We know a revolutionary company when we see one—and apparently so do you, which explains why all 1000 of Kinder Beauty’s recent exclusive specialty boxes, Plantioxidants Generational Collection—featuring next-level luxury skincare line Plantioxidants—sold out in just over 24 hours. You guys, that’s bananas. Or maybe it’s not, since in an industry so often narrowly focused on the bottom line, Plantioxidants is placing as much value on ethics and integrity as it is on a high-quality, stunning product that will become your new go-to, effectively and permanently changing the dialogue around skincare.
Those glorious boxes, which we offered last month for the “are you joking?” price of $38—were valued at $365 (you’re welcome), and included luxury products such as Toning Essence, Purifying Treatment, and Reparative Serum. We were only able to offer such a ridiculously amazing deal because Plantioxidants founder Josh Wadinski shares our mission of making pro-animal, pro-planet products accessible to anyone who wants their beauty cabinet to reflect their worldview, and their skin to be as healthful and glowing as possible. Guys like Josh don’t come around nearly enough, and lucky for you, we caught up with him to find out exactly how he created this next-level, eco-forward brand that walks the walk and shines the shine.
BEFORE YOU READ IT:
If you didn’t get in on the exclusive Plantioxidants Generational Collection box and you’d like to be in the know for future promotions, pause everything and subscribe to Kinder Beauty. We’re currently planning some really cool one-off boxes which will be available to our beautiful subscribers first, and will most definitely sell out.
Here are 11 simple ways to make sure your beauty routine is ethical and eco-friendly.
1. DEVELOP THOUGHTFUL PARTNERSHIPS
Kinder Beauty: We’re so proud to have a partnership with such an innovative and environmentally conscious brand like Plantioxidants.
Josh Wadinski: Thank you, and we couldn’t be happier to be working with Kinder. We are very selective about who we partner with because we are quite strict when it comes to clean, sustainable beauty. Kinder was the perfect fit!
2. PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
KB: Then it’s a mutual admiration society, because not only is your company vegan, but it also is very eco-friendly. What steps does your company take to protect the environment?
JW: Plantioxidants applies a complete lifecycle approach starting at the top with our strategy, which carries throughout every aspect of the business—product development, ingredient sourcing, logistics, consumer experience, finance, and even our waste management. There’s no checklist for being an eco-conscious company, so we are perpetually asking ourselves not only about our immediate interaction with everything in the business, but also asking, “Where did this come from?” and “Where will it go after?” Even though packaging might seem like the most significant step in protecting the environment, there is a lot more done behind the scenes.
3. RETHINK PLASTIC WASTE
KB: You mention packaging. Though climate change and pollution seem to be on everyone’s mind right now, we still see a lot of plastics being used with beauty products. What’s up with that?
JW: I’m so glad you bring this up. As a species, we produce roughly 600 billion pounds of plastic waste each year. For reference, our entire species weighs roughly 632 billion pounds. So basically, we’re producing our own weight in plastic-waste, annually. There is no question that Single Use (SU) packaging is causing a massive impact on our climate and ecosystems, and it is no secret that the beauty industry is a key contributor. However, while I do believe we should immediately ease off of virgin plastic, we should not deviate from all plastics. Starting in the 1950s, we started creating a glut of wasted plastic that we know infects our oceans, landfills, etc. If we simply jump to compostable or biodegradable options, we do almost nothing to help clean up the mess we created.
4. EMBRACE NON-SINGLE USE PACKAGING
KB: So then how can we responsibly approach packaging?
JW: Before making that immediate switch, we must clean our environmental mess and bring that discarded plastic back into the fold. At Plantioxidants, we do rigorous carbon footprint analyses and stand behind the use of NSU (non-single use) packaging. This means that we need to source that waste plastic from our environment and use it for future products. For example, our bottles are made from 100 percent recycled PET plastic that can be recycled into other products later. This is part of our “Lifecycle of Beauty” process and, to date, we have accounted for removing the equivalent of 250,000 20 oz. bottles from our environment.
