Meet DIVONA, a new cruelty, phthalate and paraben-free social impact perfume giving back to women who have, and are, suffered human trafficking, domestic abuse, and poverty. DIVONA is all about customization, allowing you to empower a woman in need as well as yourself through a personalized perfume.
After selecting your preferred scents, you get to choose a care package for a woman in need and select the items that they will receive. Items include a range of personal care and clothing from various social enterprise organizations. DIVONA then ensures these packages are sent out via their nonprofit partners, Redefining Refuge and Canadian Women’s Foundation, serving disadvantaged women in North America.
See below a Q + A with Kayte Torreao da Costa and Mylene Paquin, cofounders of DIVONA.
What inspired the idea of DIVONA?
I grew up knowing that my close relatives lived in poverty in a third world. In theory, they had access to education because schools were free; however, transportation to a free school made education unaccessible especially when you had to walk 3-5 miles in the blazing summer with a government mandated uniform that you couldn’t afford. I knew early on that I was lucky and I, in turn, wanted to help those who couldn’t help themselves because the cards they were dealt in life. To this day, I continuously support my family in the Philippines as supplemental income to ensure my nieces and nephews have an education in order to empower them for their dreams ahead.
My cofounder, Mylene, always had the dream of creating her own perfume since she was a little girl. While entering adulthood, she experienced years of traumatic abuse that damaged her self-confidence and courage to pursue her dreams.
One day, a friend gave her a loving care package filled with items that helped her start a new life. It had a simple note: “I believe in you.”
This was exactly what she needed to have a fresh start and it encouraged her to move forward in making an impact in the world.
She and I met and we bonded over our mutual desire to support women. We want to bring the same support Mylene received and I gave to countless other women. This is why at DIVONA, a portion of each social impact perfume purchase goes toward creating care packages for women in need. We believe that every woman can become empowered when they are given love and support!
Tell us about your platform for ordering DIVONA perfume and giving back.
The journey begins with discovering your perfect perfume with one of our quizzes that provides a social impact perfume match for you. Then, $2 from your purchase goes toward creating care packages for survivors of abuse and trafficking. The care packages provide basic necessities as well as items of comfort and encouragement for the recipient.
The package is assembled with love by the DIVONA team and is then sent to the recipient chosen by our wonderful nonprofit partners.
All care package items come from suppliers that also support women. Because of the contents inside the package, it means that one care package impacts countless women across the world.
I love that DIVONA is focused on local impact. Tell us a little about how your nonprofit partners distribute the care packages in Canada and Florida, USA.
Our nonprofit partners do incredible work by offering women shelter, education, and counseling. The women who receive the care packages are currently in a program within the nonprofit or have recently graduated from one of their programs. We ship the care packages filled with items chosen by our customers to the nonprofit organizations and they give them directly to women facing challenges.
Happy to see DIVONA is staying away from harsh ingredients such as phalates and parabens. Tell us a little about your strict ingredient policy.
We were shocked to discover that 75% of household products contained very harmful chemicals that have been shown to damage the lungs, kidneys, liver, and reproductive system.
Parabens are in the same boat. This is why we worked closely with our perfumer and manufacturers to ensure each of our perfumes were free of these chemicals. We are also dye-free and cruelty-free!
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Jazz is one of the leading pioneers of the zero waste travel movement in India and the Director of Content at Causeartist. She is the co-founder of Hara House, India's first zero waste guesthouse, and Director of Hara World, an experiential education and impact travel organization for diverse young changemakers. Jazz is deeply passionate about empowering young people to become confident and knowledgeable leaders for sustainable development, zero waste living, conscious fashion, and responsible travel. She is a co-founder of Sustainable Travel Network, and host of the Impact India podcast.. Connect with Jazz at firstname.lastname@example.org