Hey folks! It’s a slightly fun one from me today. Amidst a lot of campaigning and fairly intense work, I wanted to share some things I’ve been enjoying recently. Both because this is the real world, where we enjoy things amongst all the serious stuff, and because it’s always great to take a moment to notice good initiatives and ideas, and the people who work to make them a reality. Shout out to everyone trying to make change in their industries, and here are some recent favourites from me.
JUNOCO is a beauty brand with sustainability at its tenet from the very beginning. With an aim to reduce waste in and lead the way in sustainability, they created a dual-layer makeup sponge that saves around 50% of foundation from being wasted compared to traditional sponges, while their 10-ingredient cleansing balm is the equivalent of 100 disposable makeup wipes. In fact, they estimate that they’ve replaced the equivalent of 50 million disposable makeup wipes so far!
Every product formula is simple and effective, with short, transparent ingredient lists that get the job done without being overcomplicated. They use fewer ingredients in higher concentrations, maximising efficacy while reducing waste and emissions from production. With no filler ingredients, they choose only the gentlest, vegan-friendly ingredients that are compatible with most skin types including:
- EWG Verified Upcycled food ingredients, including rice powder created from the process of making Japanese Sake.
- Organic-certified rosehip seed oil, argan oil and Japanese pearl barley.
- Plant-derived, ECO-CERT certified squalane.
All their products are also completely microplastic free, protecting marine ecosystems and human health, while products are packaged in FSC certified or fully reusable and recyclable materials, including bottles which require the lowest possible amount of energy during production.
I personally love the cleansing powder, as rice extract is a favourite ingredient of mine that I adore using for a double cleanse. Because you add water during use these products last an incredibly long time, plus they contain hyaluronic acid for extra hydration. Use it with the Clean 10 cleansing balm for the best double cleanse to leave you feeling fresh each day, plus I’m also keen to try the kale clay mask soon too.
Their next milestone is a refillable programme to help reduce waste even more, so watch this space!
I’ve used GRÜNBAG products for years now. They upcycle a variety of incredibly durable materials, stopping them from going to waste while also creating products with excellent longevity. As beacons of circular economy principles, previous items have been made from recycled tarpaulins, seatbelts and decommissioned lifeboat materials. However they are also often contacted by private kite-surfers who would like to donate their discarded kites instead of wasting them.
So, of course, GRÜNBAG found a way.
The result is a collection of colourful, completely unique bags made from upcycled sails and kites. Each one is designed, cut and sewn by the team at their sewing studio in Aarhus, Denmark, and each one is completely original, depending on the patterns and colours of materials. The bags consist of two layers, the outer in kite material or sail and the inner in surplus materials from tarpaulin production, which guarantees durability. This material is cut off for producing truck covers and party tents – never used, but nevertheless would otherwise have been sent to landfill. The inside pockets are also made from recycled advertising banners from Denmark.
Alongside their usual minimalist aesthetics, these particular bags have an extra sporty look, while the city models are still smart and practical. They’re perfect for work or school, with two inner pockets for valuables and even a small laptop/notebook, and are shipped in small reused cardboard boxes.
Vegums are vegan-friendly vitamins created by two plant-based pharmacists. After struggling to find plant-based multivitamins, especially gummies, they used their pharmacological expertise and research to develop a vegan-friendly multivitamin using non-animal vitamin ingredients. For example, vitamin D3 is usually extracted from lanolin (the oil that coats sheep’s wool), but Vegums use D3 sourced from lichen, thanks to a new method of extraction.
Vegums also contain 100% naturally derived ingredients, natural colours and flavours, gelling agents from citrus peel, and a pinch of natural cane sugar for sweetness. In 2020 they went on to launch their Fish-Free Omega-3 Vitamins and Iron gummies, followed by a sugar-free multivitamin in 2021.
Plus, Vegums come in sustainable packaging. Their wrappers are plastic-free cellulose bags made from cornstarch which are home compostable, while your first order will also include a metal tin for storage. Each tin can store a month’s supply, keeping your vitamins with you on the go without taking up a ton of room. I’ve been using mine for a few months now and really enjoy them! I’ve always taken a multivitamin but often struggled to remember or to take them with me when travelling, due to overly chunky plastic bottles. I much prefer these for taste, ease, and sustainability, so it’s a win all round.
