So, let’s start with the scary truth…. We will eventually run out of fossil fuels, animal species will become extinct, and we will destroy our atmosphere beyond repair - If we don’t change! The secret of that change is understanding and working towards sustainability in our homes, communities, ecosystems, and everywhere around the world. Sustainable refers to how a product is developed as well as how it is used, which consequently results in improved sustainability. The usage of the product life span must be increased and the production processes be decreased, resulting in a reduction of the environmental impact and ecological footprint. Production needs to, through clean technologies and best practices, use renewable or recycled materials that stay “healthy” throughout it’s life cycle. In short, products and packaging should therefore, - at the same time as serving our current needs and demands, - not jeopardise or compromise the future for our next generation and their respective needs.
That’s why at Lilou et Loic we present our Home Fragrance collection as well as Bath & Body products in beautiful, environmentally friendly glass decanters and jars that are refillable. Not only are we using glass as it is an environmentally friendly material, but the glass is also hand made to reduce the carbon footprint. As many as possible out of the unnecessary machines and factory processes would have been cut out and eliminated for this purpose. We refuse to think that aesthetics need to be compromised in a sustainable age like today. Rather the opposite! We have taken a step backwards and decided to produce our glass by local artisans where the glass is mouth blown, with excellent attention to details. The decanters and jars are designed for customers to fall in love with and to become a keepsake for life and to be refilled over and over again. We call it “one of a life-time” – A true love!
We try to support and work with smaller suppliers as we feel they are in line with the eco trends as by default they normally run smaller production runs in less harmful factories.
There are of course many challenges for small to medium size businesses like us and this is something we are working to overcome and improve but with an ever-changing political climate and different advise and directions, sadly not enough companies subscribe to the current green trends. Because the concept is relatively new to many, the minimum quantities are still huge which makes it difficult to meet for smaller brands. This can often bring the price up as storing stock is costly and time consuming. The constant changes and improvements can therefor mean that companies end up with excess stock when a new trend emerges from new research, discovering a better approach to sustainability and green trends. It’s hard for brands to follow suit and constantly adapt and stay in front with this fast moving and constantly improving new research.
Due to the choice and restrictions of materials to use in a sustainable climate, the look and feel of products can of course be compromised. The challenge here is to be creative and use glass for example which is what we do at Lilou et Loic. There are always ways around it, but this in itself can be costly and add to the final retail price if the material is more expensive. However, we hope this is a price worth paying. But in a competitive sector like the beauty and skin care industry, where packaging and first impression is very important, one has to stand out in an original and eye catching way. Hence our design of over-sized, decadent and mouth blown glass containers. So beautiful and elegant but at the same time environmentally friendly and sustainable.
It’s of course a fine balance between Environment, Social culture and Profit and economies and this is what we and the sector try to do our end. However, more could be done to educate customers on how to recycle and to think about consumer trends and their own choices. Some countries, take Indonesia for example, produce so much, and yet don’t seem to believe in recycling which is only at 2% in urban areas. We think Governments should take charge, educate and also subsidise efforts and initiatives carried out by the beauty and skin care sector. There should be a global directive for all countries who must all be working towards the same goal in similar ways. Together we would see a much bigger change and a much faster improvement in such an urgent and important challenge. With more incentives and help, which I am sure is already underway (even where only at an early stage as a curious thought or concerned conscience), we will make the necessary change to save this planet.
Malin Wright – Creative Director at Lilou et Loic