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Where your sparkly eye makeup REALLY comes from

Made in a Free World is an incredible network of individuals, groups and businesses working together to disrupt slavery and make freedom go viral. In this post, they share images from their latest field project, MIAFW: India, which addresses slavery and child labor in the cosmetic industry.

Have you ever heard of mica? It’s one of the most commonly found ingredients in cosmetics. Chances are, you may have something with the sparkly mineral – like eyeshadow or blush – in your makeup bag.

I bet you didn’t know that 60 percent of the world’s mica comes from India, where children are forced to work in dangerous and illegal mines. Our organization, Made in a Free World, is working hard to protect these child workers – so they can spend their days inside schools, not mines. 

We recently had a chance to visit a mica mine in India – and I think you’ll find our findings and images illuminating (no pun intended). Scroll through our photos to learn more about this mineral – then find out how to take action with us below.


Oftentimes we don’t realize that products we use on a daily basis come at a high human cost. Many of our products, including cosmetics, may come from the forced, exploited labor of men, women, and children.


Our goal is to shut down illicit and illegal markets and bring freedom to all children working in the cosmetic industry.


Mica is one of the most common ingredients in cosmetics. 60 percent of global mica production occurs in India, where child mining is pervasive. As soon as children are able to walk, they are working in these mines.


According to the International Labor Organization, mining is one of the worst forms of child labor. Yet, children in Jharkhand, India are forced to work in mines every day.


It should not take the sparkles on her face to help the rest of the world shimmer and shine.


Over 20,000 children are forced to work in mica mines in India each year.


This is a highly sought after mineral. Some industries that commonly use mica are: Cosmetic, hair care, construction, roofing, hardware, home appliances, arts and crafts, aerospace, automotive and oil. 


$50 provides a year of education and ensures children are sitting inside classrooms instead of working in mines.


$100 provides a child with a bike to get to school safely.


Take a stand against slavery by giving children the gift of freedom.

What fact surprised you the most? Tell us in a comment below

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