sustainability in progress

Hi team, it’s P!

I wanted to take a second to talk to you about what sustainability means to us at cocokind. As a clean and conscious skincare company, we put a ton of thought into our sourcing, formulas, packaging, and practices, because we want to be as eco-friendly and low-waste as possible. 

Here’s our philosophy: we see sustainability as a continuous work in progress. We’re never going to hit a point where we feel like we’ve become earth-conscious enough and don’t need to try anymore. Even at the cocokind office, we’re constantly giving each other tips on how to live a more sustainable, low waste lifestyle because we realize that being truly kind to the earth requires a group effort. We all help each other make little changes, one step at a time. We apply that philosophy to our company practices too - we’ll always try to continuously improve our sustainability practices and that’s a promise! 

Because we’re constantly reviewing our impact and trying new things, we honestly fail just as much as we succeed. Here are some things that we are currently working on: 

-Our partnership with One Tree Planted. We’ve recently begun partnering with this nonprofit by donating 5% of all of our one-for-all balm’s online sales to them. It’s a great feeling, being able to help support an organization that’s literally working to reforest the planet and improve our climate, all through the simple act of tree-planting. 

-Creating a better, more sustainable version of our cycle-back program. Long-time cocokind lovers might remember our cycle-back program, which allowed customers to mail their empty bottles back to our warehouse to be recycled. However, we realized that shipping bottles all over America required enough packaging and emissions to basically outweigh the benefits of the actual recycling. Additionally, more often than not, the bottles were coming back to us in an unusable state, so we weren’t completing the full circle of recyclability that we had hoped to. It was a great idea in theory, not so much in practice. We’re still trying to figure out our long-term solution here, to allow you all to reuse and refill your containers and cut back on waste. We’re happily taking any suggestions, too!

-Researching new packaging materials. We’ll be testing compostable film on a new product next year, which is still really new to the market. We’re excited to explore our options there and continue finding more and more ways to reduce and reuse in our packaging. As another example, we’re currently exploring ocean waste plastic, which will allow us to package select future products in recycled plastic, taken straight out of the ocean! Did you know that 8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year? Or that 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently litter our oceans? Yeah, we know. We want to do something about that!!

-Reviewing potential changes to existing packaging. We’re also in the process of finding PCR (post-consumer resin) versions of the packaging we use for our skincare sticks. The packaging we are currently using is recyclable, but we want to take it one step further and use packaging that has already been recycled by the time it gets to us. We’ve also begun transitioning all of our packaging boxes to ones that are FSC certified, which means they’re considered environmentally responsible by the Forest Stewardship Council.

-Joining the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. We’re so excited to be the newest members of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition! The Sustainable Packaging Coalition is a membership-based collaborative that believes in the power of industry to make packaging more earth-friendly. Its mission is to bring packaging sustainability stakeholders together to catalyze actionable improvements to packaging systems. We’re excited to join this coalition of companies as a representative of the clean beauty movement. More to come here!

-Reusing shipping packaging. We’ve recently implemented a policy that enables us to reuse shipping boxes and extra packaging materials from any returns that we process in house. This includes reusing the brown craft paper that we use to fill our packages throughout multiple points in our supply chain.

-Reducing hard copy sales materials. We’re becoming a paper-free sales team! Instead of using physical sell sheets, we’ve committed to using digital sell sheets only. If any of you find us at Expo West in 2020, you’ll see that we’ll be using a digital sign up to receive our sell sheets via email. 

-Compostable cocokind stickers. We considered creating cocokind stickers, printed on compostable paper to reduce waste. However, we soon realized that compostable stickers would degrade quickly, especially upon contact with liquids of any sort, which could definitely be a problem (especially if you wanted to apply it to your water bottle like I would!). As a result, we’ve decided to forego the stickers until we find a solution that is earth-friendly but still functional. 

-Providing more education to our team on sustainability. Starting 2020, we’ll also be offering monthly courses to our internal team on sustainability, hosted by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition! We want to make sure that we’re all experts on all things sustainability, so that we can help spread this movement from a place of knowledge. 

-Team challenges on sustainability. Within our team, we’ll also be holding sustainability competitions (because a little competitive spirit never hurt anybody!). We’ll start with weekly “go-without” challenges - no takeout containers for a week, no disposable cups for a week, paperless weeks, etc. We hope these challenges will encourage all of us to make longer-term changes to our lifestyles. We also ban plastic bottles from our office purchases because at this point, that’s just low hanging fruit!

You can expect to continuously hear updates from me on new initiatives that we’ll be embarking on to improve our sustainability practices. The key takeaway for us is that there really is no end goal when it comes to sustainability. It’s all about continuous work, testing, trying - not crossing the finish line! We hope you join us on this journey!