‘No real end’: NZ’s Olive Natural Skincare eco mission continues after launching first recyclable packaging
Established in 2001, Olive Natural Skincare is a New Zealand-based company that offers natural skin care and baby care products.
Recently, the company announced that its business operations were certified Zero Carbon by the independent agency Ekos in New Zealand. The Ekos Zero Carbon certification ensures that the operation has measured and offset 100% of its CO2 emissions.
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia, CEO Mark Green said the firm’s sustainability journey was a big project. “This is really a journey for us – no real beginning and no real end.”
The company has multiple objectives such as cutting down its electricity usage and possible converting to alternative energy sources like solar.
Olive is also set to launch its new eco-conscious packaging designs, which are almost fully recyclable, save for the pump components.
Green told us that the company has been extremely satisfied with the new recyclable packaging but is continuing its sustainable packaging development.
“We're pretty much at the forefront of what people can achieve these days with recyclable packaging, but we were now looking more at the front end of using recycled plastic.”
However, stepping away from virgin plastic has brought about difficulties the company had not expected.
“That’s been more of a challenge than I thought. Recycled plastic is really difficult to get a hold of, so we’ve been exploring the possibility of acquiring our own blow moulder to make our own bottles and finding our own source of recycled plastic pellets. If we’re just blowing one size and shape, I think we could probably do it reasonably efficiently,” said Green.
Another packaging solution the natural beauty company is exploring is bioplastics but is also approaching it with some caution.
“We’re looking at bioplastics, which are made from renewable resources, so we are a bit hesitant. We don’t want to end up using resources that are causing rainforests to be chopped down so other crops can grow to we can get our bioplastics,” said Green.
The company has been exploring the use of bioplastics made from waste products from other industries like food.
“We’ve seen some interesting work being done with sugarcane. We have some interest going in that sort of direction,” said Green.
‘Onwards and upwards’
After being acquired two years ago, Olive embarked on an ambitious project to enter the US market. However, its plans were derailed as it coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19.
“For the first 12 to 18 months, we were knocked around by COVID as we tried to get established in a new market. That’s mainly behind us now – onwards and upwards,” said Green.
Today, the brand is well represented in the US, with a presence in just under 3,000 retail outlets through pharmacy chains CVS and Rite Aid.
This year, the company hopes to expand further in the US. It is currently in talks with a large retail chain which would help to significantly expand its presence in the country.
“They're very interested in our positioning and our products. The opportunity would be absolutely huge for us,” said Green.
Additionally, the company hopes it can expand into the natural and organic retail sector in the US.
Olive is focused on offline retail in the US at the moment but does have an online presence in the form of its own official website and Amazon.
“At the moment, we are more traditional retail-oriented, but I think in three to five years’ time, online would be incredibly important for us,” said Green.