5. USE SUSTAINABLE INGREDIENTS
KB: Can you explain, in a nutshell, your initial inspiration for Plantioxidants?
JW: The inspiration behind Plantioxidants was to simply do the right thing and to create a guilt-free beauty experience. I want you to live a longer, healthier life to help others do the same, and to not feel guilty about harming the planet while doing so. At Plantioxidants, that means focusing on effective, plant-based, and antioxidant-rich formulas that are made with clean ingredients and provided to customers in a green, sustainable way.
6. RECYCLE & REUSE
KB: What about your company’s growth? What was your plan when you started, and what is your plan now?
JW: The company just launched just under two years ago, and our immediate focus was to sell directly through our website so we could control the downstream effects of our products through our Mail-back Program. What this means is that rather than recycling your Plantioxidants products on your own—where, at best, 30 percent will actually be recycled—you can mail us your empty products back so we can ensure they are completely recycled into other products. Currently, we pay for shipping and give you 10 percent off of your next order for doing so as way to say thank you for helping us take care of the planet and others. Our next step is to expand who we sell products through, but we wanted to put a similar downstream process in place before doing so. We are nearly done finalizing this approach and are now open to working with other retailers and distributors.
7. CREATE AN ETHIC OF TRANSPARENCY
KB: We noticed that your ingredients are USDA-certified organic. What does that mean, exactly?
JW: When starting Plantioxidants, I knew I did not want to dance around being natural or organic. Because there is little to no regulation in the beauty industry, I can put a blueberry on the front of a package, write, “This is natural,” then not even include blueberry in the formula—and instead use entirely synthetic ingredients. This is mindboggling to me. Transparency is important at Plantioxidants, so when considering how truly clean I wanted the ingredients to be, it was crucial to use the highest standard for natural products—which to me is not a beauty standard, but a food grade standard. That is why we opted for not only USDA organic ingredients, but certified USDA organic formulas.
8. OPT FOR CERTIFIED USDA ORGANIC FORMULA
KB: What, specifically, does it look like to be certified USDA organic?
JW: This means that at least of 95 percent of our formulas have to be organic ingredients, and the ingredients and formulas can never include a big range of concerning things (such as petrochemicals, parabens, herbicides, pesticides, etc.), and they cannot be used on the initial crops themselves. When it comes to sourcing, we must work with USDA organic ingredients, and those providers have to be certified through a rigorous process, as well. By keeping our standards focused on food grade, we are ensuring the ingredients we source are healthy for you and for the planet.
9. LIVE VEGAN & CRUELTY-FREE
KB: Plantioxidants is a vegan and cruelty-free company. In what ways does this philosophy carry over into your personal worldview?
JW: Plantioxidants is indeed an extension of my personal life—I put clean, healthy, sustainable living at the forefront. My diet is mainly raw vegan to vegan; I live a very minimal lifestyle when it comes to possessions; and, like most people, I’m a very big supporter of not just our species, but others.
10. BE PASSIONATE
KB: Kinder Beauty is right there with you. So what advice do you have for someone wanting to start their own company?
JW: Starting a company is extremely demanding, much more so than I thought it would be. That is why it is vitally important to have a deep, deep passion for what you want to do. Equally important to having a strong sense of passion is to make sure your company has purpose. The beauty industry has too many brands in it already, and to be honest, if a company like Plantioxidants existed, I wouldn’t have started it. Create companies that change industries for the better because everyone deserves to have the option to live healthier, longer, and happier without harming the planet or others.
11. CONSIDER YOUR CONSUMER FOOTPRINT
KB: What advice can you give to conscious consumers who want to do more to take care of the planet?
JW: When it comes to your skincare routine, you can opt for products without known harmful ingredients, or by buying from companies who have a very heavy focus on their planetary impact. Taking care of the planet and others is largely focused on sustainability, and the ways you think about your personal impact are endless. Can you order your coffee in a “for-here” cup instead of to go? Do you even need that paper straw in your glass? Why not turn the heat down one degree? Simply asking yourself, “Where did this come from?” and “Where will it go when I’m done with it?” are two of the easiest ways to consider your consumer footprint.