In a time where people are becoming increasingly environmentally conscience and understand the impacts of plastic on our environment, health and wellness experts join in with Plastic Free July to help make our environment a better place to live in.
We spoke to four health and wellness experts about their contribution to reducing the use of plastic in our environment:
Dr Lewis Ehrlich, Holistic Dentist – Sydney Holistic Dental Centre
"I use a biodegradable toothbrush or electric toothbrush. We are meant to change our #toothbrush every 3 months or after we have been unwell In Australia, we use about 30 million toothbrushes a year, all of which eventually go to landfill. If you decide to make the switch like I have, keep your old toothbrushes as cleaning utensils around the house rather than throwing them out. If you are concerned about going back to a manual brush put your #dentist to work and get them to spend the time going over good brushing technique. Do the right thing by your teeth and the environment."
Ali Cotton – Designer and founder First Base, ethical and sustainable Sports Lifestyle Brand
At First Base we are constantly working towards being a fully ethical and sustainable sports lifestyle brand. Solving the packaging problem as a fashion brand has been a priority from the get go. All our good are individually packed in plastic bags and that's thousands of bags each year that would ultimately go to landfill, and that is not cool! We researched many options for a more sustainable solution and landed on biodegradable poly bags. All of our poly bags are now made fromD2W Biodegradable plastic, which will degrade completely within 3-5 years and leave no harmful traces in the environment.
Lauren Vickers – Model, Personal Trainer and founder of eco-friendly activewear Paco Loves Luna
Made using recycled plastic bottles to create lightweight, quick dry eco-friendly clothing for women - Paco Loves Luna showcases activewear for all shapes & sizes, including maternity and plus sizes. Following her love of fitness, beauty and activewear Lauren Vickers is weaving her worlds together and has launched online activewear store Paco Loves Luna.
The brand ranges from simple colours through to creative prints with all the fabrics being eco-friendly, even down to the stitching being hand sewn with 100% organic cotton. Paco Loves Luna brings comfortable and quality activewear to all forms of fitness, from your yoga class right through to your weights and cardio workouts. Lauren, along with Paco Loves Luna are looking forward to bringing more sustainable, eco-friendly options to Australian shores.
Heather Beekan Founder of the Natural and Australian Skin and oral care brand KOHLE
As a beauty brand, we've become really conscious of our impact on the environment, we're aware that our products have a lot of packaging and so now we look at how we can reduce and use more eco-friendly options. We steer away from standard shipping satchels and opt for bio-degradable satchels or boxes. In addition, when buying the ingredients to manufacture the products we purchase the exact amount that we need if we don't manage to use all the ingredients we put it aside to use in the next batch so there is no wastage.
Question: What inspired the creation of KOHLE?
Heather Beeken: For many years I used coconut oil orally and on my skin and couldn't believe the results. I told all my friends and family about the benefits, I loved the fact that a natural product could have such awesome results.
After hearing about charcoal powder I decided to give this ago, I was now aware of two powerful natural ingredients.
At the time of these discoveries there was a lack of gentle natural skincare and teeth whitening treatments on the market, I thought I can't be the only person looking for such products, alas KOHLE was born.
Question: How is KOHLE an ethical and sustainable lifestyle brand?
Heather Beeken: As a beauty brand, we've become really conscious of our impact on the environment, we're aware that our products have a lot of packaging and so now we're looking at how we can reduce this and use more eco-friendly options.
Question: How does KOHLE decrease their footprint by implementing plastic free practices?
Heather Beeken: We are steering away from standard shipping satchels and looking at bio-degradable satchels or boxes. We also no longer use bubble wrap but instead using an eco-friendly alternative. The paper we use is 100% recyclable, compostable, biodegradable and are either Sustainable Forestry (SFI) certified or made using recycled content.
The mouthwash, toothpaste and facemask packaging is made from PET, Polyethylene Terephthalate, known commonly as PET or PETE. As a raw material, PET is globally recognised as a safe, non-toxic, strong, lightweight, flexible material that is 100% recyclable.
We are currently sourcing new bio-degradable options for the toothbrush and floss sticks.
Question: How did you go about researching the best plastic-free alternative for your business?
Heather Beeken: Constant market research and looking at new initiatives on the market.
Question: How are you reducing your plastic consumption at home and in the office, this month?
Heather Beeken: Continuing to use reusable bags, using a Keep Cup and encouraging good recycling
Question: What's a typical day like, for you?
Heather Beeken: Most mornings start with posting on social; I'll then spend time fulfilling orders, answering customer queries, speaking with potential stockists and sourcing/researching product development.
Question: What's the biggest business challenge you've had to overcome at KOHLE?
Heather Beeken: All aspects of the business from concept through to development, manufacturing, packaging, design and media as a lone person has been immense to say the least!
However, I wouldn't change it for the world, the journey it has taken me on and the lessons I've learnt are invaluable.
Question: What's next for KOHLE?
Heather Beeken: Firstly we're planning on expanding the range and then we'd LOVE to see KOHLE partner with the most selective department stores and speciality retailers.
Interview by Brooke Hunter