Vancouver Loves Natural Beauty: Gwen Richards of Fable Naturals

Vancouver Loves Natural Beauty is a semi-regular column that highlights organic and natural beauty and skincare brands founded in our fair city.

Fable Naturals co-founders Gwen Richards and Chris Nicol

When I think "perfect hostess gift," I think Fable Naturals. This up-and-coming, Vancouver-based beauty label combines cheerful packaging with fair-trade ingredients and all-natural ingredients. The result? Skincare, handcrafted soaps, and yummy-flavoured lip balms (in biodegradable tubes, no less) that will please anyone and fit into any beauty regime. What's more, whether you're buying it for yourself or for others, Fable Naturals does the community as much good as it does your skin. I caught up with Fable Naturals co-founder Gwen Richards to find out more.

What inspired you to start Fable Naturals?

As fair trade supporters, [co-founder Chris Nicol] and I were always looking for skin care products with ethically sourced ingredients. We wanted to create products that are not only good for you, but good for the environment and the communities from which ingredients are sourced. Since many ingredients found in beauty products actually come from developing countries--coconut oil for instance--we were able to find fair trade suppliers for many of these raw materials.

Do you have a background in beauty?

I am sensitive to artificial fragrances found in so many mainstream products, so I started creating natural skin care products for myself and family for several years ago. As I learned more about the chemical ingredients that are found in a lot of skincare products, I became motivated to do more extensive research for alternatives and create more complex products like moisturizers and facial cleansers.

How did you go about developing the product line?

We wanted to offer organic, fair-trade versions of the products that most people use on their skin everyday: lotions, lip balms, and soaps. After many rounds of testing, reformulations, and more testing, we were ready to launch our line. Over the course of three years, we added a facial line and a range of organic bar soaps.

Fable Naturals Quinoa + Almond Fresh Skin Exfoliant

What are your top 3 must-haves?

My favourite products are the multi-taskers that are great for travelling. For the face, I always have a travel-size facial oil on hand to moisturize, remove eye makeup and even use as an oil cleanser in a pinch. I also carry a body balm in my bag at all times. Balms are great for dry cuticles, lips, feet and just about everything in between. And for head-to-toe cleansing (and a bit of aromatherapy in the shower), I always have a bar of organic soap on hand.

What's next for Fable Naturals?

One of the most important things for us as a business is to be able to give back as much as we can. In our first few years we supported developmental projects in the countries where we source our ingredients. As we grow, we want to work with more groups within our own community, especially the Downtown Eastside where our production studio is located.

Fable Naturals Lemon + Lavender Bar Soap

For more info about Fable Naturals or to shop the full line, check out their website.


  1. Lisa, thank you so much for doing this column! Now that I live so close to Vancouver, I can't wait to scour it for all the wonderful brands you mention. I'm going to Fable Naturals' website now!

    1. I'm so glad you're in the Pacific Northwest now, Lar. We should hang out when you come to Vancouver!


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