We care about sustainability - a lot. From start to finish, Sarah and I ensure that every step of our production process is as sustainable as possible. While there's no sustainability silver bullet, we do believe there are several key steps where our strong sustainability commitments have really tangible benefits.
Here's a deep-dive into the process behind our natural and organic collection from start to finish, from our unique combination of cold pressed certified-organic, plant based ingredients to our minimalist, eco-friendly packaging.
From the soil: certified-organic ingredients
Let's start with the fundamentals. The purpose of skincare is to feed your skin with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, promoting a radiant complexion with maintained hydration levels and pH balancing properties. It's just like food: enjoying a varied, healthy diet rich in beautiful, nutrient rich foods to keep you feeling and performing at your best.
For skincare, this means choosing ingredients with the highest nutrient content and for us, that led us to this starting point: when an ingredient can be grown in soil, we choose certified-organic ingredients, over simply "natural" ingredients (read more about the difference between "natural" and "organic" ingredients).
The Soil Association recently published a report called "The Cocktail Effect": how mixtures of pesticides commonly found in UK food, water and soil can be harmful to the health of both humans and wildlife. Here are some sobering facts:
- 67% of soil samples contained multiple pesticide residues
- Two thirds of river samples contained over 10 pesticides
- 43% of bumblebees had detectable levels of two or more pesticides
Organic farming methods prohibit synthetic pesticides, artificial chemical fertilisers, herbicides and GM crops. Choosing organic is one of the best available ways to mitigate the 'cocktail effect', investing in the health of our food chains, water ways, wildlife and future generations.
It's why you'll see certified-organic ingredients in our plant-based skincare, from organic almond oil in our Organic Facial Oil to support the formation of new skin cells and the production of collagen, to organic sea buckthorn oil in our Organic Hair Oil which contains the rare omega-7 fatty acid, a key building block for healthy, shiny hair.
Each and every skincare blend within our collection has been consciously formulated by Sarah with your skin health and the health of our planet in mind. The award-winning, unique blends deliver high-performing results and offer an alternative to typically, synthetically-laden mainstream skincare.
"This plant-powered skincare brand is reducing its environmental impact at every stage, from organic farming to recyclable shipping materials." - Vogue
Sustainable packaging: glass bottles and jars
With our certified-organic ingredients and Sarah's bespoke blends ready for production at our dedicated production space in West Sussex, we sourced glass bottles and jars as the best vessels to house the collection. Specifically, we chose amber glass bottles for the organic, plant based oil blends as the amber glass helps to protect the integrity of the oils inside by protecting against UV light radiation.
Glass has fantastic sustainability credentials because it is a fully recyclable material. It's also a resource efficient material made primarily from abundantly available natural raw materials, like sand and glass waste.
Glass is fully recyclable and can be recycled in a closed loop over and over again
Glass is also the perfect material for skincare because it is an inert material, guaranteeing that the natural and organic ingredients inside are preserved, helping to maintain their high nutrient content on shelf for 12 months (and best enjoyed within 6 months once opened). We also chose glass for its beautiful aesthetic qualities and know so many of you love to keep your By Sarah bottles on your bathroom shelf long after you've finished the plant-based skincare inside (see more on this below).
Plastic-free shipping to you: cardboard boxes
We worked for many months with our fulfillment partner to find the most eco-friendly delivery box available - and one, importantly, that was free from single use plastic and bubble wrap. It's why we chose cardboard boxes with recyclable packing paper inside to protect the products. There is no single use plastic, bubble wrap or packing tape. And we use minimal amounts of packing paper with appropriately matched box sizes to your order.
Cardboard made from trees grown in sustainably managed forests is renewable, fully recyclable and biodegradable.
And at this festive time of the year, being mindful of packaging is more important than ever. It was reported that Brits will throw away the equivalent of 108 million rolls of wrapping paper over Christmas. This huge excess of waste is why Sarah and I created Festive Gift Boxes that don't require any additional wrapping - and are made from a highly sustainable material: crushed grapes!
We sourced festive paper that has been made from crushed grapes, giving new life to natural, organic by-products from the wine and juicing industry that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Using these organic residues relieves pressure on forest resources - and they're processed using hydroelectricity which is 100% green energy. You can read more about our discovery of the crushed grape paper here.
Life beyond the products: upcycling at home
Radical thinking is required if we're to really embrace sustainability as a way of living. One of the most accessible ways we've found of reframing the choices you make is to see if you can give long life to the products you buy. I really like how Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age (read about our Eco-Age Brandmark), shares her #30Wears campaign where she encourages you to ask "will I wear this a minimum of 30 times". If the answer is yes, you buy it. If the answer is no, you pass.
We have a similar approach at By Sarah, only creating beautiful natural and organic skincare that will care for your skin over the long term. This mindful approach extends to the packaging choices we made.
And means that once you've finished enjoying all the hydrating benefits of the Organic Body Oil after your shower or bath, you can upcycle the amber bottle on your bathroom shelf as a single stem vase. Add your favourite flower and let it be a reminder to you to appreciate a moment of stillness and mindful connection to your mind and body at the end of the day.
If you enjoyed this article, share with a friend who you think would love to learn more about sustainability! And if you cc us (firstname.lastname@example.org) on the email, you might just receive a special gift from us :)