Just because we’ve been thinking hard about sustainability for over forty years doesn’t mean it’s any easier to know what’s right.
As in nature, there is an ever shifting balance to maintain — and that requires ecological thinking. A constant reassessment of what ‘sustainability’ means today. There is no such thing as ‘best’. Only ‘best for now’. Below is our best-for-now — but behind the scenes, we’re always working on our best-for-tomorrow.
Our 400ml bottles have been recycled and recyclable since 1999. It’s why they’ve always had that funny grey tinge. Because if we’re going to use plastics (and unfortunately we do still need to), then we want to ensure that as much of that plastic as possible is already in existence. One day, we hope we’ll find a way to ditch it for good. Until then we’re doing all we can to use as little of it as we can.
Bulk is beautiful
We’ve been making our products in big 5 litre bottles for decades — but it’s only recently that people have really started buying them from us. And we’re so glad they do because the maths is pretty simple: the bigger the bottle, the bigger the difference it makes. Our 5 litre bottles hold the equivalent of 12.5 smaller bottles. And our whopping 20 litre bottles hold the equivalent of 50 smaller ones. Yes, the bigger bottles use thicker plastic — but they still use substantially less plastic than the combined volume of the smaller bottles. So whether you refill at home or refill at one of our many refill stores, refill really does mean less landfill.
We want our bottles back
We tie ourselves in knots trying to close the loop on our products — and have been trying to figure out how best to do this since before ‘closed loop’ was a thing. Previous attempts have looked good, then not so good. So right now, we’re back to trialling new methods — and by returning your bottles to us, you help us reach better solutions, faster.
Our hope is that very soon all large format bottles returned to us can either be washed and refilled or ground down and remoulded. For smaller bottles, the best way to close the loop at home is by refilling them over and over again.
The moon on a stick
Between our plastics policy, refill availability and closed loop scheme, we like to think we’re passing on as little of the plastics problem to our customers as possible. But the gold standard in not passing on the problem is zero waste. That’s right. Products with absolutely zero plastic footprint. And our shampoo bars and conditioner bars do just that. Zero plastic. Zero sulphates. And zero compromises on great hair days. It’s why you might sometimes hear us refer to them as our moon-on-a-stick-haircare-bars. (Because when the planet’s on the line, only the moon on a stick will do).
Less is more
You’ll notice our ingredients lists are short. And there’s a good reason for that: the less we need to complicate the process, the less of an impact we make. Just as in nature, we aim to be as effective and as efficient as possible.
Just a trace. But all traceable.
There is a trace amount of palm in some of our products — and even though it’s all 100% RSPO approved, we still agonise over its use. Palm’s big problem is that it’s so efficient. In other words, to produce the same amount of oil from, say, sunflowers would require twenty times the land-mass. So it’s an incredibly complicated issue and one we wish there was an easy answer for.
Often, but not always…
While many of our ingredients are organic, we’re not a certified organic product. Since 1974, our aim has been to make natural products affordable for everyone. And while organic produce continues to become more accessible, it can still be prohibitively expensive for our needs. When we can go organic, we do. But when we can’t, we choose the best quality, sustainable alternative.
Thinking global, acting local
All of our products are made in our UK home, just outside of Manchester. It means a great deal to us to keep manufacturing on home soil — and continuing to employ many of the same people who’ve worked with us for so long that they’re probably as surprised as anyone that we’re now the UK’s largest manufacturer of natural products. Our Lancashire site also means we benefit from beautiful water, straight from the Lake District. Yet another reason not to leave.
Crunching the numbers
It’s impossible to lessen your impact on the world if you don’t first know how big that impact is. We’re in the process of crunching all of those numbers and we’ll publish them as soon as the scientists have done their bit. We’re also in the process of moving to a new site (just down the road!) — where green manufacturing processes are literally the foundation of the site’s build. We’ve never been more excited by reams of raw data — and we look forward to sharing it with you all as soon as we can.
Still a family business
Independent since 1974
If it wasn’t for Rivka’s independent thinking, way back in 1974, we’d never even be here. Such was her belief that natural, cruelty free, ethical products should be affordable to all that she pawned her jewellery to start Faith In Nature. That independence still runs strong in our DNA — and being an independent company means that we’re only answerable to you, the planet and ourselves. It means we’re free to make the difficult decisions. Free to swim against the tide. Free to do what we believe will create the best ethical, sustainable, natural products we possibly can.