Our founder, Ronna Phelps, was a Volunteer Keeper's Assistant for orang utans and gorillas for 25 years. In October 2010 Ronna attended a Wildlife Film Festival where she viewed a film about deforestation for palm oil crops and its direct impact on the existence of orang utans.
During the Q&A segment someone asked how consumers would know what products contain palm oil--the answer was a bit disheartening.
This weighed heavy on Ronna and that very evening she decided to create a palm oil free skin care line and advocate.
The product launched at a fundraiser just one month later. It was a hit and sold out.
She began educating conscious minded retailers about palm oils and their effects on animals and their habitats.
The company evolved into Pongo Lifestyle adding lip balms, clothing, accessories, camping supplies and pet products to our product lines.
Ronna has been involved with orang utan conservation for more than 25 years and actively contributes to numerous orang utan organizations and endeavors. She developed the first nationally and internationally distributed palm oil free body and skin care line.
She helped to retire a group of orang utan from the entertainment industry and has worked with many schools to educate children and teachers about the palm oil crisis that faces the forest and its inhabitants in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Ronna currently volunteers on a regular basis at the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, FL, where she also serves as a board member.
In October 2014, she received the Pongo Award* for her work in the beauty and healthcare industry, presented by Dr. Gary Shapiro of Orang Utan Republik and actor, environmentalist and former Pongo Award recipient Ed Begley Jr.
Ronna is excited to bring a palm oil free skincare line back to market in the form of Pongo Lifestyle.
*The Pongo Awards honor those "who have made significant contributions to protect the welfare of all living species via advocacy, leadership, public service, ethical commerce, education and research."
Photo Courtesy of: Orang Utan Republic Foundation
Our customer is:
an ethical consumer.
selective about who they buy from.
someone who prioritizes the purchase of a quality product from an ethical company.
someone who takes the time to look for and purchase from companies with shared values.