Sustainability has been an increasingly pressing topic considering global warming, rising sea levels, etc. The Plastic Pollution Coalition reported, "over 120 billion packaging units produced yearly, most of which are not recyclable". It's not just the cool, gorgeous packaging that contributes to the problem; microplastics and microbeads are found in cosmetic and personal care products. These products contain tiny microplastic particles that easily slip through wastewater treatment systems and end up in the ocean. Some waste is invisible to us, but that doesn't mean it's less important to address.
It's essential to take responsibility – and adjust our consumption habits. The beauty industry has adopted many new practices and innovations to address this problem. The most common sustainability swap within the beauty industry is refillable items. Although this is one approach, it's not always the best solution.
Reusable items require a "payback" period to be environmentally beneficial compared to single-use alternatives. Even if consumers are committed to purchasing products with refillable packaging, there is insufficient data to prove whether consumers reuse and refill these products. Getting a refillable product for single-use may do more harm as it requires more energy and materials that may not be easily recycled or biodegradable.
At Reme, we're staying realistic – keeping in mind the issue of single-use packaging. We're also committed to making the entire consumption process – from its production to the end of its life cycle – as sustainable as possible. We're embarking on an intentional journey to rethink and reconsider how we approach beauty and sustainability – finding little, better ways to improve our habits with time. We believe that the power of one can have a compounding impact to inspire many for a change!
We take our planet's promises very seriously. They're not just abstract ideas – we make and measure this by committing to future goals.
Conscious Chemistry is one of the foundational principles at Reme. We want to deliver amazing results for your skin and safeguard your skin barrier with less compromise on the environment. Therefore, we intentionally source ethical and renewable ingredients backed by scientific evidence whenever possible. For example, our Re-base Makeup Cleansing Balm contains avocado oil recovered from upcycled by-products of wonky avocados from the food industry. It would have been discarded and ended up in a landfill because it looked odd. In contrast, the usual traditional harvesting practices, where the production of new raw materials requires further resources and produces more air pollution and waste.
Where possible, we use lab-grown plant biotechnology ingredients over traditional harvesting in our formulations to reduce resources, waste, and pollutants. In addition, our ingredients derived from palm oil-derived are RSPO MB Certified. This supply chain model monitors the trade of RSPO-certified palm oil products with ordinary palm oil throughout the entire supply chain. We also plan to announce biodiversity protection partnerships soon.
Together with following green chemistry principles in sourcing some of our ingredients, such as upcycled materials from other industries, using post-consumable recycled plastic materials, and leveraging lab-engineered biotechnology to extract active ingredients, we ultimately contribute to reducing our carbon footprint. As we look at ways to reduce carbon emissions, we carefully calculate each stage of our product's life cycle while working towards becoming Climate Neutral by 2025.
To help address the plastic problem, we look at ways to reduce our plastic footprint before offsetting. Of course, we know plastic offsetting is not the perfect solution. Still, it's a way to help us remove what we produce while supporting vulnerable regions impacted mainly by plastic pollution. In particular, we partner with rePurpose global coalition to support the local community in West Java, Indonesia. Many unrecyclable and virgin plastic materials enter the ocean without a robust waste management infrastructure. As a result, roughly 40% of Indonesia's waste is burnt or dumped into the environment! That means the pristine coastlines of West Java are infiltrated by rampant plastic pollution, which not only contaminates the waterways but also affects the surrounding wildlife in the region. Collaborating with rePurpose and Indonesia's waste management innovators Waste4Change and Re>Pal to provide end-to-end waste management solutions. This initiative aims to prevent ocean-bound plastic waste from polluting Indonesia's coasts and endangering biodiversity, recovering plastic waste and transforming them into new plastic pallets. In 2022, rePurpose global coalition will have supported 40 Indonesian workers in the district at the material recovery facility, recovering 2.4 million lbs of plastic waste annually. Equivalent to removing over 544 million plastic pouches or 60 million plastic bottles from nature.
Reme's packaging is plastic-neutral and made from post-consumer recycled materials. In addition, our cartons are FSC certified and use soy ink for printing. Soy ink is a more eco-conscious option that is sustainably farmed and biodegradable (four times more than petroleum ink!). These details are essential – most inks are harmful to the environment as they contain toxic chemicals with adverse effects.
Ultimately, we recognise our potential to do more in the future; we are committed to being plastic-negative (removing plastic waste more than we produce) while continuously looking at product innovation without compromising the quality of Reme products.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
As part of our core goal of conscious consumption, we hope to inspire slow and mindful habits when purchasing new products. To support this, we have curated a list of Australian brands with similar environmental goals in clothing, shoes, and bags.
- Made in Melbourne, all of Parmoi's pieces are handmade! The founder, Ashiya Omundsen, designs, drafts, cuts, and sews all her pieces. Parmoi has a classic, vintage vibe that you can spot from afar.
- Founded in Melbourne, Elk creates bi-annual collections – embracing slow fashion that invests in building on your current wardrobe. Their designs are simple, sustainable, and innovative – using this refined simplicity to drive their brand aesthetic. Their conscious products support traditional trades and a circular economy – responsibly caring for animals and the planet.
- Allbirds has an extensive sustainability plan – reaching more than half their sustainability goal within two years. All their shoes are made with natural materials, with in-depth explanations about their sustainability sourcing story.
- A_C Official
- A_C stands for Ahimsa Collective; if you didn't know, Ahimsa in Ancient Sanskrit stands for "cause no harm"! The founder Tessa Carroll wanted to create a brand committed to the Earth's longevity, designing bags based on the Circular Economy – showing that eco-conscious and ethical options in the carry-goods industry exist! Their bags are timeless yet contemporary.
There is always room for improvement in our efforts to make more conscious decisions in our product development, and we're working towards this every day. However, our current efforts won't look like this forever – we'll find alternative and efficient ways to raise awareness in sustainability (we do the heavy lifting) to ensure you can participate in conscious beauty effortlessly.
We’ve already done the heavy lifting for you so, start your sustainability beauty journey with Reme (yes, it’s THAT easy).