Earth Harbor Raises the Bar for Clean Beauty Standards
Founded by Ali Perry-Hatch, cruelty-free and planet-friendly Earth Harbor Naturals recently announced that they are now the first beauty brand certified Climate Neutral, plastic negative, and 1% For the Planet.
Since its inception, the brand has honored and celebrated the Earth and the ocean, with skin and hair-nourishing products including Mermaid Milk, Beach Waves, and Lava Clay. The company marries Perry-Hatch’s personal passion for nature with her abundance of knowledge as a former humanitarian engineer specializing in global environmental health and toxicology.
As a child living on St. Simons Island in Georgia, she created natural “beauty” concoctions she shared with friends and family, from marsh mud masks to sea salt sprays. However, it was following a near-fatal car accident as a young adult that she was compelled to take her own clean living to the next level.
When she couldn’t find natural beauty products that met her standards of being effective, ethical, purely natural, rooted in science, and all-around indulgent, she began making her own—and Earth Harbor Naturals was born.Kinder Beauty had the chance to speak with Perry-Hatch about Earth Harbor Naturals’ advances that are positively impacting planet Earth.
Making Waves in the Beauty Industry
KINDER BEAUTY: Earth Harbor recently announced that it has become the first beauty brand certified climate neutral, plastic negative, and 1% for the planet. How does this achievement reflect the company’s values?
Ali Perry-Hatch: I have my MPH in global environmental health, specializing in toxicology. So you can probably see right there just how much I really do care about marrying [that] with what I'm doing with Earth Harbor now. I
t was nothing I intended to ever do—being in the beauty industry. But I did get in a bad car accident, and I'd always had the low-maintenance hobby of producing skin care just for myself and my friends. That evolved after my car accident.
Since then, with Earth Harbor really taking off, I want to do everything I can to couple my background with the beauty industry, and not be one of those brands that's ... “greenwashing.” That's not something that we're about.
It's really hard to determine that as a consumer. Conscious consumerism is so important today, but it's a really hard thing to do. In my opinion, navigating that personally as a consumer is so much easier when you know that brands are certified with credible third party audits, et cetera. So that's what those three certifications that we're gaining actually provide.
We really pushed to be a “beyond clean” beauty brand. With all of our products and product life cycles, we strive to be nontoxic, synthetic-free, and plant-based. That's because to me, clean beauty means a clean conscience.
We do believe in giving everyone products that are also ethical, sustainable, and scientific because all of us, and our planet, really do require this comprehensive approach for long-term health and beauty.
KB: What does it mean to be certified as climate neutral?
APH: Essentially what we're doing is working in a peer reviewed way, which I think is so important.
That's what all of these three companies/NGOs [that we’re working with] do—they’re peer reviewed and evidence-based best practices for companies. That's why I decided to go with these.
Because to me, they were the most credible. Climate Neutral: we're measuring our carbon output for an entire year in every regard—from our products, to shipping them—the whole life cycle.
Then we are offsetting them, and also working to reduce them in the future. So that's super-cool. The whole goal is eventually to have zero net carbon emissions.
Positively Impacting the Planet
KB: What exactly does it mean that you are now a plastic-negative company?
APH: [We’re partnering with] RePurpose Global for this. Essentially we are measuring our plastic now—every single little thing you can possibly think of. [For instance], I was just in the studio the other day measuring every single one of our plastic lids, even though the plastic we use is majority post-consumer resin, or ocean bound plastics/ocean waste plastic. Ocean bound plastic means that we're intercepting it before it would make its way into the ocean. Ocean waste plastic is obtained from either the coast or actually within the ocean. So already, we're actually doing a really good job!
But on top of that, I wanted to make sure that was measured accurately. So that's why we're going with RePurpose Global to measure that. That's everything from containers that we're using, to any shipping stuff. We actually use 100-percent compostable shipping for e-commerce.
Sometimes, for safety—when you're loading into big trucks, and for bigger orders—sometimes there's plastic that has to be used in order to get it there safely. Because it would actually be worse for the planet for breakages to happen. There’s always a trade-off-—that's why it's so hard to be perfect with this.
With RePurpose Global—for all of the plastic that we're using—they will partner with locals in coastal areas to get twice that amount of plastic off of the coast and out of the ocean. By being plastic negative, we're literally [removing] twice the amount of plastic from the ocean as what [we’re using].
KB: In what ways are you 1% for the Planet?
APH: We've been 1% for the Planet members since our inception three years ago. It means that 1%—or in our case over 1%—of our sales we are giving to our nonprofit partners through 1% For the Planet.
Specifically, the ones that we partner with are dealing with ocean conservation or helping solve the global water crisis. 1% for the Planet audits that every single year. So it's a process and a really good certification to have to make sure that you're giving back.
Setting a New Standard for Clean Cosmetics
KB: Should all beauty brands make being Earth-friendly a priority?
APH: Oh my gosh. Most definitely! Especially when you think about all the crazy statistics out there.
Like how by 2050—and now it's supposedly going to be even faster than that—plastic in the ocean is going to outweigh the number of fish in the ocean. To be a brand and to be a company—and I understand it's hard to be a small business and there are limitations—I think that everyone needs to try their hardest to be as sustainable, as green, as zero-waste as possible.
So what we're doing with being totally carbon neutral and plastic negative—and then also on top of that, giving back to these environmental causes—I think that should really become the expectation rather than the exception.
And I really think it will. I think that's up to consumers to push that. And I think that they already are. I'm super-proud of the world for starting to take that direction, and continue that on.
KB: In what other ways is Earth Harbor working to protect the planet?
APH: Our packaging is one-hundred percent reusable and recyclable. We use post-consumer resin closures, including ocean waste plastics. Our main containers across our entire line are flint glass, which is super-easy to recycle. As far as sourcing, a-hundred percent of our packaging is sourced locally within 50 miles of our studio. We're already trying really hard. It's ever-evolving.
Maya Gottfried is the author of books for children and adults, including Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary and Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal.