An Interview with Lou Hart-Spalding, Natural Spa Factory's in-house sustainability expert.
WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY MEAN TO US?
Sustainability is the ability to consume products without jeopardising future generations so that they can lead the same quality of life that we aim to have. Conscious consumption is important to us, and we feel empowered when we have the option to make conscious decisions - I believe that ‘your wallet is your weapon’. Consumers need to be aware of what they are consuming to make positive change. At Natural Spa Factory, we believe that sustainability drives innovation, and we see it as an opportunity not a problem.
HOW ARE WE MAKING MORE CONSCIOUS DECISIONS?
We are ALWAYS thinking of new ways to source, package and produce our products. We can’t stress enough the importance of reusing packaging and recycling.
Dubbed as the ‘Attenborough effect’, programmes like Blue Planet, environmental activists such as Greta Thunberg and the exposure of a product’s life cycle on social media are making us so much more aware of the impact that consumerism is having on the planet. Making small steps can lead to big changes if we all get on board. I’m seeing a definite shift with consumers refilling bottles with their household essentials and switching to re-usable cotton pads and wipes. There’s an active fight against single use plastics – however more consumers are opting for unpackaged products and there’s a huge trend for reusable water bottles and coffee cups– plastic isn’t always the enemy if it can be recycled and re-used!
HERE'S HOW WE PACKAGE IN AN ECO-FRIENDLY WAY...
Not only does this look great - but it also means that the glass packaging is recyclable. A further bonus - we use Miron glass. Miron glass is a type of glass that has outstanding capabilities for preserving substances contained within for extended periods of time.
We may need to package in plastic - whether it's for preservation or, in most cases, for safety reasons. The majority of our scrubs, for example, are in either plastic zip lock pouches, or plastic jars. We must add, they are all recyclable.
All of the cardboard that comes into Natural Spa Factory building gets recycled and turned into packaging 'shred'. Any orders that then leave the warehouse are carefully packaged with shredded cardboard - ensuring nothing goes to waste! This also ensures that we are not using unsustainable sources, or plastics, as much as possible!
The Shelf-Naked Approach
All our products are presented 'shelf-naked'. What does this mean exactly? Picture for a second the bright white counter of big department stores. A moisturiser you purchase here from one of the big names may be a plastic or glass jar, with a seal, in a box, possibly a plastic insert, or wrapped in cellophane. We're looking at possibly FIVE layers of packaging, much of it plastic! This glut of plastic for a single product is not sustainable - and this is why we prefer the Shelf Naked approach!