In my last post, I gave you an easy-to-understand overview of what sustainability is. This month, we’re going to be looking at how sustainability impacts business practices.
As we apply sustainability to business, this priority focus assists business owners in creating plans for their long term approach to sourcing materials, integrating their business into the community, as well as addressing social and environmental concerns. While these are only a very few examples of how businesses can support sustainable practices, this article will be looking at just one major component, how materials are sourced sustainability.
In my previous article, I used the example of the logging industry planting new trees for each one they cut down, so there will be a future supply to harvest. While this example may not directly relate to the skin care and cosmetics industries, there are a variety of things a beauty brand can do to act sustainably and this begins with sourcing ingredients to formulate their products.
Sourcing the highest quality ingredients for products is not always the easiest process. Many suppliers do not conduct their businesses keeping sustainability in mind, so finding partners who are in line with their same values, who are trustworthy to ethically create high quality extracts and essential oils, with an eco-friendly and sustainable approach can be challenging to find a good fit. I’d like to spotlight Mountain Rose Herbs, one such sustainable company My Alchemy sources ingredients from who is committed to doing sustainability right. Here’s a link to a 3 minute video produced by Mountain Rose Herbs to give you an idea of what a sustainable business looks like.
My Alchemy recently posted a blog article about the details of Leaping Bunny Certification. Committing to this high standard ensures that the company’s ingredient suppliers sell ingredients created with no testing on animals from creation to the final product. Likewise, an Organic Certification means the farmers grow organically and do not use pesticides or dangerous chemicals in the growing process. Be aware there are small farmers out there who practice organic growing but are not officially organically certified because this arduous process is time intensive and very costly and wouldn’t be practical for their small farm to invest in.
In sourcing, it’s important to look out how oils are extracted to determine their quality. Steam distillation is a process where oils are extracted with water instead of a volatile chemical solvent. Here we see an example of a sustainable practice where there is little to no impact on the environment, costs kept low by not having to dispose of volatile solvents, and the plant material which the oils have been extracted from can be composted into fertilizer for the future. My Alchemy uses similar practices in everything from sourcing the containers their products are packaged in, to the packaging material used to ship and sell their products.
Sustainability to My Alchemy means ethically sourcing, selecting crops that have not been sprayed with dangerous chemicals, never testing on animals, using sure and trusted methods of distillation, carefully selecting packaging with minimal impact on the environment and supporting farmers who are trusted and reputable.
Written by David Adams