Thinking Outside the Box

April 22, 2013

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and by extension, a product by its packaging, but sometimes what’s on the outside is worthy of a little spotlight too. When it comes to evaluating cosmetics and skincare, the quality of the ingredients, the formulation, the performance and the colors are certainly paramount, but this Earth Week we thought we’d turn the focus on the innovative, eco-friendly packaging some of our beloved brands use to bundle their offerings.

Here are some sobering stats.

  • The average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash every day, which amounts to about 1.5 tons per year.
  • Each year 250 million tons of solid waste are thrown away in the US alone - that’s enough to cover Texas twice over.
  • The average family tosses 6 trees worth of paper per year.
  • 51 billion plastic bottles are used on an annual basis, less than 1% are recycled. It takes plastic 600 years to break down.
  • Although the EPA estimates that 75 percent of solid waste is recyclable, only about 30 percent is actually recycled.
  • 30% of solid waste comes from product packaging − its the biggest contributor to landfills and illegal dumping

The “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra is helping, but we’ve still got a long way to go. There’s no need for manufacturers to literally waste away the resources of this planet for a one-time encasing of a consumer product. We can do better − and many of our brands do.

So without further ado, here are some Saffron Rouge “wrap” stars that are as committed to green packaging as they are to producing premium organic products.

Erbaviva started out as a line of pure, natural, organic and wildcrafted skincare geared towards moms-to-be and their babies but has now evolved to include products for the whole family. Their commitment to the environment and the global community is evident not only in their choice of raw ingredients but also in their packaging. Materials for their signature fiber bags, reusable cloth pouches, unbleached cotton sachets and basketry is sourced from a sustainable farm project in Northern Thailand and Burma, which benefits the workers from the Pwo Karen hill tribe. Bottled products such as the organic Baby Shampoo, Stretch Mark Oil and Lemon Sage Deodorant are made from recyclable amber glass which preserves the therapeutic integrity of the essential oils by protecting the contents from ambient light.

Yarok, which means “green” in Hebrew, is a company that specializes in nourishing botanical products for the hair and scalp. All ingredients are consciously sourced, responsibly harvested and vegan-compliant. Everything from the business operations, strategic partnerships with environmental causes (3% of profits support indigenous people of Ecuador and Peru and protect 10 million acres of Amazonian Rainforest) and eco-friendly packaging is in line with their values. There labels are made with 80% ultra-thin FiberStone, an environmentally responsible non-paper material that minimizes the carbon footprint. Rather than chopping down trees this material is made of limestone, an abundant element. It is the most ecologically available paper substitute that is also waterproof − an important consideration for a haircare line.

Lulu Organics is a holistic beauty company that primarily specializes in talc-free USDA certified organic hair powders which absorb oil, add volume and impart a natural scent to your tresses. Raw materials are sourced from a fair trade co-op in Iowa, and are handmade from ingredient like rice powder, baking soda, horsetail and essential oils. What immediately stands out about these products is the gorgeous Art Nouveau designs that are silk screened onto the cornstarched-based biodegradable and recyclable packaging. Not only does this hair powder make you look good, the artsy cylinder looks good on your vanity table as well!

Suki, one of our best selling evolutionary lines, is as committed to its low-impact processing and packaging standards as it is to its 100% natural, top quality, fair trade, organic and biodynamic formulations. These top-shelf skincare and beauty products are made fresh by hand in a 100% wind-powered plant to be as carbon neutral as possible. They primarily use recyclable glass bottles to preserve the dynamic vitality of the herbal concoctions. Boxes are made of 77% post-consumer recycled unbleached paper and printed with clean, biodegradable, vegetable-based inks. Even the local printer was carefully sourced to ensure they supported Suki’s environmental philosophies.

In case you’re wondering, Saffron Rouge only uses biodegradable cornstarch packing peanuts in our boxes to protect your delicate orders from breakage during shipping.