‘Challenging the narrative’: Eco brand WITHOUT aims to tackle greenwashing and natural skin care misconceptions

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

WITHOUT aims to challenge greenwashing and the belief that natural skin care is not efficacious. [WITHOUT]
WITHOUT aims to challenge greenwashing and the belief that natural skin care is not efficacious. [WITHOUT]

Related tags eco-conscious greenwashing Sustainability Skin care Australia

Australia’s eco-lifestyle brand Seed & Spout has developed zero-waste skin care range, WITHOUT, to challenge greenwashing and the belief that natural skin care is not efficacious.

WITHOUT is the company’s first entry into skin care. Founder Sophie Kovic told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that this was an extension of its solid personal care products.

“It’s something we’ve been slowly expanding into as part of our efforts to create low-waste, ethical and sustainable products for everyday use. For the past couple of years, we have been developing personal care products that fit within this ethos, particularly with our range of bars that celebrate and encourage sustainable alternatives.”

According to Kovic, this category has turned out to be a huge growth area for the company. Having successfully established itself in this niche, the company saw a major opportunity to build on it with a skin care range.

Launched in 2016, Seed & Sprout is a maker of environmentally friendly products ranging from food storage, laundry supplies, composting solutions, and personal care products.

“Seed & Sprout already had a cult following for these alternatives and we knew we could build on this niche with a curated skin care range… For so long consumers have been greenwashed by the industry and by products claiming to be natural, yet when you delve deeper, they really aren’t.”

Beyond developing a sustainable alternative, Kovic’s goal was to change the misconception some have about the efficacy of natural products.

“We are really going to be challenging the narrative on this. Sure, our products are natural, but given their purity and efficacy, we feel as though we sit in a whole other category altogether.

“We have carefully formulated our WITHOUT range using a host of natural, yet hardworking actives, along with antioxidants like vitamin C and nature’s alternative to retinol, bakuchiol. The base formula of our products also comprises Aloe leaf Juice instead of water which is unlike any other product in the market.”

WITHOUT currently comprises of four products: moisturiser, hydrating Mask and WITHOUT exfoliating mask, and serum. The products are vegan, dermatologically tested and packaged in a fully recyclable aluminium tube.

Kovic told us there were opportunities to develop more products to meet the consumer need for zero-waste skin care alternatives.

“There are so many products in the skin care industry that need a complete overhaul – from sunscreens through to makeup wipes, and we are constantly exploring what we can viably do in terms of product development… I’d like to say the sky is the limit, but we can sometimes be limited by the ingredients and raw materials available and ensuring that the options are kind to the planet.”

The company had already experienced several hurdles in developing its first four products to be in line with its ethos.

“This certainly was a challenge given that we weren’t willing to budge on our mission of creating clean products without waste. Adding in synthetics is a very easy and cost-effective alternative which is why so many skin care brands do it. For us though, that was a non-negotiable, we weren’t ever going to give in until we found the perfect ingredients and formulas that aligned with our company ethos of ethical and sustainable products,” ​said Kovic.

“As we roll out our WITHOUT range. we will be speaking with our customers to understand what they need in terms of skincare and hopefully be able to respond to those demands.”

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