As a start-up company unequivocally committed to clean beauty, we are always trying to consciously evolve. Above all else, we believe in transparency when it comes to our sustainability and where we aspire to be in the future. In regards to our products, how ingredients are farmed, packaged and delivered to our customers, is something we are constantly examining, in order to have less of an impact on the planet. The quest to find the right balance of sustainability, whilst maintaining a commercially viable business, is important to us, so that we can continue to bring a high performance, non-toxic skincare line to those demanding a cleaner lifestyle.
From the outset our intent at Romilly Wilde was to create a non-toxic skincare line without compromise. In order to maintain preservative free ingredients, the function of our packaging had to be tantamount. Hence, our airless packaging and its dependence on certain materials was essential to preserve the integrity of our non-toxic, plant-based ingredients without chemical preservatives. It is important to note that any ingredient that is exposed to oxygen and allows consumers to constantly dip their fingers into the product (fingertips being a host for bacteria) increases the likelihood of cross contamination and the compromise of a product. Therefore, this “airless packaging” is essential in protecting its integrity - and for us, to compromise the integrity of our ingredients is simply incongruous with our ethos.
Admittedly, when we created our packaging a few years ago, we were aware that function would have to supersede all else. Coupled with being sustainably driven we are now at a very important crossroads: one of transparency, of promise, and of hope for the future. Susie Willis, our founder, has always emphasized that a transparent approach, when it comes to sustainability, has to be a priority in today’s world. “Our commitment to clean skincare and plan for the future is so important for our customer base. It is now more essential than ever for us to be a business that holds our hands up and says: this is what we've done so far, and more importantly this is where we are going.” As a company, we also realise that consumers and employees value honesty and base their life choices and spending habits on it. Furthermore, accountability and authenticity is a key part of doing good business these days. In the spirit of this transparency, we are aware that several of our products depend on plastic components and that is something we are trying to address. Even with our glass bottles (used in our Serum/Face oil) the plastic components within are still proving to be a recycling stumbling block. These are however suitable for responsible recycling.
We also realise that with every packaging alternative, there comes a cost. The move towards PCR (post-consumer resin) is in essence a better choice, due to the fact that reprocessing existing plastics uses less fossil fuels and energy. However, there are still health and environmental concerns in regards to the re-processing of plastic of which we remain acutely aware. The glass alternative is also a viable alternative, but again, we are conscious of the amount of heat and energy incumbent to manufacturing glass is extremely high. So, in essence, there is no easy answer. While the packaging industry definitely has an eye on progression, they are unfortunately still not able to meet the sustainable demand.
In light of the above, our promise to our consumers is that we will tirelessly search for innovations in the field in hopes that we can lessen our environmental impact and find concrete solutions. Furthermore, it is our profound intent to remain a player in the luxury, conscious skincare world so that we can continue to put pressure on the packaging industry to enact change. One hopeful step in the right direction: our new Romilly Wilde boxes will proudly display FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) stamp to emphasize our commitment. The FSC is a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. FSC certification ensures that products come from well managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
So, what does the future for RW look like? For starters, we have hopes to bring in a sustainability consultant, to thoroughly audit our company and help us come up with strategies to lower our overall carbon footprint. This addition gives us the confidence that with some guidance, we can deliver on our future goals. We are also looking to implement future programs so that we can give back to the planet and engage our customer base to do the same. Be it a recycling initiative where we encourage our customers to send back their empty bottles, to setting up The RW Fund; where with every in full purchase we donate to a worthy cause (in which charities are decided upon by our customer base); as we are eager to involve all those in the RW family the chance to be a part of our story and be as interactive as possible.
As Susie Willis, our founder explains, “We have a very ambitious intention to become as sustainable as possible and we do not take that lightly. While we’re incredibly excited that conversations are happening, the manifestations of those conversations may take a little while to catch up. But we have every confidence that the day will come with us at the heels of the suppliers!”