When Founder Lisa Nguyen set out to create George, she knew that to produce a sustainable, lasting brand; she’d have to consider our planet carefully. It’s 2023, and with all the advances in sustainable technology, there is literally 0 excuse for the use of traditional plastics in beauty products!
Lisa was not compromising on her formulas and was equally as pedantic about George’s packaging.
Opting for greener production from start to finish is no easy feat, and it certainly took a fair amount of time and energy on Lisa's and the George Teams' part! So, we sat down with Lis to give you a thorough insight into our processes and where George hopes to continue evolving in the eco-space.
Give us a rundown on current George packaging.
The tube that houses our Better Hair Days Mask is made from sugarcane plastic, and it's made from renewable sources, unlike traditional plastic that relies on finite crude oil. Sugarcane is a superstar that absorbs carbon dioxide from the air (we love an over-achiever!) We're doing our best to be as green as possible without compromising the George range's quality and longevity.
Putting the hair mask in a box could have made it more beautiful, but adding more waste didn't feel right, so we decided to reduce it. You won’t ever find excess packaging here at George! While my family and friends will tell you I’m aesthetically driven, I will never do this at the cost of our planet.
I’ve committed to keeping an eye on eco-plastic and plastic-free innovations that will help us deliver our products without compromising our planet or the quality and stability of our formulas. When an opportunity arises for us to do even better, you can bet your bottom dollar we will be taking it!
Why did you opt for sustainable packaging?
Sustainability is not just the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do. By taking steps to reduce our environmental impact, we are protecting our planet for future generations. Read: there’s no point creating awesome products if there is no future planet to enjoy them in!
Talk us through how you landed on these choices; what was the process like for sourcing, testing, and selecting the materials?
After extensive research, we landed on sugar cane as the best choice for our George tube. Not all sugar cane plastics are the same, so we had to undergo a lengthy (by important) process to ensure we found a manufacturer/ composition that met our unique (and specific) needs: This process can be divided into four steps.
1. Identify sugarcane plastic suppliers. i.e. many, many hours scouring the internet.
2. Request samples from suppliers. Once I identified a few sugarcane plastic suppliers, l requested samples of their products. This allowed me to test the material and see if it met our needs.
3. Test the sugarcane plastic. There are a number of tests we had to perform on the sugarcane plastic to see if it is suitable for our products.
These tests include:
• Mechanical testing: assesses the strength and durability of the material.
• Chemical testing: assesses the composition of the material and ensures that it is free of harmful substances.
• Performance testing: assesses how the material performs in different conditions, such as heat, cold, and humidity.
4. The final verdict – we chose a supplier with the best product for our George!
Additional considerations when sourcing and testing:
• The cost of sugarcane plastic. Sugarcane plastic is often more expensive than traditional plastic. While initially, this could affect our profits, it was a risk I was willing to take to ensure we adhered to our sustainability mission.
• The availability of sugarcane plastic. Sugarcane plastic is not yet widely available as traditional plastic.
• The performance of sugarcane plastic. Sugarcane plastic has similar properties to traditional plastic. However, sugarcane plastic is not as strong as traditional plastic. This means sugarcane plastic may not be suitable for all haircare packaging products.
Can sugarcane plastic be recycled?
It sure can! This is a big ‘Pro’ of this packaging choice! Ensure you rinse out the tube, then chuck it in your council recycling bin!
How long did this sustainable packaging take?
One year was a long process, but it was worth the time and energy to ensure a quality, sustainable product.
Because we’re cheeky – can you hint at any exciting things that are coming?
We care about transforming your hair routine from start to finish, including the tools you use! We are currently working on some brushes/ tools, looking at ways to make them more eco-friendly while still maintaining their performance.