As in nature, there is an ever shifting balance to maintain — and that requires an ever-evolving approach to thinking through the issues around sustainability; a constant reassessment of what ‘sustainability’ means today. There is no such thing as ‘best’, only what is ‘best for now’. Below is our best-for-now — but behind the scenes, we’re always working on our best-for-tomorrow.
Our 400ml bottles have been recycled and recyclable since 1999 which is why they’ve always had a funny grey tinge. If we’re going to use plastics (and unfortunately we do still need to), then we want to ensure that as much of that plastic as possible is already in existence by ensuring we only use post-consumer waste plastics. One day, we hope we’ll find a way to get rid plastic use at Faith In Nature for good. Until then we’re doing all we can to use as little as we can.
We’ve been making our products in big 5 litre bottles for decades — but it’s only recently that home users have really started demanding bulk buy sizes from us. We’re so glad about this because the math is pretty simple: the bigger the bottle, the bigger the difference it makes to our plastic reduction efforts. Our 5 litre bottles hold the equivalent of 12.5 smaller bottles. And our huge 20 litre bottles hold the equivalent of 50 smaller ones. Yes, the bigger bottles use thicker plastic — but they still use substantially less plastic than the combined volume of the smaller bottles.
Between our plastics policy, refill availability and closed loop scheme, we like to think we’re passing on as little of the plastics problem to our customers as possible. But the gold standard in not passing on the problem is zero waste. That’s right. Products with absolutely zero plastic footprint. And our shampoo bars and conditioner bars do just that. Zero plastic. Zero sulphates. And zero compromises on great hair days. It’s why you might sometimes hear us refer to them as our moon-on-a-stick-haircare-bars. (Because when the planet’s on the line, only the moon on a stick will do).
You’ll notice our ingredients lists are short. There’s a good reason for that; the less we need to complicate the process with a long list of ingredients in our formulas, the less of an impact we make on the environment with the products we offer. Just as in nature, we aim to be as effective and as efficient as possible.
There is a trace amount of palm oil in some of our products — and even though the palm oil we use is 100% RSPO approved, we still agonize over its use. Palm is an efficient crop that uses less space to produce a high yield, for instance, to produce the same amount of oil from, say, sunflowers would require twenty times the land-mass which has an unexpected environmental impact of its own. Palm oil use in beauty products is an incredibly complicated issue and one we wish there was an easy solution for. We won’t stop until we get to the correct answer.
While many of our ingredients are organic, we don’t produce certified organic products. Since 1974, our aim has been to make natural products affordable for everyone. While organic produce continues to become more accessible, it can still be prohibitively expensive for our production needs. When we can go organic, we do, and when we can’t we choose the best quality, sustainable alternative.
All Faith In Nature products are made in our UK home, just outside the city of Manchester. It means a great deal to us to keep manufacturing on home soil — and it means a lot to us to be able to continue to employ many of the same people who’ve worked with us for so long that they’re probably as surprised as anyone that we’d ever become the UK’s No.1 natural hair care brand (Ecovia UK NPCP Report 2020).
It’s impossible to lessen your impact on the planet if you don’t know how big that impact is in the first place. We’re in the process of crunching the numbers to give us our baseline and we’ll publish them as soon as the scientists have done their bit. We’re also in the process of moving to a new manufacturing site where green manufacturing processes are at the very heart of the site’s build. We’ve never been more excited by reams of raw data — and we look forward to sharing it with you all as soon as we can.
If it wasn’t for our founder Rivka’s independent thinking way back in 1974, we’d wouldn’t even be in production to this day. Such was her belief that natural, cruelty free, ethical products could and should be affordable to everyone, that she pawned her jewellery to start Faith In Nature. That independence of spirit still runs strong in our DNA — being an independent company even 45+ years later means that we’re only answerable to our customers, the planet and ourselves. This means we’re free to make difficult decisions and stand by them. Free to swim against the tide. Free to do what we believe will create the best ethical, sustainable, natural products we possibly can.