Ingredients | Healthy Living | Environmental

The Naked Chemist Sustainability Development Goals

Sustainability to me is not one ingredient sustainably sourced or action taken that makes a brand.
It is a dynamic journey in an ever-changing world requiring thoughtful action.

Sustainable beauty can mean many things.

Recyclable packaging and ingredients that are sourced responsibly.

Even supporting local growers.

We sit down with our founder, Samantha Miller, to discuss what sustainability means to the company.

We also discuss the improvements and accomplishments so far.

And the company’s sustainable development goals for the future.

THE INTERVIEW

QUESTION. What does sustainability mean to you?

ANSWER: Sustainability is the implementation of everyday choices that are geared toward green, natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free, and social.

From a very young age, I was fascinated with harnessing plants’ healing power, capturing the fragrance of petals and making them into perfumed waters.

It’s as if my whole life was building up to where I am today. It’s a labour of love, a calling if you like.

When I went on to develop my first formulas, beauty products weren’t categorised as clean, vegan, organic or natural.

Sustainability is implementing everyday choices geared toward green, natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free, and social.

Growing up rurally, I have always been environmentally thoughtful and being surrounded by such diverse nature in New Zealand; I am highly conscious of our consumption and its impact on the natural world.

The mindset of living rurally is one of interdependence, one that is rooted in the understanding that what we use on our skin causes a chain reaction.

  • it goes down our drain
  • into the ecosystem
  • into the water table
  • which in turn either feeds and nourishes our plants or animals
  • or it poisons them

Yet these are the very things we rely on for life, which is why I believe that our skincare products should support long-term ecological balance.

This planet is far too precious and beautiful to waste.

 

QUESTION. Should your consumer know using Naked Chemist products is a sustainable choice?

ANSWER. Absolutely. When we create our products, we analyse our entire supply chain, both up and downstream; what we mean by this is we look at all the processes that get the ingredients into our formulas.

Since our inception, we have worked closely with New Zealand producers, so we have full traceability of how our ingredients are grown and processed.

We affectionately term this from seed to skin and focus on sustainable methods of production that eliminate harsh synthetics from the process.

Our products are formulated, batched, filled, and shipped from our New Zealand premises.

We are constantly monitoring the impact on the environment around us, from the formulating phase through to extraction.

 

QUESTION. You said you want to make a significant global impact. What do you mean by this?

ANSWER: We believe in harnessing the power of nature to enhance your natural beauty.

With this in mind, we source our plant-based active ingredients from our backyard and are incredibly proud to produce exclusively on New Zealand shores.

We take care in processing ingredients —as we dont want to reduce their natural potency.

We carefully select non-toxic preservatives to ensure we can maximise each precious ingredient while prolonging the product’s shelf life without compromising safety.

If we use an ingredient that isn’t available as natural or organic, we choose the most non-toxic, safest and sustainable option.

We are obsessed with ethical sourcing; there are some plant-based ingredients that are ubiquitous in consumer products, like palm oil, that have associations with the unjust treatment of workers or that have a devastating impact on our planet.

That’s why we ensure our ingredients don’t add to this problem at the Naked Chemist. So, we don’t use palm oil in any of our products.

We want to raise awareness to help reduce habitat destruction, clear-cutting, climate change and more, which you can read about here.

We want our products to be as kind to Mother Nature as they are to your skin, so we work hard to ensure that our ingredients, materials and farming practices are not detrimental to the environment.

In our cosmeceuticals, we do use ingredients that are skin-identical. Why? Because these are proven to be biologically compatible with your skin and hair.

 

Question: Can you share how the Naked Chemist views their packaging concerning sustainability?

ANSWER: When designing our packaging, we make conscious decisions in every stage of the design process because we want to do justice to the natural, potent, luxurious formulas within.

We are moving towards more Eco-friendly packaging, and one of the changes immediately visible to our clients is our new packaging.

Our packaging design is not only an advancement in sustainability with a focus on recyclable varnish and vegetablebased inks and finishes on our boxes, but many of our containers are moving to glass or the widely recyclable mono-material polypropylene (PP).

Because no one solution fits across every piece of packaging, we have had to assess each product individually to determine which packaging solution is right for which formula we are using, i.e. is it sensitive to light exposure, the usage and the environmental impact.

It is all of these elements that have helped to shape our packaging selection.

 

Question. Can you share your thoughts about using glass or plastic packaging when thinking about sustainability?

ANSWER. This is not a straightforward answer because whilst plastic is harmful to the environment, it has the lowest carbon footprint.

So switching to plastic does, in some respects, replace plastic pollution, but it certainly doesn’t solve all of our planet’s problems,

Recycling is a pervasive issue because even if a brand says its product packaging is recyclable, the subtle details that make up the packaging, such as finishes and the colour or metallic caps, can mean this packaging you put in your recycling bin, ultimately ending up in a landfill.

As a result, we choose to take the following approach.

  1. We use plant-based materials wherever possible — since they are a renewable resource.
  2. We use sustainable packaging components, either renewable or recyclable.
  3. We seek to ensure that our packaging can be recycled where possible.
  4. We choose not to use petroleum-based packaging, which is nonrenewable.

Question. Finally, what are your sustainable development goals for the future?

Answer. Whilst we don’t have all the answers yet, we choose to ask with our minds and lead with our hearts.

Our sustainability development goals are ever-evolving, a learning journey where we constantly strive to improve and do our best.

Sustainability development is a dynamic journey in an ever-changing world where technology advances quickly, so staying ahead of the game is not easy; it requires continued, thoughtful action.

At the heart of the Naked Chemist philosophy is transparency in beauty; therefore, we don’t want to rush into implementing something so that we can say we are doing it for the sake of sustainability; instead, we want to make sure it has the intended effect for the good of the environment.

In an ideal world, every day for us would be Earth Day, but we can only do our part by implementing small steps towards sustainability to guarantee a happier planet in the future.

And if that happens to be a more eco-friendly beauty routine for our users, not just for how it makes them look but also to help them feel better about using skincare.

And one that more positively impacts our planet than that is a step in the right direction for me and the company.

As the founder, I’d like to think our company is helping to make a positive impact not only for society but also for the good of our planet.

Follow the link to find more information on our approach to natural beauty.

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