistan, I promised him I would take on his mission of peace. I decided to do that in an unexpected way—by creating a perfume company.” The Peace Perfume line is made with fair-trade ingredients that promote employment for local farmers in seven fragrances inspired by war-torn countries, including Orange Blossom (Afghanistan), Vetiver Elemi (Haiti), Grapefruit Lime (Israel and Iran), and Patchouli Citrus (Rwanda). “I began by purchasing legal orange blossom and rose essential oils from farmers in Afghanistan, so they wouldn’t have to grow the illegal poppy crop,” Stegemann said. Poppy crops in Afghanistan are controlled by terrorist organization the Taliban, a topic that Stegemann developed into critically acclaimed documentary Perfume War. In addition to fighting for human rights, Stegemann is passionate about removing animal products and testing from the beauty industry, and helped to pass Canada’s Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act (Bill S-214) through the country’s Senate in June. “There is no scientific reason at all to support testing on animals,” Stegeman told VegNews, “so there is absolutely no need to harm an animal to create a beauty product.”

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