‘No perfect solution to sustainable packaging’: Naveen on navigating the loopholes of waste reduction
Naveen is the first skin care brand from Taiwanese manufacturer EverGoods Global, which claims to have set up the first organic factory in Taiwan seven years ago. Today that facility is able to produce organic, vegan and halal cosmetic products.
“Back then, there were no cosmetic factories in Taiwan that could meet the standard to get the certification. However, we really saw the potential for truly organic cosmetic products, so we decided to be the one to open an organic factory,” said Karen Kung, CTO of Naveen.
Since then, Kung told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that “thinking green” has become part of its company and brand DNA.
“People usually think that organic just refers to the ingredients when in fact the scope is much larger. We had to rethink our waste management, our packaging and even our disinfection materials. Cheap bleach is out of the question because it puts the environment at risk,” she explained.
It subsequently went onto launch Naveen, an organic beauty and personal care brand that caters to everyone in the family.
“Most organic lines are specific to women, men or children. We try to combine everything so that when you shop with Naveen, you can shop for the whole family. We’re currently working on new lines for teens and seniors,” said Kung.
The quest for a solution
Today, one of the company’s biggest focus is trying to reduce packaging waste partly because its consumers in Europe are demanding for greener packaging.
“Naveen is now available in several European countries like the UK, Finland and Sweden. We’re also in talks with people in France. We’re trying to expand our business in Europe right now, where issues like sustainability and eco-friendly packaging are a big concern for consumers,” said Kung.
According to Kung, the quest has been an uphill battle so far.
“We’ve been trying to solve this packaging issue for over two years now. It’s our biggest focus. We have been studying the options available and making our calculations, but so far, there is no perfect solution to sustainable packaging.”
She noted that even the seemingly straightforward solutions are not the answer.
“Plastic is obviously very controversial, and some people think switching to glass is the answer. But even then, we have to consider the amount of water that goes into the production of glass. There are a lot of such loopholes.”
With no perfect answer on the horizon, Kung said the company is now exploring refillable options.
“Right now, we’re looking into refillable packaging. We think that might be the way to go to minimise waste.”
Another issue the company faces is excess of packaging that comes with sheet masks, which are typically individually encased in a packet.
“Asians love their sheet masks so it's important for us to ensure the cotton we use is organic and completely biodegradable. We have achieved that, but we are still working on the packaging. We’re looking at reducing the material or making the packet resealable. There’s still more exploring to do,” said Kung.