GnW: Our Methods
There’s a sad irony in the fact that the same products we use to clean our bodies and households are doing so much to dirty the environment. We believe that the road to sustainability begins at home, which is why we’re endeavouring to supply you with essential products which help to upkeep both your immediate and your natural environment. There are a few ways in which our business model allows us to do this:
- Our shorter supply chain.
Companies with sprawling supply chains – stretching from the manufacturer, to the brand, to the distributor, to the retailer, before eventually reaching the customer – represent a greater burden on the environment. Not only does this business model require greater travel-time, it’s also far more difficult to effectively reform: improving a five- or six-step process requires a prohibitive amount of effort and resources. Given that this multi-step model is adhered to by the vast majority of brands supplying household essentials to mainstream retailers, the entire sector has found itself unable to effectively institute green reforms: it is caught in an ecologically-damaging deadlock. Our model, by contrast, involves only two steps; we ship directly from the manufacturer to your door. By eliminating at least three links in the supply chain, we are able to vastly reduce the carbon footprint of our products when compared with other popular brands. And whilst we have great faith in our present methods, they are not set in stone: should members of our community suggest a more sustainable alternative, our two-step model will be far easier to adapt than one which involves a greater number of stages.
- Our sustainable packaging
We put extensive research into selecting the exact nature of the materials used to package our products. Ultimately, we decided to make our bottles from 97% PCR (Post Consumer Resins), with 3% white additive. This is by no means a perfect solution, but we are confident that it is the most sustainable option available. The nature of PCR as recycled plastic makes it among the greenest packaging available on the market. And whilst other options exist – notably biodegradable materials, sugarcane (or bioplastics), and pouches – we found that each of these alternatives had major downsides. Biodegradable materials, for example, release methane when they break down: so whilst they take up less space in the environment, they also have a larger carbon footprint than is immediately obvious. Similarly, though bioplastics or sugarcane are preferable to petroleum-based virgin plastic, the fact that they are generally shipped from Brazil rules PCR the more environmentally sound option. Finally, although pouches use considerably less plastic, they are almost always made from multiple materials, and are therefore extremely difficult to recycle.
- Our refusal to greenwash
What is Greenwashing? Greenwashing is the process by which companies and corporations falsely present their products as environmentally friendly. As ecological awareness has increased among the general public, this cynical marketing scheme has become an increasingly common practice. The desire to combat this damaging trend was part of our motivation in establishing Green n White. Though we have no doubt whatsoever as to the quality of our products, you won’t ever hear us describe our ingredients as ‘natural’, or ‘naturally-derived’, or ‘non-toxic’. We feel that these phrases have lost what little meaning they ever had as a result of their being chronically misused by corporate entities. A lack of sufficient legislation regulating the use of such terms has, in our view, facilitated what amounts to a loosely organised disinformation campaign perpetrated upon the general public. ‘Naturally-derived’, for example, is a term which is so vague as to be almost meaningless: if you go back far enough in their history, aren’t all things naturally-derived? We don’t want to deal in corporate buzzwords. We prize honesty and openness in our supply chain. That’s why we recommend our members examine our ingredients on their own terms, rather than through the distorting lens of the language of greenwashing.