Introducing Acala: Wellness for you and the planet
By Hanna Pumfrey
After Blue Planet 2 it would seem that plastic has gone out of fashion. Way out of fashion! In my life, I have made many changes to ‘de-plastic’ our home and make better choices when out shopping. A glance in my bathroom cabinet though tells me plastic clearly hasn’t gone out of the health and beauty industry. For all the current media hype and talk about limiting plastic use from bottles, food packaging and carrier bags, it feels like no one is mentioning beauty products. The focus, in the beauty industry, continues to be on organic and natural. All hugely important but largely focused around what is good for us humans as opposed to what is also good for our environment.
I had a huge "a-ha" moment a little while ago whilst, of all the glamorous activities, taking out the rubbish. As I tipped it into the chute I realised that 90% of the waste was from 'bathroom items'. My brain immediately went to, "Wow! That's just one week. That's a lot of waste per year. Surely the benefits of the 'natural' and organic' properties of these products on my health is outweighed by the amount of plastic packaging that I am committing to landfill.' While it may seem like a simple thought, it was a big wake-up call that led me to expand my definition of sustainability and what it really means to consume in a way that is beneficial for your body and the planet.
Is the beauty industry a Bermuda triangle for packaging? Contact lenses, creams, lipsticks, bronzers, foundations, mascaras, facial oils, liquid soaps, shampoos and body washes. Everything getting landfilled or ending up in our seas and oceans daily.
In the beauty industry, fancy packaging is a sign of product success. Did you know that lipstick cases are weighed down so that they feel expensive but become un-recyclable? The jazzier the product packaging the more waste. In my experience though, finding alternatives is HARD! And with our busy work and personal lives, few of us have the time to hunt around for eco-options.
Those of you who are regular readers of Flor + Cesta know that I am passionate about finding alternatives to make the lives we lead more sustainable, without having to make big lifestyle changes. So, I am super excited to today be introducing you to the project I have been working on for the last few months: Acala.
An online store offering an extensive range of natural, organic and vegan health and beauty products from leading brands. Think eco-friendly Boots and you're on the right lines. The store will stock everything from skincare, suncare, dental and personal hygiene products to refillable cosmetics and travel items. All Acala products are responsibly packaged. I will be offering customers refills and plastic free packaging options wherever possible. I will be focused on using biodegradable and compostable packaging to take plastic right out of the equation as much as possible! Where plastic is currently used, I will be working with brands and suppliers on finding alternative, more-easily recycled or biodegradable options.
My goal through Acala is to make buying your toiletries and cosmetics consciously as easy and as accessible to all as popping into a high-street store. It’s all about easy switches and products that provide you the same experience as you have with the brands you currently use. Alongside the store, you can look forward to events and workshops to empower you with knowledge of sustainable alternatives to the things in life you love. As well as make you proud to be part of a movement for a better future.
Events will help you tune into nature and important topics. Giving you a safe space to express yourself and fun. Having fun is key to life at Acala! My promise to Acala’s customers is to provide them with all the tools and products they need to create a better, happier, SUSTAINABLE environment for themselves. And to make sure we all have fun whilst doing it! I will always provide the most environmentally friendly and cruelty free products on the market. Package them in the most economical way possible, and ship them with the smallest carbon footprint I can.
I promise 100% transparency from the store and the brands it works with. I will only work with brands offering natural and cruelty free products that are good for you and the planet. I will also work with my suppliers to continually improve the sustainability of their packaging and processes. All suppliers must sign my stringent supplier code of conduct before I agree to stock them.
The name Acala is of Indian - Sanskrit origins and means ‘the immovable one’. Pronounced 'A- Cah- La'. And our logo (the two triangles) is a minimalist symbol for balance or equilibrium.
It symbolises how we view the world and our role in it.
Acala exists to provide immovable balance between people and planet. It is with this constant equilibrium between us and nature that we can secure our sustainable future.
So what do you think? I want Acala to be the answer to your eco-friendly bathroom needs, all in one place so your feedback is key! I’ll be sharing more updates over the next few weeks and plan to launch the website at the end of April.
In the meantime, any questions, queries, thoughts suggestions, woop woops because you can’t wait to see the store, please do drop a comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to hear from you!!!
To be the first to hear when we go live you can register for the Acala mailing list here.