The term “Sustainable” is tossed around quite frequently nowadays, from common household and personal care products, to many of the processed products and foods at the grocery store. But does sustainability really mean something or is it just a way for sellers to play on people’s emotions and make more money? Because who wouldn’t want to buy a sustainable product compared to one that is not?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, “Sustainability is avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance” But in terms of selling products and being a consumer, what does sustainability really mean?
In Business, sustainability has a few main purposes. These are to ensure the business is producing a quality and consistent product; ensure the business has a positive impact on the environment; as well as having a positive impact on the local producers that products come from.
A very simple example of a product being sustainable is found in the lumber industry.. While most know logging is a very destructive practice, new actions have taken place to create a more sustainable business, so that these companies will have business far into the future. Instead of simply clear-cutting trees, loggers select older, larger and damaged trees to be taken for logging, then replace those trees with new saplings.
These practices are sustainable because many logging companies plant a new tree for each one they take down.This aids the general welfare of the forest so in the not so distant future, the same area can be logged again and again without a major negative impact on the local environment. Think of sustainability as a circle of production; present and future.
So what does this have to do with clean beauty? Well the same principles apply. Our ingredients come from small family farms, where each and every year, they don’t just destroy the plants the botanicals grow from. They allow some plants to produce seeds, while the others are turned into high quality botanical extracts, then used in mulch and compost. The act of these companies growing the plants, producing seeds, then composting the used plant material which puts nutrients back into the soil in a constant cycle of growth and reuse; this is sustainability.
While large corporations have no problem taking and taking from the earth, and selling their by products to other companies for additional revenue, the companies that we work with are forward thinking, and look to sustainability.
At My Alchemy, since day one we have strived to find companies that align with our values of ethically grown and eco-friendly ingredients, promoting sustainable practices, and maintaining a healthy planet. The choice is clear, sustainability is here.
J. David Adams, B.S. Biology