Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Part 1: Concept
Like many of us, in recent years I’ve become increasingly aware of the rapid pace at which climate change is affecting our planet and how we humans are contributing to it every single day. Over 97% of climate scientists worldwide are in agreement that climate change is caused by human activity. One product that needlessly contributes to our unsustainable lifestyles is single-use plastics. Since the 1950s it is estimated that 8.3 trillion tons of plastic has been produced globally and only 9% of it has been recycled. Today, all that plastic is sitting in landfills, degrading into microplastics, flowing into our oceans, or being burned into toxic fumes.
So, I started to take inventory of my own lifestyle and the types of products I was using. I’ve been a fan of clean and organic beauty for many years and thought surely these types of companies are doing their part for the environment, their labels say ‘earth-friendly’ after all. I was sad to discover that more often than not slapping the ‘Eco-friendly’ label on a product doesn’t actually mean anything at all. Though the movement for organic beauty has come a long way in the past decade, they have left out true sustainability in their business models. To me that just wasn’t good enough. What good is natural beauty if it ravages the earth that creates it? So, I started investigating where the gaps were in these products and how to fix them. I found that the sustainability issues in skincare products really boil down to three key issues: ingredient sourcing, packaging, and carbon offsetting manufacturing & shipping emissions.
My obsession really kicked off with the packaging. Why hasn’t anyone thought of offering a biodegradable refill option for personal care products yet? It’s genius! It will save millions of containers from landfill every year! It will save the planet! Holy shit! These were the thoughts running through my (admittedly) naive brain about a year and a half ago. So I started googling and calling up skincare manufacturers in Australia to get them on board with my genius new idea. Well...as it turns out this is not a new idea. It is actually an idea that has been tried and failed for numerous reasons, The biggest one being micro-contamination of the products. Micro-contamination is a big issue and one that most skincare manufacturers aren’t willing to touch with a ten-foot pole. This issue combined with my amateur status in the industry was often all the reason a manufacturer needed to end the conversation. Call after call ended with someone on the other end lecturing me or hanging up. I felt a tad defeated and silly for thinking I was the first person to come up with this idea but I just could not let it go. I felt that there had to be a way to make this possible if I just could find the right partner to work with. And so the search continued….
Check in next month to see where the search ends up!