What is eco-friendly skincare? Is it just a load of “greenwashing”?
Many companies claim to have bought into ethical thinking, but often leave consumers wondering if claiming green is more about sales generation that saving the planet.
Ethical consumerism – spending on green and fair-trade food, clothing, household goods, energy, banking and travel is becoming more of a trend and consumers are thinking more about what they purchase. While we all care about the future of the planet, the majority of shoppers don’t want to pay more or sacrifice quality of product or personal comfort, finding a balance is becoming more and more of a challenge both for manufacturers and shoppers.
Many brands have the prefixes “Eco” and “Enviro” which can make it really difficult to distinguish the difference between a non-green product and products with verifiable green credentials. Often environmentally friendly terms can turn a non-selling product into a best seller, classic greenwashing! Unsubstantiated claims are often made by brands but not backed up, an example of this would be: “made from 100% recycled materials”, check the claims and ask for evidence. A transparent product will have all the evidence clearly available for the world to see.
Waste is an interesting topic and recycled content/material is where products are badged with recycled content. Look out for the difference between “post-consumer” waste and “pre-consumer” waste. “Post-consumer” waste refers to products that have reached the end of their life cycle and would otherwise be heading for landfill. “Pre-consumer” waste is the waste generated by a manufacturer as part of a fabrication process. Some products will contain both types of waste, but using “post-consumer” waste is the real achievement.
Going “circular” for us was not intentional it was accidental. In 1999 our son was born prematurely, and he had chronic allergies. To help him we moved to a small farm for a healthier lifestyle and to feed our family what we grew ourselves, and so our journey began. With time, as a family we learnt not to waste, we learnt to share and most of all we learnt to reduce, reuse and recycle. In many ways, we became “greenies” just because of circumstance. It was like a light bulb and slowly by sharing our message and helping where we could, we realised we wanted to make a difference. In 2016 after selling both of our businesses, along with 3 shareholders, we purchased BeeBio, a 5-year-old company. Whilst we loved the BeeBio innovation and research around using Active 16+ Manuka Honey as a key ingredient to strengthen the skin’s barrier, we were concerned about the packaging and the single-use plastic containers. Our business was viable the way it was, change would be expensive, disruptive and certainly not easy. It would be brave to follow our core principles of maintaining quality, no false advertising, no single-use plastic containers and ethically sourced packaging that, where possible, was reusable. Our purpose is to encourage change, to lead by example and make sure that the lifecycle of our materials is maximised, that usage is optimised and when exhausted the materials can be fully recycled, ensuring along the way that we reduce our footprint.
Disrupting the cosmetic industry in this time of change is real. We hope to challenge our subscribers to put fewer chemicals on their bodies, ask questions about the ingredients and percentage of active ingredients in their cosmetics, to think about what they are washing down the drain and into our waterworks. Be brave, strengthening their skin to be the best it can be naturally and not covering it up in nasties because society says we should. Our main goal would be to encourage our subscribers to reduce single-use plastics in every aspect of their lives. Refill not landfill!
By demonstrating to decision-makers in households that they can make a difference by making small changes. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Au Natural Skinfood delivers quality, results-driven eco-friendly skincare to the door of our subscribers, thereafter every 2nd month we deliver skincare refills in compostable pouches. Through the eco refills we are reducing the size of packaging throughout the supply chain, from manufacture raw inputs, warehousing distribution and last-mile courier, creating a reduction of up to 75% in the packaging volume throughout the supply chain and significantly reducing our carbon footprint.
Because of “greenwashing” business’s that are trying to evolve are often viewed with a raised eyebrow, we know there will be times that we get things wrong, however, we are moving in the right direction and we are trying constantly as a team to improve and future proof our brand.
Au Natural Skinfood – For Your Skin – For Our Planet!