Long-term goals: Bondi Sands committed to forging more sustainable path in the next three years
Founded in Australia, Bondi Sands first launched in August 2012 and is currently is available in markets such as the US and UK in addition to its home market.
In the past two years, the company has been working on taking a more sustainable approach to its business.
“We started looking at going into this direction probably two years ago now. For most of our products, the packaging is made out of multiple parts – like springs and such. We started to become very aware of our own footprint. We saw it as an opportunity as well, not just to create a product that was sustainable, but create a product that would work better,” said founder and CEO Blair James.
Last September, the company collaborated with packaging firm Quadpack to develop an airless packaging for its new SPF range, Hydra UV Protect.
Besides being PETA-certified and reef-friendly, the new range has a recyclable airless pump with a metal-free mechanism. The pack itself is entirely made from PP and PE, polymers that are widely recyclable.
The brand followed up with the launch of its PURE range of products at the beginning of January, which features 100% recyclable packaging with zero metal to limit the impact on our environment.
Over the next following years, the company is looking to update all its packaging to more sustainable options.
“Most of our packaging has already been converted over to PCR and we’ve tried to limit the number of components to actual packaging itself. Over the next few years, you will see our packaging adapt even further,” said James.
James said the goal was for the brand to become a sustainability leader and this meant looking beyond things like the packaging to develop truly green products.
“We’re not just looking at the packaging. Ingredients are something we’re looking at as well. We want to make sure what gets tipped down the drain has less impact on the environment. We also look at how we test our products and the manufactures we align with, what their values are and if it aligns with us.”
James told us the company intended to commit itself to its sustainability goals for the next three years.
“[Sustainability] has become a long-term goal for the brand. We have a number of goals we’re working toward over the next three years. When we talk about sustainability there are so many subjects to talk about. It's difficult to approach them all within a couple of years. That's why we've given ourselves a longer time frame.”
As part of the sustainability shift, the company is also placing emphasis on giving back by working with charities such as Take 3 for the Sea. For World Earth Day this year, it intends to allocate a percentage of its sales to the charity.
Taking the challenge
During the last few years, the company has faced a number of hurdles on its sustainability journey.
One of the major challenges was finding sustainable solutions that could live up to consumer expectations.
“There are some options we found that work well sustainably, but don’t work well or look as good. We believe that unless the sustainable option performs better and looks better, people will always revert back for a better experience,” said James.
On top of that, it also had issues trying to find suppliers that were willing to work with them to “investigate the options”, said James.
“A lot of big companies like to do things the way they’ve always done them. Sometimes we need them to source material for us, or even design something completely new for us. Quadpack, for instance, has been very much at the forefront of wanting to work with us terms of designing new packaging and even new tooling and mechanisms as well.”
James believes that there are now more sustainable options for brands out there in the market.
“For big brands, medium brands like us, or even new brands, it a lot easier today than it was two to three years ago. It’s really about making the decision to go down that road.”
He sees this as a sign that sustainability is becoming a standard in the industry. As such, he warned new brands against using sustainability as a brand positioning.
“If you design your brand around your point of difference in being sustainability. Eventually, that USP will disappear because everyone will have it. It's a no-brainer – you have to go with a sustainable approach from day one and make sure you work on your product and experience with the customer being as good as it can be.”