Meet Hourea Alaoui, Founder of Inka Botanicals

Tell us a bit about your brand and what you do to drive sustainability?

Inka is an artisanal and organic skincare brand from Morocco. All of our products are sustainably sourced and ethically made in the Atlas mountains. For us, sustainability goes beyond clean ingredients and ethical production. It’s a state of mind. In fact, Inka means clean in Berber. 

How did your journey in the fashion, beauty, writing industry begin?

Inka was born from a desire to create a truly Moroccan skincare brand. With my home country being internationally famed for its beauty and wellbeing practices (from Hammams and spas, to the use of oils and natural remedies in everyday life) many brands have leveraged the term ‘Moroccan’ as a marketing tool without honouring the authenticity of the ingredients nor the culture. The rich Moroccan soil is home to thousands of aromatic plants, most of which are exported by large global beauty brands and many, such as the famed Argan oil, which only grow in Morocco. With such natural riches and cultural heritage, our vision is to become ambassadors of Morocco’s traditional know-how in beauty & wellbeing. 

What’s your biggest business accomplishment so far? 

Starting my business! Starting something new is never easy so whenever I get caught up in my thoughts I remind myself to be thankful and proud of myself for taking the leap. You have to be kind and appreciative towards yourself. 

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned in your work? 

The idiom, ‘if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!’ will only get you so far. As an entrepreneur, at some point in your journey, you need to learn to let go of things and trust in your team. It is only with a good team that you can properly advance and tap into your full potential. 

In your personal life, what do you do to be more eco-responsible?

For me it’s all about awareness and holding yourself accountable, making changes that are both big and small. An area in which I have changed a lot over the past few years is the way I consume – especially when it comes to fashion and food. Buying less, buying better quality and making things last longer. Upcycling is also something that I really enjoy, finding new homes or uses for clothes and objects. 

What do you do to disconnect? 

Quickest way: Karaoke – loud music in the shower and singing along. More mature and serious way: Meditation and gratefulness. Force yourself! You will instantly feel thankful and start counting your blessings. This helps to keep you grounded and will remind you of what is really important in life. 

Your favourite place to be in nature? 

The beach without a doubt. I love the warm feeling of the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair and the fluidity of the water. I’m in my element when at the beach! 

What are your go-to sustainable brands? 

This year’s quarantine made me Pangaia’s biggest fan! Their garments are comfortable, stylish and sustainable. For beauty I use Ilia and I’m a big fan of Dawani footwear (I also use their water bottle which I take everywhere)! 

If you could share any advice to someone looking to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle? 

Less is more. Ask yourself if you really need something. And if the answer is still yes, ask yourself if this is the best version of the item/garment/beauty/food for you. It’s about making better choices. The better you treat yourself, the better you will want to treat your space, your home, your planet.

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