Our passion at ANTIDOTE is living in harmony with ourselves and our environment.
This search for harmony drives every choice we make. We know that we don’t have to sacrifice the quality of our hair products to do this.But we do have to be thoughtful about how we do things. We have to consider the individual and the bigger picture with every decision we make.
We all, as consumers, have a responsibility, too. We aren’t always given all the facts; sometimes we have to do a little digging to make sure that our actions are indeed low impact and good for our health.
We make our products with organic, high-quality ingredients that are goodfor people. We leave out the toxins. We leave out the stuff that will contaminate the water system. In their place are natural ingredients that support healthy hair without harming the planet. You'll find goodies like aloe vera juice, shea butter, ginseng root, and chamomile.
Anyone working in this industry knows that this is no easy feat. The truth is that not everyone cares about sustainability. The hope is that the more we keep caring--and caring loudly--the more sense we can knock into the rest of the world.
This is our job: to keep caring, and to use our voices to tell people why we care. Because when enough people care, funding for research appears. New policies are formed. When we care, we can overcome amazing obstacles.
Sustainable packaging is an amazing obstacle (and opportunity).
One of the most common questions we get is about our packaging. It’s a good one because it lets us know that our clients care just as much as we do. It lets us know that our community isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions.
This is the kind of work we should all be doing as consumers!
This question is also important because cutting back on plastic and other materials that don’t break down is vital to our survival. It simply doesn’t get more important than that.
Here’s what we have learned in our quest to be sustainable: lowering your environmental impact is not a marketing tactic. It’s not a buzzword.
Sustainability is a lifestyle.
And packaging is a lesson that humanity is still grappling with. The short answer is: we don’t have a perfect solution to packaging. Yet. But those of us who care about eco-friendly beauty are working on it, trust us.
The long story is that we’re doing our best with the resources that we’re given. But at this point in the game, we can’t truly be sustainable without some effort from our clients. We need you to play an active role in this too, so together we can be good citizens of this earth.
Here’s what we know, what we’re doing to make a difference, and what we need from you to do it right.
It’s not just what’s on the inside that counts.
We want to give you the whole package--literally. We want our products to be good for you and safe for the environment. When it comes to hair care, there are four components that we need to look at.
Here’s what packaging needs to do:
Packaging isn’t just about holding the product, it’s about preserving it too. Our products are natural, and we’re not kidding about that. We use the most gentle preservatives rather than the more resilient but toxic ones. The packaging needs to be strong but “inert”, meaning, the chemicals don’t leach out into your thoughtfully crafted shampoo, conditioner, or styler.
The packaging needs to be easy to manipulate, carry, and ship to you without changing form. Compostable “plastic” is so exciting, but it will melt in the hot delivery truck on the way to your door. So it needs to be strong enough to withstand heat and heavy handling.
Our products are meant to be used in the bathroom, the shower, at the pool, or the beach. These are all places that you’re likely to be barefoot so we need shatter-proof packaging.
We want to minimize our impact. We want to reuse, recycle, or compost. We all know that one of our biggest problems is how much trash we, as a species, generate. We don’t want to see our packages end up in landfills or the ocean.
As of right now, no material available does all four of these jobs perfectly. So brands like us who care about our environmental impact are left to weigh the pros and cons of what isavailable to us, and make the smartest decision.
That’s what we did, and it’s a process that we will continue to do.
Our current solution to packaging is #1 PET plastic.
#1 PET plastic is the best solution for us because it provides maximum protection for our formula and it’s safe and easy for you to use. Out of all the plastics (and aluminum), it has the lowest carbon footprint.
But part of the success of #1 PET requires some effort on your part as the consumer.
PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate (say that three times). It’s plastic, yes. But as the National Association for PET Container Resources says, not all plastics are made the same. PET keeps our natural products safe from UV damage and moisture, and it will make it safely to your door when you order it from us. It’s also lightweight and won’t shatter if you drop it.
PET bottles can be recycled over and over again; this is not true for other plastics. And most recycling programs in the US accept this material.
Less energy is required to process PET than other materials. The Life Cycle Inventory Study reported in 2010 that “for every pound of recycled PET flake used, energy use is reduced by 84%; greenhouse gas emissions by 71%.”
Here’s where you come in.
Reducing our use of plastic where there are safe alternatives helps everyone - think shopping bags and water bottles for a start. When you do have to use plastic, and if you are into smaller containers like us, please re-use your bottles - wash them out well, and refill from larger bottles. When it does come time to toss your bottle, please recycle.
PET is the plastic that can be recycled the most, but only 27.9% of it is actually being recycled in North America now. We get that our recycling bin might be in another room or it’s easier to throw it out, but please take the extra time to sort your trash and recycle.
In order to be truly sustainable, we need our clients to commit to recycling our packaging, so that ANTIDOTE never finds its way to a landfill or an ocean. There is so much opportunity here. We want to encourage our community to keep holding sustainable brands accountable. Keep asking the tough questions, keep having important conversations.
The future is promising, but there’s more work to be done.
Right now, environmental innovators are working to find new ways to improve the materials we do have and to find new, low-impact solutions. And brands who pride themselves on real sustainability are on the edge of our seats. We can’t wait to get on board with the future of sustainable packaging.
In the meantime, we’re doing the best with the resources we have.
We promise to do everything we can as we gain access to better materials and more insights from the scientific community. We hope that you’ll do everything in your power to make sure that our bottles get recycled.
Together we can make it happen!
-- Abigail + David
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March 11, 2021
What are your thoughts on refilling bottles? In store might be easy. All retail locations could refill some high volume items with large volume canisters of product. Mail order may be a bit of a challenge. One of the biggest challenges for mail order may be shipping and filling costs versus bottle costs.
Best of luck!!!