Limiting plastic dependency: WOW Skin Science sets goal to use less than 50% of virgin plastic by 2023
WOW Skin Science is the subsidiary of consumer goods firm Body Cupid, which also owns personal care and wellness brands such as Shaving Station and WOW Life Science.
Currently, about 20% of the plastic the firm uses are post-consumer resin (PCR) and hopes to use less than 50% of virgin plastic by next year.
Co-CEO Manish Chowdhary told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that it was now table stakes for personal care companies to factor sustainability into the development of their products.
“Our consumers are getting very cognizant about eco-responsibility. The Gen Zs and millennials especially want to know you build great products and they also want to know what you are doing for the environment.”
The company most recently relaunched their bestselling Vitamin C Face Wash in a paper tube that uses 45% less plastic.
“We’re not saying its 100%, but it’s a start and the objective is to reduce it. In the next 24 months, we hope to be able to be 75% less dependant on plastic for that product,” said Chowdhary.
Chowdhary elaborated that it was still facing many challenges in this transition. For instance, he noted that the paper tube has a lot of limitations at its current stage.
“The paper tube took us around 18 to 24 months to test. It’s a paper tube so we had to test how water would affect it after six or seven months and we found it can start to crumble then. Which is why this paper tube must be used for a product that consumers use really fast, like a face wash.”
Moving forward, the company is working on redesigning the plastic cap on the paper tube, which is currently not biodegradable. One of the solutions the company is exploring is to make it reusable.
“If you ask me, refilling and reusing could be the most sustainable solution. You got to ensure that the consumer can use it two to three times before they buy another pack, so its about how we can entice consumers to reuse those bottles,” said Chowdhary.
The company has previously launched a range of face washes with a built-in brush head and a refill pack.
“The refill pack is made with 100% PCR and with the built-in brush we encourage consumers to reuse the bottles and not throw it away,” said Chowdhary.
In addition to this, the brand is making small tweaks to its packaging to make it more environmentally friendly. For instance, it has started moving away from foils and metallisation.
“We’ve started to move away from glossy foils and make our packaging more earthy. These are some things we must consider because we got good looking products – so how do you scale down to something that may not look as glamourous?” said Chowdhary.
Furthermore, the company is working on new initiatives that can help boost the firm’s eco-credentials. For instance, it has recently started to send out seed packets with its orders.
“Last month, we sent marigold and now its spinach. We get so many Instagram images of people building up their own [garden] so that’s very nice,” said Chowdhary.
He added that the firm was gearing up to launch a programme that will allow consumers to return empty bottles for recycling.
“This is a programme we are starting in April. The consumer can just bring in the [empty packaging] and we will see to it that they are recycled properly on our end.”