We challenge ourselves to MAKE IT BETTER at every step and with every action. This means we make products that benefit you, but that also have a positive impact on wider society and the broader environment throughout their production, use and beyond.
Outside of the many immediate and long-lasting benefits of our products for your body and home, we work to MAKE IT BETTER in these ways:
Plastic Free and Zero Waste
We take the problem of plastic pollution and waste extremely seriously, and strive to remove plastic from all areas of our operations, from input materials through to finished product, and to be waste-free in ALL areas of our production. (Details on how we do this are below.)
Thoughtfully selected ingredients
We choose our ingredients with tremendous care, striking an ever-shifting balance between key priorities. We look for ingredients that are:
- simple, naturally-occurring and minimally processed
- organically farmed whenever possible
- ethically and sustainably sourced
- as local as possible
You can read more about our ingredient choices here.
Spreading the word
We encourage people to make their own products at home, thus avoiding all packaging and helping to decrease waste and toxins in their lives. In support of this we have produced a highly informative and practically helpful website and blog – www.spotlessliving.info – filled with recipes and a host of other practical tips and information. The Spotless site reflects years of work with the sole aim of helping individuals to eliminate toxic chemicals, pollution and waste from our world. It is a respected and popular resource regularly referred to locally and internationally.
We visit schools and groups by invitation to empower individuals and spread the word on how to take care of body and home without the use of harmful, synthetic chemicals, industrial processing and wasteful packaging.
Plastic Free and Zero Waste – what exactly do we do?
Wherever possible, we source our ingredients and other inputs in plastic free or package free form, supplying our own containers for filling. We favour suppliers who can dispense ingredients free of plastic or packaging. We re-use as much packaging material that we receive from suppliers as we can, and recycle or eco-brick the rest.
- All our cleaning products are packaged without the use of ANY plastic. We use paper and compostable bio-plastic for all our dry products, and reusable glass and metal for our liquids.
- Our body products are packaged in reusable glass and metal almost exclusively. The ONLY exceptions are:
- the plastic spray pumps used on a few products, for which we can find no alternative to date. To mitigate this, we sell refills of all these products, which come with a metal screw cap, so that you can re-use the spray pump from your initial purchase, or decant the refill into a spray bottle you may already have.
- our Secret Weapon roll-ons, which come with a plastic lid. We are constantly on the look-out for an alternative to these. If you know of a supplier who could help us with this, please let us know!
- We support the zero waste and plastic free movements at every opportunity, supplying several zero waste and plastic free retailers with our products. We are always thrilled to supply our products completely package free – i.e. for customers to dispense into their own containers – and do so whenever possible.
- Returns: We gladly accept ALL returned packaging for re-use. To encourage this, we offer discounts or refunds for returned packaging.
Other ways we avoid waste
- We use only biodegradable packaging and packaging materials when packing our orders
- We forage all boxes and much of the packaging materials we use for packing orders, diverting clean but pre-used boxes, paper, cardboard etc. from landfill
- We compost all our spent plant materials
- We eco-brick all soft plastic packaging sent to us as packaging material by suppliers
- We re-purpose containers sent to us by suppliers for re-use internally
- We choose our ingredients with great care so as to avoid waste and pollution throughout the chain of production.
We think carefully about the impact each choice we make has on other species. We NEVER test our products on animals. Much of our range is vegan, and the ONLY animal-made products we use are raw, local honey and beeswax from Cape hives. Our honey and beeswax are sourced from bee-keepers who care deeply about bees and who work to support, sustain and protect bees.
Our extensive research into beeswax alternatives has consistently led us to the conclusion that using plant-based alternatives ironically often has far-reaching negative impacts on many species of animals. Plant-based waxes such as soy are often heavily processed and intensively farmed, destroying and polluting wild habitats.
All of our products are benign and beneficial when released into the environment, whether they end up finally in seas, freshwater, soils, or food chains. Because of this, we can be sure that using them will not result in unintended negative consequences to other species.
Working in the water-scarce Western Cape, we are acutely aware of the preciousness of water. All the water we use in our products is collected directly from the Newlands Spring on Table Mountain. We are very careful with our use of water in production, and have developed several products to help individuals cut down on water use, notably our range of Desert Dust dry shampoos.
We are passionate about protecting the oceans and use our sunscreen brand RAspect, as a platform to educate surfers about several issues around chemical and plastic pollution. We’ve published a series of articles on Wavescape to this end (e.g. Hawaii Set To Ban Sunscreen)
We make every one of our products ourselves, by hand and in small batches, here in Observatory, Cape Town. The same goes for our packaging: we do a lot in-house and we outsource some to a protective workshop for the mentally challenged, in Fish Hoek. We value handwork over automation and hope to offer meaningful and rewarding employment to more people as we slowly continue to grow.
Sourcing our inputs as locally as possible not only reduces our reliance on fossil-fuelled transportation but also allows us to be confident of the sustainability and ethics of our suppliers, many of whom we know personally. We prefer to support the local economy we are a part of.