Being better for the planet is at the core of the Krī principals. It’s the very reason this company exists. I started this journey after realising the impact ingredients and packaging in personal care products present to our environment. I didn’t want to keep contributing to that problem.
We are not perfect, and we still have a lot of work to do. As a small business, our limited buying power restricts us from making more impactful changes faster than we would like. But we strongly believe that by taking seriously our commitment to the environment, reducing waste, taking care of people and listening to our customers, we can use our business as a force for good. All the while, making effective products that our customers want to use.
Ultimately, Krī stands for purpose.
- Rupa Wincell, Founder
Despite a tumultuous year with subdued growth due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Krī Skincare donated 20% of gross profits to good causes in 2020. We also reinvested profits into more sustainable packaging and processes.
Of note, Krī donated all profits from hand sanitiser sales to Richard House Children’s Hospice in East London. Our directors personally matched that donation.
As part of our commitment to reducing our impact and promoting biodiversity, we donate towards the planting of trees with every online order. These funds support the non-profit Eden Reforestation Projects as they continue to reforest the island of Madagascar.
Packaging continues to be a major focus for us. Our customers expect us to use sustainable and recyclable materials, and for many, that is exactly the reason they made the switch to Krī.
Towards the end of 2019, we introduced a refill option to help customers reuse non-recyclable plastic dispensers. We also offer financial incentives to encourage customers to make the switch to refills. In 2020, 10.3% of all units were sold without plastic dispensers. We aim to at least double that number in 2021 with an increased customer engagement campaign.
As a direct-to-consumer business, the delivery packaging and unboxing is part of the experience for our customers. We've carefully selected materials that are either reusable, biodegradable or fully recyclable, primarily using cardboard and corn starch. An important step in 2020 was changing from tape and laminated labels to removable uncoated paper labels.
As we focus on new product development for 2021, we've already engaged our customers on packaging expectations through quantitative surveys and written feedback. Our customer feedback has always and will continue to help guide our decision-making.
In 2020 we focused on economies of scale by reducing the number of short shelf-life ingredients in our products and by buying in bulk. This helped to reduce unnecessary air and road transportation and excessive package waste for smaller, lower volume ingredients.
If we are required to buy ingredients that are transported by air, we offset our emissions by donating to a carbon offset scheme.
We also continue to consider our carbon impact. Heat and energy output from the production of products can be intense. We reformulated and switched from hot- to cold-processing of two of our cleansers, significantly minimising the energy required for products that are intended to be washed down the sink.
Moving forward, all new product development will consider reduced energy consumption, with cold-process manufacturing taking priority.
The impact of our delivery partners is also important to us. In addition to continuing our relationship with Royal Mail, we selected our secondary delivery carrier - DPD - based on the company’s strong commitment to being carbon neutral.
Skincare should not outlast us. Yet the plastic particles found within many personal care products will take hundreds - or even thousands - of years to break down into harmless molecules. During that time, the consequences for the surrounding environment can be dire.
Fully biodegradable raw materials that will not persist in the environment after the product's end-of-life are at the core of our formulating values.
We carefully evaluate every potential ingredient until we are satisfied there is sufficient research on its efficacy and biodegradability. If the data are ambiguous, we err on the side of caution.
We recognise this stance sometimes limits popular ingredients that would normally be a core part of a skincare line targeted at a mature audience, but we stand by our guiding values and instead seek out sustainable and biodegradable alternatives that are backed by scientific research.
2020 was a difficult year that slowed down our ability to do better, with major supply chain issues and Brexit preparedness putting additional pressure on the company. Despite what felt like a continuous firefight, we made progress in our efforts to be a leading sustainable skincare brand.
2021 is a year of opportunity and growth as increasing numbers of consumers become aware of the sustainability challenges posed by personal care products. We will be adding new categories of products to our range, all of which are being developed with sustainability at the forefront.