The cost of sustainability, if we are not responsible and do not take steps to be sustainable we cost the earth, when we operate from a sustainability first principle there is also a cost - a cost to business, which is not insignificant, here I take you behind the scenes of what sustainability means for FIFTY7KIND...
OUR PACKAGING - EARTH FIRST
Each and every aspect of the way I house, pack and wrap product offerings has been run through my sustainability principle. There is a fine line between using minimal packaging and offering an enjoyable customer experience! for me, the balance I have created feels 'right'. Below is a complete breakdown of each element of my packaging.
Black Shipping Box - 100% post-consumer waste and recyclable.
Compostable Courier Satchels - Australian made these satchels are also known as ‘Real Dirt Bags’ Bio-based - partly made from plants, biodegradable with no toxic residues (or micro-plastics) these are compostable at home.
Padded Bubble Pack - Australian made from corn starch which is 100% biodegradable, and compostable at home.
Tissue Paper - Has been custom created and printed using vegetable inks on sustainably sourced FSC® Certified paper which is also acid-free. Each small batch I order plants one tree in the Amazon rainforest specifically where the recent fires have been.
Wrapping Paper - Manufactured and designed in Australia using paper sourced from FSC® certified sustainable plantation forests.
Thank you Cards - Printed using 100% post-consumer wase with vegetable-based inks, in Australia, by a carbon-neutral printing manufacturer.
Linen pouch - Housing 5ml bottle of Tanu is hand made from 100% linen, this is a natural fiber produced from the stake of a flax plant it takes less energy and water to produce than cotton and it biodegrades without creating harmful wasted at the end of its useful life.
Limiting plastic - I have chosen Miron glass bottles because they protect the contents within, glass is recyclable. I have chosen to use a glass-rollerball for the 30ml bottle because this reduces the amount of TANU applied, therefore TANU goes further if you knock the bottle over it will not spill, again potentially reducing waste and it has very minimal plastic. The 5ml bottle of TANU has a glass pipette again minimizing the use of plastic.
The wool heart's - Enclosed with every order of TANU helps to support a small women’s co-operative in Nepal who hand felted each heart. Nepal holds a very special place in my heart having spent time there trekking /climbing, getting to know the local sherpas, being invited to meet with and eat with their families, in their often one-roomed family home - was the most incredibly humbling experience of my life (and allowing me to pitch my tent and sleep next to their yaks!!) This is my small way of giving back to them.
Curious but the price of TANU...?
Because it’s incredibly good. The end.
Ok, let me explain more... My sustainability demands do not just apply to the packaging materials they are also are applied to the ingredients.
The price of Tanu has been questioned on Social Media and that is a fair question to ask - and prompted me to write this blog - so let's talk price!
It simply reflects the quality of the individually sourced ingredients, which are certified organic and responsibly wildcrafted and COSMOS /EcoCert approved. Let us delve into, and unpack why.
Sustainable ingredients - I have spent hundreds of hours sourcing each and every single ingredient, testing both the quality and efficacy running 56 trials over a three year period. this is not the industry standard in skincare formulation, my manufacturing lab (who are carbon-neutral), commented they "have never had a Cosmetic Brand run so many trials on just one product formulation".
I will only work with and incorporate ingredients, that have been grown in a sustainable way into the formulation of TANU or any further product creations. Quality and sustainability my friends, make no mistake, comes with a high price tag. As it should because more effort and care has gone into the whole process.
I only incorporate minimal amounts of Essential Oils because of their potency - less really is more, in this case. TANU has two steam distilled EO of Chamomile and Blue Tansy, these have been extensively tested for purity and their available individual compound percentages - you can read more about that on my blog post "Why GC/MS Technology Matters for Your Skin"
The process to create one batch of Tanu, which is done in micro-batches takes over two months; this is expensive, labor-intensive and, absolutely necessary to produce a skincare product with this level of both incredibly high quality and efficacy.
The most expensive Certified Organic Seed Oil in the world is the first ingredient on the INCI list. This year's harvest was effected by cochineal insects who unfortunately devoured and ravaged some of the cactus fields in the region I source my Prickly Pear Seed Oil from, and the price went up substantially- the price of TANU has remained fixed. This is the nature of formulating with organic and wildcrafted ingredients. FIFTY7KIND takes on that cost, not my customers.
Potent and expensive supercritical whole plant extracts are used at high percentages in the formulation. Again these ingredients are only ever taken from sustainable producers. This type of extract is for both the purity, efficacy, and wholeness of the plant compounds, in other words, the bio-availability of the plant compounds which your skin can recognize and utilize. The supercritical extraction is a cleaner process - in terms of environmental impact and the yield - Carbon dioxide compared to using hexane for extraction, fully evaporates from the final extract, leaving an extremely pure extract with no solvent residues.
TANU has been created for efficacy and it has come at great expense, as I believe it should! This formulation is the best of the best in terms of purity, quality, and efficacy. I believe this to be true because my skin shows me. My approach is not normal practice, this is not a private label, a lab does not source my ingredients (in bulk lowering costs) nor create my formulations; this is an artisan small batch production. Priced using the industry standard of skincare/cosmetics this would be minimum $350 Australia dollars.
This is the only product I currently offer - this means all my resources for three years, as well as my attention, and love has been on one thing - TANU, instead of spreading the love to many products, which means less attention to the details and I believe it's all in the details. That is where the magic happens.
Trials both in vitro and clinical have been undertaken on Crithmum Maritmum my gentle retinol plant-based alternative and are available on fifty7kind.com. Are these same trials undertaken on every single ingredient currently available in every single product on the market …? Still, savvy customers buy those products and flutter not an eyelid - If the price is a trigger to question the quality, and yes that is fair, as long as you are also prepared to question why other products are so cheap. Critical thinking is important!
Personally speaking, and I am the real human behind the Brand FIFTY7KIND who has created TANU - I know I rather spend my very hard-earned money on products which have been created with the highest quality ingredients, with knowledge, with care, with safety, with passion, with considered intent and love.
TANU is a multiplayer skincare product and can simplify routines - this means fewer products are required in your routine, a little goes a long way - TANU is a very concentrated Serum, offering exceptional skin health care, and it fills my heart with pride and joy to say paying customers have testified to this...
This is my truth.
Thank you for reading. I hope this helps shed a light on what a sustainable, independent, green beauty brand looks like to me. Any questions can always be emailed to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org I am always here to help in any way I can.
Until next time,
be human, be kind, be you.