Pink for the PlanetNovember 20 2017
We must not be the only ones who are in awe of the Blue Planet II series, and all the incredible creatures who live in our seas and oceans. Surely, we're also not the only ones who are heartbroken by the hard hitting environmental messages delivered each week by Sir David Attenborough.
Sir David Attenborough helps to deliver facts to wake us up to the damage we're doing, but also offers a message of hope and encourages us all to do our bit to ensure the damage can be reversed.
This weeks episode which highlighted the amount of plastic being dumped into our oceans every year, (8 Million tonnes+) left us devastated by the footage of the mother whale clutching her dead baby after she was poisoned by her own milk, due to plastic composites in the water once they start to break down. She couldn't let her go, and these creatures are so intelligent and emotional, she was certainly traumatised and it was certainly very upsetting for viewers too.
The heartbroken mother Pilot whale with her dead calf.
While it was distressing to watch, it's so important for these messages to be delivered, and for us to listen and think about how we can help protect our planet from further damage. It's down to brands, businesses, and consumers to make the retail industry less impactful on our environment, and there are ways in which it can be done, but ultimately, they cost more money.
We'd like to think that companies and consumers will begin to value our world and all its amazing wild life as more important than profit.
Imagine a world without these beautiful colours and creatures, it's thought by the end of the century we could have lost the worlds coral reefs.
This is something we've always thought about, and it's so important to introduce these ethics into our company now, because once companies grow into corporations, these important details can be forgotten. We pride ourselves on being ethical in our choices, so this wouldn't be the case for us, but it would be wonderful if other companies put some actions in motion to lessen the negative impact their products will have on our planet.
A haunting image of a single plastic bag, the use of which we all need to reduce drastically.
So we wanted to talk a bit about what we're doing to ensure our brand isn't just another company churning out plastics and waste that will eventually end up in our oceans.
One thing that we're really proud of is the fact that our Boots packaging is made of EVA, which is a biodegradable form of plastic, instead of one that will last for 100s of years. The pouches are also designed to be re-useable, and they have a popper fastening so customers can keep and use them again. This is a more costly type of packaging, but a price we're happy to pay knowing it's the greener and better choice.
We love it when customers tag us in their Boots pics. The pink sleeves are the EVA material so can be re-used or recycled effectively.
If you've been following us for a while, you'll know we had a fire in August which destroyed our stock. While this was a terrible thing to happen, we've been taking every bit of positivity we can from it, and one of the good things to come from it was that all our packaging was destroyed too, so we've revised it and improved it :) We've eliminated PVC pouches, you know the pink ones the brushes used to come in? As we learned since the fire that PVC is bad for both the environment and health in general. We've also halved our use of single use plastics which is amazing.
Our new packaging is on the left, our old packaging on the right, the old packaging would then go into an additional PVC sleeve which we've cut out.
How we've managed to do this is by making the first layer of packaging, a clear plastic bag which is barcoded in our factory and used to transport the product keeping it dry and free of dust, more robust and durable, and so this meant we don't need the second layer of packaging - no PVC.
We still need to package the brushes in something that means they'll reach our customers in the best condition, so sadly we still have to keep some plastic in the process, but the type of plastic is CPP and this is recyclable, so please don't put it in the bin, recycle it.
Once we've recovered fully from the fire, we're hoping to be able to package all our brush sets in re-useable EVA pouches, but we couldn't afford to replace the stock in this more expensive option first time around, but you'll see them creeping in from next year.
A little about our choice of materials...
You'll be aware that we only use synthetic leathers and no animal materials in our production. What you may not know is that there are different types of synthetic leather, the main ones being PVC, and PU. We've already highlighted PVC is not a good choice, but a lot of companies will use it due to it being less expensive. We work with PU's on every possible occasion, so that we know our materials aren't damaging the environment unnecessarily, and we'd never put profit above our planet. When we can, we'll option the more expensive materials as they are usually, once again, the greener and more ethical choice.
With all orders we place from 2018 we'll strive to only work with PU as opposed to PVC.
One of our makeup bags which is made with PU instead of PVC synthetic leather.
Our biggest sets will come in a PU pouch instead of a throwaway plastic bag. However each brush will still have a protective sleeve as they need to be protected during transit.
Attention to detail in our design process is so important to us, and the way the products feel when our customers use them is also a big concern, so we're happy to say PU is regarded as a higher quality material choice for cosmetic bags as opposed to PVC, we hope you like it. We're also going to try and work with recycled polyester for our lining as opposed to the 'new' polyester which we use currently.
As we've said, we're working really hard to reduce our plastic use as much as we can, and the information in this blog post is just the start of our work on how we're trying to improve further. We could talk about this topic for hours...once you start researching it really is such a vast issue. Today we're actually catching up with a charity who we're hoping to work with on donating a % of our profit into conserving and protecting the planet.
As a brand we are very aware that we contribute to the pollutions cause by manufacturing, what we really care about is how we can work to reduce this and also give back, we would love to encourage our customers and also other brands to really think about this too, because we can all achieve more if we work together.
We'll end with a few things to keep in mind for every day fashion and beauty regimes.
- Please avoid plastic bags for shopping, carry a cotton shopper for your purchases.
- Face wipes are not recyclable, but there are bio degradable versions such as these from the body shop. Please be careful not to over use these and avoid if possible. This also applies to baby wipes and house hold cleaning wipes.
- Try and always use flasks for water and top up at home, also re-useable coffee cups or 'keep cups' are better than take away...we know this is sometimes hard to do continuously, but even if you can do it a few times a week less plastic will end up in land fill.
- Don't use straws, or cotton buds with plastic middles, these are commonly not recycled and end up in the oceans.
- Please do consider purchases before you make them, fast fashion is very rarely sustainable. We design our products to be treasured and kept for a very long time, sadly it's not the same for a lot of products available. When you buy from us we hope you love and keep them for years not just a few months.
If there's anything else you'd love to see us implement, please leave us a comment below, we really do listen to your ideas and will try to improve our products as best we can.
Love Sophie & Hannah