Sometimes The Most Meaningful Changes Are Nearly Invisible
We’re cutting paper from our line & reducing our carbon footprint even more
Shhhhhhh, there’s a subtle change in the air. It’s bright and colorful and soaring on pegasus’ wings (or maybe catching wind from a cat riding a surfboard). The creative muse has struck and it’s concerned with environmentalism.
We’re pretty serious about the idea that our business is our activism, so we’re always looking for ways to improve upon two key things:
Packaging Design & Carbon Footprint
Last year, we became certified carbon neutral, and part of our pledge was to reduce paper from our line by at least 15%. So, we went to the literal drawing board to see how we could tighten things up in our packaging and use even less material, while still maintaining the integrity of the product and not fussing at all with its quality.
We did a few things that we’re super proud of!
We Reduced Paper By 60%
We found that by redesigning our bottles and our soap boxes, we could save a lot more paper than we thought, without reducing the size of the product inside them. SCORE. The soap boxes might surprise you at first because they are much smaller, but rest assured: The bars are the same hefty size they’ve always been. And there’s also a cute little cutout on the back so you can give them a sniff in stores and see the gorgeous color of the bar.
Metal Bottles Instead Of Glass
We shifted to metal bottles wherever we could (there are a few products in glass that are staying put). You might be thinking, metal? Huh? Metal is a sustainable choice for these key reasons:
- It’s lighter weight than glass. Anytime we say “lighter” we’re thinking about our carbon footprint, because heavier packages use more gas to get where they need to go.
- It’s more recyclable! Metal is the most likely-to-be-recycled material because you can still make money from it (#sadtruth) and it won’t degrade like paper or plastic in the process.
- We’re talking about metal, but paper is also involved: Because metal is less breakable, we don’t need to use as much paper AROUND the products to get them to you safely or to protect the shelf life of the product. We were able to get rid of the protective outer boxes from most of our individual products AND we can use less paper padding in our orders.
It May Not Be Pretty
The beauty industry doesn’t like imperfection. It doesn’t like to show when things are rough around the edges or growing into a new version of themselves. But it was super important to us to continue to use the old packaging and not create more waste by tossing out perfectly good containers and paper boxes only to transition to the new stuff. Transitions are beautiful. So we may look a bit hodge podge for a bit, but we are okay with it. We’re counting on our customers to understand that our commitment to reducing waste is more important than any #shelfie. If you receive old packaging, rest assured that these are by no means old products.
Minimalism, But Make It A Rainbow
When we started this, we knew that we wanted to say goodbye to the colorful shapes in the background so that our drawings would be even more of a focal point. We chose a palette of colors based on the scent profiles:
greens and blues for herbal scents
pinks for florals
purples for herbal-florals (like lavender)
yellows and oranges for citrus
All bottles are now spray-coated with these colors to make looking for your skin-type specific routine even easier. HELLO, EASE! WE WELCOME YOU!
The green bottles are for oily and blemish-prone skin. The pink bottles are for dry and maturing skin.
The Scent Call Out
You may have noticed, we aren’t very fanciful when it comes to our approach to product names. Call us Bauhaus, but there’s something so satisfying about the simplicity of listing the scent and the product name. It’s like a slow, locally sourced meal at your favorite California vineyard. We’ve given front-of-the-bottle “scent call outs” to some of the products that didn’t have them before, but this doesn’t mean there’s anything new about them. For example, our beloved Skin Cream is still the same exact formula it always was, but now it says Rosehip Shea on the front too. Because plants are our poetry.
New Fonts and Our Logo
This one's for the design nerds. We are using two new fonts. A beautiful solid primary sans serif font that is even more readable. AND our very first serif font, which was created by a queer font designer in Norway. Our original logo designer, Sarah Hallacher, also redrew our logo (and they did all of the design work for this refresh). It might not be noticeable to you, but it’s a little easier to print and more accessible for those who are sight impaired.
And just because we’re us, Jeff made all new drawings for everything. Their goal was to create a little more intricacy, a little more quirk, a little stuff for the characters and the cats to interact with. They’re like tattoo sleeves on bottles. So, we are saying good-bye to a bunch of drawings that have graced our packaging since we started in 2009. At the end of this article are a few of our favorites, in memoriam.
There aren’t many, but here they are (also noted on the product pages). We are saying goodbye to the following products:
- Lavender Lemongrass Body Oil → replaced by Lavender Geranium Body Oil
- Geranium Frankincense Body Oil → replaced by Lavender Geranium Body Oil
- Underarm Primer → replaced by Aloe Rose Lotion
- Lemon Rose Cleansing Oil → updated formula to include a gentle plant-based rinsing agent that will make it more user friendly and rinsable in water. The rest of the formula is unchanged and it is still great to use for eye makeup and daily cleansing.
- Tangerine Basil Bar Soap → discontinued
- Sunscreen → discontinued
In our humble opinions, designing for people means designing for the planet. We’re here (on earth) only briefly. We want our footprint to be a gentle one. We want to show our small corner of the world that products can be snazzy and sustainable at the same time. That it’s possible to have fun, take care of your skin, live fully and beautifully, and then—clean up after yourself.
Written By Vera Kachouh and Tara Pelletier (co-founder)