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The Green Report: The Question Begs the Answer

By Jeff Falk
Posted: January 30, 2008, from the February 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 4 of 7

The challenge to rise to
How has your company dealt with the trend toward sustainability and green options? What have been the challenges in meeting evolving consumer aspirations for natural and sustainable products?

Zurek: One of the biggest things we’ve had to do is to actually steer people away from certain types of packaging, such as polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable plastic made from corn, because it isn’t compatible with their product. The interesting part is then educating that customer as to what sustainability truly is and how other materials, though they might not be compostable, are environmentally friendly.

Gill: At Sun Deep, we always strive to produce cleaner and greener products with friendly ingredient decks and performance aesthetics. In some cases, we are driven by our clients to seek greener ways to accomplish our mission. Often in USDA organic formulas, we find that technology has not yet caught up with innovation, and we find ourselves searching for ingredients that have yet to be invented.

Gentile: Because we have been producing environmentally conscious packaging for 20 years, many people within the industry view us as leaders of the cause. Rather than rely on the past benefits of the Xela Pack and our company in general, we have continued to lead the way by developing new laminates and materials—such as our newest material made with 75% paper, of which 100% is postconsumer recycled paper, that has a white surface rather than the traditional kraft look—and researching more new materials for possible future developments. People are much more critical of our environmental claims now than they were in the past, but we see that as another opportunity to prove what we’ve known for a long time: that the Xela Pack is a great package that has many environmental benefits to offer.

Schiek and Basanta: drom has predicted this movement for quite some time. For more than 10 years now, drom has been working on and developing a program of raw materials to answer this need specifically. The result of this effort is drom Fragrances’ Pureganic program, which is redefining the degree of purity of essential oils used in fragrance manufacturing and is an effective response to the global trend toward natural products.

The upswing in efforts
Where do you see industry-wide efforts being made? Where can efforts be increased?