The 'S' Word: What does "Sustainability" mean in a world of one-use products?
The environmental impact of plastic and pollution have been a hot topic for as long as I can remember, but change has been slow. Too slow, and as this urgency is felt more by our next generations. We're starting to see more and more use of the words such as "Sustainable", "Biodegradable", and planet-positive marketing, but what does this mean in the grand scheme?
Well for us it's amazing to see more and more companies feeling the weight of responsibility and switch up operations to take better care for their impact on the planet. There are currently 100 companies responsible for 71% of all global emissions, and as a small company we are not following in those footsteps instead we are set on helping lead the way to a more socially responsible end-result.
In a perfect world without economic and social implications that dictate how and what choices we each have in our daily lives, we could all commit to the necessary changes our planet desperately needs, and that is a fact that stops rapid change from occurring.
We, humans are inherently selfish and tribal to the detriment of others, and the planet but we can change right? We have to. We must evolve and adapt to our changing environment, we always have and so, where does that leave us as a company?
We specialise in an area of beauty that is, unfortunately, a one-use sheet product. We have actively taken steps to solve this issue with our Biodegradable and Juicy collections.
Our two-step evolution began with solving the first issue; how can our sheet masks be more sustainable? Our answer is a natural plant-based cellulose sheet mask using an organic compound that can decompose in 6 months (our trial found 83% of masks fully degraded by this mark).
Secondly, standard mask packaging are a mixture of plastic, paper, ink and a foil film inside the sachet. We have removed the plastic, used vegan-based eco ink (RoHS Compliant Certified), switched from a foil-based film to a 100% biodegradable plant-based cellulose inlay with a recycled paper outer sachet, with 48% fewer carbon emissions during production. Additionally, during an 88-week trial 93% of pouches were decomposed after the 21 month mark.
These changes were hard to implement with development having to solve concerns around the protective quality of the sealants and making sure the packaging is robust enough to handle its journey from factory to face.
Amongst our new product development, we are committed to testing new and innovative ways of improving sustainability.
We are reducing plastic usage while maintaining the quality and affordability that our customers expect from us. That is why our new tube packaging for things like Moisturisers are PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled material). Additionally, once we have gathered feedback and live usage data from consumers on our Biodegradable and Juicy ranges we will look at bringing these technologies into more of our product lines.
What other changes have we made to improve our footprint?
Aside from product technology improvements, we are finding initiatives such as CleanHub and TreeNation.
CleanHub is an organisation focused on actually removing plastic and re-processing the waste in legitimate ways. They do not simply shift them around the world to landfills or beaches.
Tree Nation helps partners plant trees globally to offset their carbon footprint from energy usage, transportation and manufacturing.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but we know the problems and we are trying to find solutions that work for us, and the planet moving forward.
What would you like to see us improve? do better? and what are you doing in your personal life that we could learn from?