Plymouth gin is made in England’s oldest working gin distillery, creating gin from the same recipe since 1793. Their gin is still handcrafted and batch-distilled using 100% Dartmoor water, while the distillery runs on 100% renewable electricity and botanicals are recycled via an anaerobic digestion power plant to turn waste into energy. In attempts to increase sustainable efforts they have now reimagined their bottle production to reduce waste and impact. The bottle is now 100% recyclable, has a reduced the overall weight by 15%, and all single-use plastic packaging has been removed.
The most recognisable elements of the bottle’s original design, including the shape and colour, have been retained. However, paper labels have replaced plastic, the closure has been updated from PVC to recyclable PET, and the iconic monk that used to sit on the bottom of the bottle as a plastic label is now embossed directly onto the glass.
Earlier this year, Plymouth Gin also announced a long-term partnership with the Ocean Conservation Trust as part of its mission to drive awareness and action for healthy oceans. Plymouth Gin’s history is intrinsically linked to the ocean, while the distillery is on the doorstep of the Trust’s headquarters. The distillery team regularly support the charity with beach cleans across the local area, watch this space for more to come.
Last month, I took my first TIER scooter. I’d initially been fairly dismissive of electric scooters in cities, because for me options such as walking and public transport have always been fairly easy. Earlier in the year, however, some friends explained to me that this option has been a game-changer for those with mobility issues, allowing them to travel much longer distances much more freely. Large cities are regularly inaccessible, especially on public transport routes, often leaving those with access needs with the choice of going by car or not at all. For situations like this, eScooters provide a much more sustainable alternative.
After looking into London options, I quickly surmised that TIER are truly committed to trying to be the best they can be. They’ve worked to address emissions across all scopes of their operations, not just those linked to charging. They account for all emissions from production, operational and transportation emissions, as well as accounting for all greenhouse gasses linked to climate breakdown.
TIER then worked with ClimatePartner to analyse both where they emit, find ways to reduce, and then work on meaningfully offsetting the rest. Using GHG Protocol’s Scope 3 as a framework to calculate all upstream and downstream emissions, they also included business travel, production and shipment of eScooters, charging eScooters, daily operations, and recycling.
View this post on Instagram
They then reduced emissions by:
- Limiting the use of carbon-intensive materials needed to produce eScooters
- Choosing the least emissions-intensive way to make shipments
- Using renewable energy to charge their fleet and run warehouses
- Introducing swappable batteries, making them the industry’s first scooter with swappable battery tech
- Implementing a low-carbon travel policy for employees
- Repairing damaged scooters
- Repurposing or recycling all remaining parts with the newest technologies available
- Making older generation scooters available for ownership to give them a second life
To offset remaining emissions they work on a mix of reforestation and protection projects in South America and Germany, protecting 6000HA of rainforest and creating jobs for local communities. I’m particularly impressed by the introduction of swappable battery technology, which I think will be a vital innovation across many industries in future. So if you find yourself in a city and see a TIER, why not hop on it instead of taking a car!
This is, hands down, my favourite SPF that I’ve ever used. Created by the pros over at Biossance, the powerful SPF 30 zinc sheer mineral sunscreen is formulated for all skin types, designed to be both lightweight and hydrating while blending into all skin tones. It leaves a dewy finish, which I love, but absorbs into skin incredibly quickly without leaving a white cast. This sunscreen is mineral rather than chemical, which means it reflects rays away from the skin rather than penetrating skin and absorbing rays.
All Biossance products are developed in a My Green Lab Platinum Certified facility, and this SPF is non-toxic and reef-safe, while still protecting the skin from UVA and UVB rays. Ingredients include squalane from sugarcane, which is an incredible moisturiser, and water lily to cool and calm skin after UV exposure and heat stress, while the product is also vegan and cruelty-free. I will be using this for a very long time!
If you follow me anywhere on social media you will have already seen me rave about this little Netflix series. There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been articulated elsewhere, but if you’re a person who likes to feel joy you should watch this show. The world is hard, discouraging, and often cruel, but this show highlights all the things worth holding on to and fighting for. It’s a beautiful story of queer love, friendship, and acceptance. A tale of found family and joy and all the beautiful possibilities of what the future, better world could look like. You can guarantee I’ll be reading the original comics ASAP.
If you’re looking for a sign to watch this show, this is it! It will make your heart sing.